Kicking off her shoes, Ziva slumped on the sofa, her cats vying for her lap, she sighed letting them decide. Patches padded in a circular motion twice, settling triumphant, Asher resigned himself to resting his head on Ziva’s knee to enjoy a head scratch. This was a regular evening unless she had a party to attend, the older she became, time at home with the cats increased. Rylan boasted, his wife was pregnant again with their second child, and his beautiful daughter Eliza, successful in his career and from the outside he portrayed a picture of a perfect life. She interpreted purrs, meows, and chirps, Ziva tried to hold a conversation when the reality was, they wanted love, or food, and she was talking to herself.
She confided in Ayaka, since questioning her sexuality, the dating scene had felt like a scary place. Elizabeth’s rejection had been hard, the attraction to her was stronger than she experienced with Arian and revealed a side of herself she wanted to explore deeper. Ziva allowed work to swallow her it was a means of avoiding saying what she wanted from life. This evasion flooded her party nights, while the music, dancing and alcohol helped Ziva lose herself, forgetting the reduced number of friends in attendance, knowing they were home with their partners and family. Pushing in the last bite of chocolate brownie with her fork, Ziva succumbed and admitted that she desired someone who could share their life with her.
San Myshuno, Ayaka believing she could help solve Ziva’s romantic slump, the festival vibe, sakura tea, the Guru’s wisdom, maybe she’d run into Mrs Right? Ziva scanned the sparsely attended event, the few couples that came for the wedding arch, ideas for their forthcoming nuptials, the wannabe artists pretending to create pictures that represented their love for each other and then, her and Ayaka, sipping sakura tea, both single.
Ziva admired the couples lining up to gain the Guru’s wisdom, they were smiling, arms linked. She imagined him telling them of winding roads, sunsets over Windenberg, moonbeams dancing on the Sulani waters, all sounded romantic. They had love, short bursts of passion, maybe a few amazing months or growing old together, two grey-haired people rocking on the veranda, their twilight years beckoning. Encouraged, Ziva stepped in, bated breath and hope drained as the Guru looked her over. He pursed his lips, head shaking, careful to select his words, Ziva gripped her dress when that word came, bleak. Her enthusiasm melted, Ayaka assured her it meant her current outlook, the vibe Ziva herself felt and that the Guru picked up on. The romance festival lost its beauty and promise, Ziva walked, head hung, Ayaka hugged her, love would find them when they were least prepared.
The festival seemed a good idea, the results were unimpressive. Ziva forced herself to look for the positive, improving health, it felt amazing, she no longer held her breath when fastening jeans. She had loving friendships, invitations to barbecue, parties, and someone to meet for coffee. Her brothers growing family meant she could borrow his children, do all the fun stuff without the messy cleaning up or tantrums. None of it made up for the fact she lived alone, and the stigma Rylan pushed to his friends was that of a crazy cat lady!