Sarah from the bench

The entire week had been full of sunshine and rainbows. The end of winter was GLORIOUS in that it was bright, not hot (woohoo) and such lovely weather for going out and about in the sunshine and cool breeze. My favourite weather.

I agreed to meet my new friend Chris for lunch at his work. We met each other through a mutual friend – Anthony from I.T at Monodelphous – and this was our first meeting without Anthony. I was a bit nervous about it as Chris and I were branching out on our own, but he’s proven to be a good friend with wise advice and a kind heart so this was going to be fine.

We had lunch which I felt bad about because even though we waited ages and I went inside to politely remind staff we were “still waiting”, Chris’s burger didn’t appear until almost 45 minutes went by. I’d already eaten my 3 tiny spring rolls (for $12!!! Never ever again!!!) and when his burger did arrive, it was cold and looked like a sorry excuse for a burger. Poor Chris.

We said our goodbyes and Chris pointed me in the direction of the Perth Convention Centre where I had booked in to have my first Pfizer shot. Go me! I would be there an hour and a half early, but I’d downloaded an interesting eBook onto my phone and didn’t mind sitting and waiting.

So off I went. First, I tried to get in early. There were so many people in line (100’s) for their shot, so I didn’t think one more person would make much difference. I got turned away thought. Grr. “Come back at 3pm”…okay fair enough. It was worth a shot. I wish now I’d brought a drink with me. I had Afghan cookies in my bag, though. Look at me go!

I decided to find a bench to sit on and wandered off towards where I’d seen people waiting earlier. I saw a long silver bench with a girl sat on one end knitting. Bless her. I sat on the other end and took out my phone, opening my eBook and taking a deep breath as I started to read.

Photo by Abie ZeroSix on

“Hello” the girl on the bench greeted me with a friendly smile.

“Oh. Hi!” I smiled back “Are you here for your Pfizer shot, too?”

“No” she smiled again and looked off into the distance “Just waiting for my partner…are you here for yours?”

She seemed so nice that I didn’t mind chatting to her, so I told this girl about my attempt to squeeze into line and get my shot earlier than the allotted time. She laughed along with me. We formed a comfortable bond right away. This girl looked to be about my age, had strawberry-coloured hair, blue/green eyes and a kind face. She had a ball of navy blue thread/yarn with her and knitting needles. The way she handled them was with care but familiarity. I guessed she’d been knitting for quite a while.

We took turns asking questions. She introduced herself with a bright smile “I’m Sarah, by the way” I returned her smile “I’m Janet”. We found out a lot about each other in that wait as conversation flowed easily. Sarah is an Engineer. Her Mom isn’t doing too well so she was taking time off work to spend with her parents, helping her Dad find the right care home for her Mom and taking time to get her Mom settled into the place they found.

“That’s why I’m knitting this” Sarah proudly spread out the blanket she was knitting “I let Mom pick the colours and I’m hoping having this with her will make her feel more comfortable in her new room”. The blanket was really lovely – warm and heavy with a pretty pattern of squares with colours navy blue, pink, green and a gold. It was such a lovely idea that it touched my heart. I bet her Mom would have loved it.

Sarah was waiting for her partner – a girl. Years ago, I would have politely said “okay then” and left at this point, judging her life choices harshly as a devout Christian, but now I just felt happy she was happy and was okay with hearing about her girlfriend. We talked about how hard it was to get a Partner Visa and about all the hoops the Government make you both jump through to prove you are in a real relationship. We’d both watched “Greencard” in the past and both laughed as we worried about the same things – would our partners know what our toothbrush colours were?

We talked about studies, work, our parents and our likes. Sarah and her girlfriend have a baby puppy so they’re doing some puppy training. Sarah is a big fan of dogs. I told her I’m not really a fan of animals, I’d much rather play with little kids, they are so cute! She laughed and asked me if I worked with children…I told her not so much these days but that I used to and I loved it.

By the time Sarah’s partner (Anita? Annette? I can’t remember) walked towards us to claim Sarah and they started to leave, I felt I had made a friend.

My feelings were reciprocated as Sarah haltingly offered her mobile to me “Give me your number – I mean, if you want to! We should meet up in the next week for coffee, hey? I have loved talking to you!”

I was delighted!

I instead typed Sarah’s number into my phone and saved her as “Sarah Bench” so I’d remember how I knew her if she texted or called. Sarah laughed when I showed her “I’ll save you as Janet Bench – give me a missed call and I’ll save your number to my phone”

I did and we both smiled at each other.

A new friend.

Sarah and her girlfriend linked fingers and walked off, I smiled at their hands together and thought they looked so happy together. May God bless you both.

I really do Sarah and I have coffee (ok, hot chocolate for me) together soon.

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