My Corner Sits Empty

Morning commuters drive by the busy streets while those walking hurriedly down the sidewalks stop for their morning coffee while checking their Blackberries for those important meaningless messages. The sun is just starting to rise, giving a glimmer of hope for a beautiful day.

Last night, they dragged her dead, drug-riddled body away. The gossip spreads like wildfire in the street. “Another one gone,” they quickly whisper, afraid that it could be them who might be next.

The story is that Neil saw her last as she struggled to find that last good vein for the hit that would take her pain away. She screamed at the passersby who strolled down the late-night street coming from the movie just around the corner. They stared with sheer disgust rather than pity at this drug-ravaged woman. Her babble hung heavy in the arid summer night’s air, slowly drifting away with new cries for help.

She had recognized me only a year ago, when I passed her by on the street as I was on my way to a new job. My eyes darted quickly away, not wanting to be called out by name. She called out in incomprehensible babble about days gone by.

“Remember when we had so much fun that summer by the sea? I was going to be an actress, and you were going to be a nurse,” she said.

And I did remember. Her soul had radiated with energy and a sparkle that attracted all who met her. Now, as I think back on those years so long ago, I reflect on the memories of Belinda, who was going to be something one day.

After that summer, we met a few years later at an annual party, celebrating a new year at college. Coke was the popular drug of choice, and Belinda was always game to try something new. She laughed and giggled as she tried her first snort. “Come on, Kim, it’s great!” she told me. But I was the more cautious one, so I declined.

I saw the tears in her eyes as I passed by that morning and she reached out her arms in recognition. I was embarrassed about the connection and quickly passed by without acknowledging her calls. She was hardly recognizable.

I regret it now. Why is it that when someone hits rock bottom, we won’t reach out and offer a helping hand? Is it our own demise we are so afraid of?

This morning, I see that the corner sits empty; close by are street people, chatting in a circle. I overhear their whispered comments about the loss of yet another one. I realize that they are talking about a long-ago friend, and I approach the circle cautiously. I stammer out the words that echo back and ring in my ears: “Was it Belinda who died last night?”

They turn to look directly at me. To them, I am an outsider. “What’s it to you, lady in those fancy clothes? Who are you?” they all chime in.

I think about the many memories of all the laughter and fun that we used to have. “Belinda was my friend,” I quietly say.

“Well,” says the one with the funny-shaped hat as she steps closer to get a better look at me. “Here on the street, we have a sort of way to pay respect to those who are gone.”

“I want to know,” I blurt out, filled with guilt at not having reached out to my friend previously.

“Simple,” she says. “Belinda’s corner will sit empty, at least for today.”

Crumbling to the ground, I sob uncontrollably for my friend who, once upon a time, was going to be a star. I bend my hands to pray. “My dear Belinda, may your corner sit empty, at least for today.”

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About the Author | Kim Robin

Kim is a kind & giving person, who does for others before herself. She loves to spend time in nature. Her passion is taking photographs of the world around her, landscapes & animals are her favourite. Kim loves to live outside of the box & is game to try anything ne. She lives with her longtime partner, her dog Tia and cat Midnight in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Kim is very proud of her 2 sons’. She has a 3-year-old granddaughter who is the light of her life. Kim exploded into the comedy scene in March 2012 ~ just like in life she likes to live outside the box & do things BIG…she says “If I can make one person laugh ~ that’s a bonus if more people laugh ~ That’s the icing on the cake” ~ her sense of humour is contagious ~ she loves adventures just ask her about zip lining in Mexico or taking out the garbage in West Vancouver – wherever she goes its laughter all the way ~ her nicknames in life are Bubblehead, Lucy…(after you know who)….. I have also done some storytelling on stage. I am excited to work towards retirement, so I can work at comedy full-time or a truthteller.

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8 comments to "My Corner Sits Empty"

  • leslie smith

    Kim….. Wow, so heartwrenching! Extremely well written and poignant. Love always Leslie.

  • Zoe Clemens

    Awesome story Kim. So emotional and well written. It makes me realize how lucky I am. Love ‘n Sunshine, Zoe

    • Kim Robin

      Hi Zoe
      Thank you for your kinds words. I’m also thankful that my inner strength kept me from putting a needle into my arm. My heart goes out to all whose inner spirits are broken. 💞 Love & Light 💕 Kim

  • Zuzana Gray

    Well done Kim💔💔 ., it was beautifully written.

  • Kaireen Morrison

    Kim, I’m thinking you have inherited some of the journalism gene from our grandfather (my gt, your gt gt) James Alexander Orr, founder and publisher of The Sudbury Journal. I have read this again, and am struck by the empathetic feelings you describe.

    • Kim Robin

      Hi Kaireen – thank you 💖 I knew he founded the newspaper but am thankful you let me know I may have inherited some of his writing traits. I will treasure this. Kim 💞💖💕