27 September 2007

Persona Non Grata

A main character in this story is Emilia. She is an avid knitter, who has fallen into the knitting trap so far that, in order to make things work, she ended up arranging her whole life around her passion. Luckily, this approach really worked, fitting perfectly with her artistic ambitions as well as her aspirations as a mother.

Emilia was delighted to find out that a new yarn boutique opened in a vicinity of her husband's office and became a regular customer and an enthusiastic fan of this Knitting Temple.

As seasons changed Emilia's vision slowly became a reality. Now she taught knitting and spent all her free time designing. Her work attracted attention of publishers. Her classes allured keen people wanting to learn the craft. She was in her element.

The Knitting Temple was owned and run by Sarah who was bent on making it a great success and who went about it in a very matter-of-factly fashion.

At the beginning her manner around Emilia was perfectly pleasant. However, as the months went by and it became obvious that Emilia's knitting classes were becoming an attractive alternative to the classes offered by the shop, shop-owner dropped her attempts at civility without further ado.

At first Emilia thought that maybe she was becoming overly sensitive and decided not to take any notice of this. After all, it would have been very presumptuous to think that she or, indeed, anything she did was a cause of Sarah's odd humours.

More time went by and more awkwardness stifled the air during subsequent visits to the shop. Sarah would flee from view when she saw Emilia coming in, and on few occasions when she was at the shop on her own, made every effort to attend everyone but Emilia.

Emilia ignored this, as she was optimistically inclined and thought Sarah a little extravagant, maladroit even, but definitely not vicious!

One day Emilia found herself near the Knitting Temple whilst out with her baby, and decided to dive in hoping to find a particular needle for her new project. As she entered, she noticed that there was only Sarah at the shop, which was otherwise deserted. She was working busily at the till and acknowledged Emilia with a reluctant nod. Emilia had a quick look at the needles on display and couldn't see the size she needed. She browsed quickly through a shelf stacked with colourful skeins of yarn. Little boy grew impatient and started whining. Emilia took her chosen skein of yarn to the till and waited patiently to be served, but Sarah appeared determined to take no notice of her customer. Emilia stood there, holding a skein of gorgeous alpaca yarn feeling heavy, weighed down by growing sense of unease as uncomfortably long minutes stretched into eternity.

Meanwhile Sarah was tapping away on the keyboard and happily talking to someone on the phone about bright jackets and her website, completely ignoring Emilia and her baby boy's loud protests.

How much more evident could Emilia's presence be? Barely a couple of steps away from Sarah, there was a storm of emotions surfacing within Emilia.

She put down the skein of yarn she was holding and walked out of the shop pushing the buggy with a disconcerted boy in it. As she was closing the door she saw a satisfied grin on Sarah's lips.

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