The kettle lets out an anguished wail as it comes to the boil; it is my only companion of the hour. After filling my mug, I stand and watch the tea bag slowly release color into the steaming water, like the gradual restoration of a black and white photograph. Discarding the used tea bag, I find a seat at the empty dinner table, which casts shadows of family meals past and faded laughter during daylight hours. Sunlight reaches through the room's large glass windows with trembling fingers, to touch the pages of the novel before me.
It's a solitary affair - this book, my hot drink, a bit of food, a pair of well-worn slippers and I. If a passerby were to peer through the glass and see this young girl, legs crossed comfortably, nose in a book, they'd consider her well-off; not supposing she'd enjoy any company. But is this entirely true?
A miniscule voice is trying to push and grasp its way out of the depths of my thoughts, whispering that maybe, just maybe, I'm not satisfied with solitude any longer. But I push the voice down, down, down. I drown it in printed words and silent revelations, because loneliness is a tricky thing; an ugly chain. Loneliness craves and relies on itself. It requires time spent with no bothersome company even when it hungers for human presence. Yet I can't shake the question forming in my mind - can you truly survive on the comfort found in tea and silence, forever?