Second Chance by Iris Newton
She sits, waiting at a corner table by the window; coffee grown cold, hands too shaky to lift the cup; staring through the rain-streaked window; looking round with a start whenever the bell over the door announces another customer seeking refuge or an early morning caffeine fix.
She wonders if she’ll know her when she comes, if there might still be something familiar about her. It’s twenty years since she last saw Lily. She will be very different now, of course. She has thought about her so often over the years, picturing how she would have changed, imagining what she might be doing. She wonders what Lily will think of her; what she might have been told - but she must stop thinking of her as Lily, she is Katherine now.
When the letter came, asking if they could meet, she had, at first, been overjoyed, hoping fate might be about to give her another chance. Then the doubts had set in and now that the time has come she is afraid. She keeps telling herself not to expect too much, and yet…
She traces the progress of the raindrops as they slide down the window, they look like tears, so many tears; it feels as if her tears have been falling for twenty years.
She watches the mothers struggling through the rain, getting their children off to school and she envies them. Still, she reminds herself, she too is a mother even though she was only able to hold her daughter for a short time; such a short time before the social worker took her. She still feels the aching emptiness that filled the room as the door closed behind them.
Lily, such a beautiful baby, the baby she didn’t have the chance to mother. But now Katherine wants to meet her and maybe, just maybe…
The bell jangles, she looks up, the door opens.