I think I imagined Judge Judy to be present. Or Dr. Phil. It was just us, a cheery bailiff and about 10 petitioners in a State of Texas courtroom.
Things were said like
I couldn't help but smirk at the hodge podge crowd I mingled with. One kid was in there just to change his name. I bet he wondered why everyone seemed so solemn.
Because solemn it was. Except for "Lanita" who sat in front of me. Her long weave bounced in a pony-tail as she approached the judge's bench. When he approved her request, she turned with a smile, her ponytail bouncing more and her shirt read "I'm trying to imagine what you would be like if you were interesting."
She plopped back down in the seat in front of me, her phone buzzing loudly in her bright red purse.
The guy next to me was called. Young. Tall. Sad.
We sat, obliged to listen as the simple facts held an unspoken story. Nine months married. Just long enough to incubate pain, love, disappointment and now divorce. He made his way back to the seat in front of me, dropped his papers on the floor and his eyes flooded. I watched as the 6'4 young man broke with the pain of finality.
Lanita turned, and watched him. I winced as she leaned over to touch his arm, afraid she would disturb his solemnity with a "Wanna tissue?"
Instead, she smiled, her long weave curled around her chubby cheeks and she whispered, "It's all gonna be ok, honey. It's all gonna be ok."
Pain separates us.
But it can unite us too.