That Cloudy Wednesday Morning
A path lines the walk from the residence hall to the bus stop, but the bricks beneath my feet are uneven, allowing tepid mixtures of water, grass clippings, and broken cherry blossoms to puddle in the hollows. I step in one by accident, coating the toe of my right boot, and though I can feel the liquid soaking through the thin material and make a mental note to remember my waterproof shoes, I keep on walking, swinging an unopened umbrella back and forth by my side.
Her Worst Critic
She had that too thin look about her, and her eyes were worn and tired, but there was something about her that told him she wasn’t quite ready to give up. She was struggling, trying to find her place in a world full of beautiful people who knew exactly where they belonged. He believed in her, though; believed in her strength, believed in her undiscovered talent, and hoped one day she’d realize that for herself.
Beads of sweat dripped down his back, sticky and hot. The air was thick with humidity and pressed heavily against him as he struggled to breathe. He took huge, gasping breaths, but, hard as he tried, the air could not enter his lungs long enough to satisfy him before he rapidly exhaled, choking. A brown bag was pressed against his mouth, held there by slender fingers he could only feel as his eyes were closed in desperation. It expanded and contracted, making an echoing crunch as he breathed. Gradually he steadied, finally taking in the air he needed, and recovered enough to open his eyes and see my face.
A Mother’s Love
I often wondered about the state of his health, fragile and weak as he looked, but I knew better than to ask. He’d have hated me for the kindness, never once asking to be pitied. All his life, he’d fought, tried to be normal when we both knew deep down that that wasn’t possible. My heart cried out for him and so I offered comfort the only way that I knew he’d not reject, holding the paper bag to his mouth as he suffered through another asthma attack.