Dante hated this wheelchair. Hated that at 17 his life was over. Hated watching those mindless idiots out there in the street, but he sat here at the window and watched them every day, all day, anyway. He had almost gotten to the point of accepting things in the past month or so. For the first year after the accident, however, Dante lived in a cauldron of hatred and rage at that ignorant drunk driver.
He couldn’t quite remember when that dignified old guy in the fedora caught his attention. But somehow he started realizing the guy showed up every afternoon around 4. Sometimes he’d stop and stare intently into puddles in the street. He looked like a Mafia don or something in his formal suit and hat. Once he got into a shouting match with a delivery guy who splashed through the puddle. Feisty old so and so. Dante loved that.
Then, what was it?, like three weeks ago or something the old guy began bringing a small vase of flowers out to leave on the corner. Each morning the street sweepers would toss it into the trash and in the afternoon the old guy would be back with another one.
Then he stopped coming. Like for a week or more.
But this morning, there were the flowers again. Dante strained to see up and down the street. He stationed himself at the window, determined to see the guy. For the first time ever he was glad for that vile catheter. He found himself entranced by the ballet of the sidewalk. It was a narrow, busy street and for the first time, Dante didn’t hate all those people who weren’t even aware of how lucky they were to have legs and feet that worked. He just watched. 4 o’clock came and went but no sign of his old man.
Aunt Maria obediently brought his lunch and then his dinner into the bedroom. Maria still ached at the death of her sister but understood that her orphaned nephew had to grieve in his own way. So she draped an afghan around his shoulders and went to bed.
There he is in the window. I figured he’d wait up when I put the flowers out there this morning. Kid’s got a rough time ahead of him but he’s strong. Too bad he never knew his real Mom, but that daughter of mine, what a handful. I wonder if anyone told him that he was adopted. I’ll be taking another vase of flowers out to her grave tomorrow morning but I’ll keep bringing some here in the afternoon. No need to make a production out of it. Just leave ’em and keep moving. He’ll be ok.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved.
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.