Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Half of a Whole

I followed him as he drove slowly down the street. It wasn't a long street; just a long, short journey. I wondered if he even noticed me as I drove behind him or if he was still so wrapped up in his thoughts that the outside world didn't really exist for him. I noticed only because I had to. I had been following him since he turned off the main road just before I turned and followed close behind him. I watched as he slowly made his way down the street and turned into a driveway about half way down the block.

The house was unassuming in the most unassuming way. It had almond coloured siding and brown trim that had once been very popular in the 60's and 70's. The picture window was covered by equally neutral drapery, again reminiscent of a past era. The house was well-maintained and had an air of quiet comfort, despite it's bland exterior. It was so reflective of the way he lived his life that it made me sigh quietly inside.

As I pulled into the driveway, I could see that he had waited for me. I turned off the engine, undid my seatbelt, and slowly climbed out. I could see his pleasure of seeing me reflected in his eyes but also the deep sorrow furrow his face. He held out his hand and folded mine gently into his as we quietly walked up the path to the front door. As he reached into his right pocket, I could hear his keys jingling quietly as a solitary bird leapt from the bush by the steps and flew off. He pulled them out and unlocked the door.

"I...I guess we had better get out some food," he said with a hesitancy that had never been there before.

Knowing that he was overwhelmed and would rather just go and sit, I swallowed and quietly replied, "Yes, I guess we had better do that. Why don't you just go and sit for a bit while I put it out?"

He looked at me for the first time that day, as if he was really seeing who I was. "I would like... like that, just to sit a minute before...before..."

"I know. This isn't easy is it?" I cut him off before he could say it out loud and we would both have to face the awful truth once again.

"No it isn't!...I just wish it wasn't at all!!" he barked out.

His vehemence surprised me. He had been so placid and accepting up till now. I hadn't realized how angry he was. I didn't blame him, it was so needless that she died the way she did. They had always been such a loving couple, so supportive of one another in their quiet way. I understood in a flash that he was now only one half of a whole and beginning to realize it himself.

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