Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Angel in the Rear View Mirror

Just trying to get some writing practice everyday! The route to where we pick up the dogs raw meat passes a homeless shelter. I am always inspired to write something after these trips.  This one could be a post script to my 7th story, “Whispered Encouragements”.

~

He walked out onto the road, his feet slipping on the greasy slush. He caught himself before he fell, but not before an explosion of frustration was expelled from his lungs. A few more careful steps and he was at the window of the car, tapping lightly to attract the attention of the occupants cocooned in its warmth. He pulled his lips back in an approximation of a smile, hoping to appeal to their pity.

The person inside scowled a warning, so Ron stepped back, letting the car race away, slush sputtering behind the tires. He remembered when he first got here at the homeless shelter and how easy it was to keep his spirits up, but now, with feet so cold he couldn't feel them, and raw chapped hands, it was harder to move his cold pinched face into a genuine smile.

A sudden rush of feelings followed him back to the sidewalk. Where was his mother now, why wasn't she whispering encouragements? Or maybe he couldn't hear her over the roar of continued misfortune. Thoughts of stepping onto the road in front of the next racing car consumed his brain. It would be so easy, and why not - no one would miss him and it would be a hell of a lot easier than what he had now. He took a few meaningful steps towards the road. The cars raced pass him, nobody even turning to see him. He felt invisible and insignificant.

Ron took a few steps back and started running, just as he lept from the curb the light changed and all the cars skidded to a stop. He was disappointed and relieved at the same time.

The window in the car closest to him rolled down and a hand reached out.
"Friend, come and take this." the man from inside the car intoned.
Ron stepped over and opened his hand. A twenty was dropped into his hand and Ron smiled at the man. 

"Hey, don't I know you? Aren't you Hazel's son." the man asked.

Ron cautiously answered, "Um, yes, I was, but she passed away a few years ago."

The man in the car turned away and started rummaging in his briefcase. "Oh, here it is. Take this and come and see me. I remember you visiting your mom at the long-term care facility almost everyday. You were well liked, and I think you would fit in with our staff. Promise me you'll come".

Ron looked down at the man, tears welling in his eyes and nodded his head.

The light changed and with a wave, car and driver disappeared in the distance. Ron looked at the card - "St. Vincent's Long Term Care" and embossed on the other side shone an angel.

~