I stepped into the bustling coffee shop and took a moment to let the warmth soak into me. Outside it was bitterly cold, a chill that bit through clothing and nipped at exposed skin.
In spite of the weather, it was no less busy outside. The streets heaved with people. Some meandered slowly, seeming to have forgotten themselves in faraway imaginings, while others rushed here and there. Their brisk movements almost cried out “This is the way!” and then “No, not here. There it is!”
I caught sight of someone who looked to be an authority, surrounded by a gaggle of others. Sidling through the press, I snatched her attention.
“Hello, is that your thing?” She asked.
In my hands was a thick bundle of papers, tied around with brown string. Nodding my head, but stumbling to find words, I handed my thing to her.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said after leafing through the first pages, giving it back to me. “This isn’t for us.”
At first, I could feel hot anger building inside me. But then I saw that every other person in the crowded coffee shop was clutching their own sheaf of pages in trembling hands. And the small briefcase at the woman’s elbow, only large enough to hold a few.
“That’s alright.” I said. “I’ll try someone else.”
Before, my hands were steady as rock and the papers crisp, white. Now as I looked down at them, my fingers quivered and the pages seemed faded, worn.
Are you familiar with rejection, literary or otherwise? Let me know in the comments. As for myself, I have very recently begun sending a novel to agencies and applying for legal work (law student). For now, we can only wait.