Threadbare

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Threadbare

[Written on December 10, 2013, this was posted to my first attempt at creating a blog.  It has a good message and I wanted to share it once again.  Image Credit]

Threadbare

“This, to me, represents love…” The letter was written to explain why they had to divorce. She shook her head in irritation. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband had no concept of love and staying strong through the hard times. She continued lost in thought when she almost tripped over the child curled up against the wall in the street.

Streaks of dirt only highlighted the deeper dirt that covered the child. His clothing was threadbare, the patches in the knees worn through. He didn’t meet her eyes. She saw many passed him by giving him no notice. But this was a child. All children deserved notice.

Kneeling down, she asked him, “Where are your parents?” He tilted his head as if uncertain what she said. He tugged at his ear and then she realized he was using a rudimentary sign language. She only drove into town to straighten out some legal matters. “Legal matters”…such a cold way to refer to the dissolution of a marriage. Still, she could not ignore this child. Decision made, she held out her hand.

The boy studied the hand with its neatly painted nails. He could not recall a clean hand offered his way. People on the streets would drag him along, making sure he made it to a shelter to get something to eat…most of the time. Sometimes, though, he hid amongst the trash, disappearing. She shook her hand with a little impatience. He saw her mouth move, knowing she was trying to tell him something. Finally, he slowly took her hand.

She hesitated at first before fully grasping the hand. She could feel the greasy grasp slide over her fingers. She fought against her instinct. She told herself, “It’s just dirt! It’s just dirt!” She pushed back the desire to put a handkerchief between their hands. Shaking away the physical discomfort, she continued walking down the sidewalk. The attorney wouldn’t be far and he could advise her about the child.

“Odd,” she thought. “My problem with dirt…with unclean things is what pushed my husband and me apart. Even…getting personal makes me physically ill. Yet, I am holding the hand of this dirty child.” She looked over at him as he squirmed a little and caught him scratching. “…this dirty, LICE RIDDEN child.” Reaching the entrance to the attorney, she turned towards him.

“I know you can’t understand me, but you need to trust me.” He stared at her uncomprehendingly, sniffing. Then he took his hand and dragged it across the offending nose. Fighting nausea, she shakily took that hand back into hers as they climbed the steps. “I can do this…I can do this…” she continued to chant as they opened the door.

“Hello, Mrs. Sanders. You’re a few minutes ear…” The receptionist cut her statement short. “Oh..oh…ummm…what’s this?”

“This is a who…and I’m not sure but we need to figure something out.” The boy stared out the window as rain began to fall. At least, he thought, I am dry for now.

Written in response to Finish That Thought. The prompt: This, to me, represents love.

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About Denise Callaway

I started writing in the 5th grade and have folders of bits and pieces dating back nearly that far. Wonderful teachers encouraged me along the way, from allowing me to take my spelling word sentences and write a story instead to posting pictures for a free write on a regular basis. On those pictures, I often look for some obscure detail, sometimes imagined off the picture to develop into the story idea. As I grew into my teenage years, I continued to write and added poetry to my list. Throughout college and during my adult life, I've continued writing: short stories, poetry, and even a few articles for Yahoo! Voices before they shut down that venue. I do have longer works in process and I hope to one day unveil them to you all. Until that day comes, I hope you enjoy these tasty tidbits I delight in sharing with you.

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