Sabrina Who Always Believed



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by Kathleen

The ever-changing light, time, and temperature enthralled Sabrina. She marveled at the vibrancy of everything alive. And wondered at the imperceptible emanations of everything inert.

It astonished her how the atmosphere was layered with sights and sounds. Sabrina delighted in the way things occurred—constantly.

Sometimes, just as the world’s magnificence overwhelmed her, its rampant pain and deprivation sickened her. But she was profoundly resilient and her intrinsic joy and gratitude returned soon enough.

Was she ambitious? Not so much. She packaged cleaning products gracefully, operated the cash register correctly, and bestowed customers with a bedazzled smile.

When she fell in love with Jon, she sent announcements to friends and family. For six weeks she took photographs of them outside the Chinese restaurant, inside the movieplex, even boarding public transportation. At home she pasted into heart-shaped cutouts pictures of her and Jon kissing, and emailed romantic updates to all contacts.

Until Jon said he couldn’t do it anymore. He wasn’t the man Sabrina thought he was.

She didn’t understand.

“Sabrina, it’s simple.” Jon was hooked on pornography and off-track betting. He disliked pets and stole tips from unguarded tables.

When he left, Sabrina’s resiliency lay dormant. She wept until finally her mother slapped her. “Get on with it, Sabrina.”

Of course. It was wrong to lose faith. And within a year, Sam beckoned. She enjoyed him even more than Jon but this time kept quieter. Until her ebulliency wore him out.

Same story six times over.

So with Jason, Sabrina hid her intensity to the utmost—which left her floating between heaven and earth. He, however, boosted his mood with drugs so that it seemed they existed within similar strata. In fact, they lived ecstatic together until the drugs grew unreliable or Jason’s chemistry changed or both. On Sabrina’s thirtieth birthday Jason said he was bored.

Again she lay stricken. Watched TV and stayed indoors. This time her mother wasn’t in striking distance but said on the phone, “Wise up, Sabrina, or you’ll lose your mind.”

That jarred her awake. Sabrina had always feared for her sanity. Enough so that she immediately tidied up, turned off her electronics, and found a job assisting corporate retreats.

She scheduled events at grand hotels and stood behind a field of name tags. “Please wear them; don’t take them off,” she said, smiling like a child who has tasted ice cream for the first time.

After day-long exercises in trust, a CEO invited Sabrina to dinner. During which she expressed awe at his kindness. The light, the colors, the clever salads, the encrusted entrée—Sabrina was enthralled. She hung on his every word.

Later they danced on the roof and played hide-and-seek in his suite. Come Sunday evening, the CEO promised to call her. And Sabrina believed him.

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