From the backseat of a limo she waved a tender good bye to the remainder of the guests they’d left at the hotel. The sight of his left hand on her thigh made reality sink in a little deeper; she was Mrs. Donada Cara Warner now. “Charles.” “Yes, Love?” he replied. “Today was cooler than all the fireworks on the fourth of July.” Charles chuckled at his wife’s youthful comparison before softly kissing her cheek. “Indeed, baby. It sure as hell was.”
**thirty five years later**
‘Happiest day of my life,’ Charles sighed to himself. October’s cool breeze allowed him to recall that magical day in April. Its mild air shut up any mention of fall’s ending; as April had done the same for that coming summer over thirty years ago. It’d been a long time since Charles experienced a “happy” moment. Everything in Magnolia Springs appeared differently since Donada’s passing. With her death went his spirit and tongue, so Charles was never in the mood to communicate with anyone. He ate alone, slept alone on his Tahoe’s backseat, and every day he sat on a park bench alone; counting his life’s losses.
“I know you saw it too!” the shout of a school aged boy quickly kidnapped Charles’s attention. “That thing said swoosh bruh! I know your brain tape caught that! My shot was on the map today!” “Yeah boy, we seen you out there,” said his friend. “Mmhm. Gimme my props,” the boy replied, holding out his fist. While the two exchanged interactions by hand, Charles inadvertently kept his eyes on them. The boy’s friend continued to playfully taunt him. “Man, you was attention grabbin’ for sure, but what you need to do is check on your left handed lay ups.” The boy gave him a look that said, ‘explain, but proceed with caution.’ “For real dog, ya rhythm is just a lil off. Sometimes it looks like you don’t know if you should dougie, or do the runnin’ man.” The boy sucked his teeth. “Shut up. I don’t care what you say. Gym was cool today; cooler than all the fireworks on the fourth of July.”
The boys’ conversation froze Charles in an instant. He hadn’t heard anyone use that phrase since Donada was alive. In fact, aside from his only daughter, his wife was the only other person he’d ever heard say those words. Since he’d been so out of touch he took the familiar phrase as communication from Donada. Could it be possible it was time for Charles to move on with his life? At that moment he thought about his daughter. What was she doing? How was she feeling? Was she married? Had God finally blessed her with children?
Charles watched the boys perform another handshake before they departed ways. The one who’d initially gotten his attention strolled over to the basketball court and started shooting around. The situation was just as his friend described. Charles shook his head in humor and admiration. In all the consecutive days spent on that park bench, Charles watched many children play and pass him by, but this day was different. There was something about this particular boy. Something that struck him; making his heart feel simultaneously familiar and strange. Charles took another glance at the boy as he stood to leave the park, “He really does need some foot work.”
Will Charles talk to the boy?
Have you ever wanted to say something to someone, but you just couldn’t?
Why do you think it’s so hard for us to openly communicate with one another?
Buns of Steel.Stay Tuned…