The Cold

November 14, 2011
By Kevin Prunty BRONZE, Chesapeake, Virginia
Kevin Prunty BRONZE, Chesapeake, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Cold months never were pleasant for Lockley Harlen. The leaves on the trees turn color and eventually fall from the limbs they hang from. There’s death all around, so why is everybody so cheery around this time? Lockley always wondered this fact. “I suppose it may have something to do with Christmas, but why?” he asked himself.

He was a child who’s had his ninth birthday already this year. His parents always boasted about how he was the top of his class. Of course, they over-exaggerate as most parents enjoy doing about their children. That especially happened around holiday season every year. Whenever the extended family, the mothers and fathers of his parents, their brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, and nephews came over to visit, Lockley always tended to avoid being in the same room with all of them at once because his parents are always telling a story about how he helped a girl up after falling on the playground on his first day of first grade.

He sat in his room playing on the new handheld gaming system he received for his recent birthday. Just as he was achieving a high score, his mother called him down for supper. Lockley excitedly got up and washed his hands and sat at the table awaiting the glorious meal that was being prepared in the kitchen. His father sat down across from him at the table. His mother came around with a platter of turkey slices that varied in size, all covered in a thick gravy.

The Harlen family didn’t usually have meals like this unless it was a special occasion. “Son, do you know what today is?” Mr. Harlen asked his wide-eyed son. “Should I?” he said back jokingly.

“Fourteen years ago today, your mother and I came across an old woman. She was sitting on the side of the road in tattered clothing. Her eyes were glazed over- she was blind. Curiosity got the best of us. We quickly walked over to the woman and asked her name. She didn’t respond. Confused, we looked around the woman. There was a sign next to her and a smaller girl hiding behind her. She looked afraid, but tried to approach us anyway. ‘This is my mother. She lost her job after having an accident’. She started sobbing. ‘She was walking to the store to buy me a reward for having good grades in school, even though I haven’t really and she just liked bragging about me, when she dropped her purse in the middle of the road while swinging it around happily. Thought she could make it to the purse, but soon a bus came speeding along. No, she didn’t get hit by the bus per-se, but when she grabbed the purse and got up…’ She wiped her tears on my sleeve. ‘When she got up, the last thing she saw was the mirror of the bus. Those big m-m-mirrors. It ruined her eyes and hearing. It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t the bus’s fault either. It was j-j-just an unfortunate coincidence’.

Your mother started sobbing as well. Your old man even had a hard time keeping his composure. Because of this unfortunate incident, the girl was homeless and her mother was gravely injured. We decided to take them home that day so they could eat food with us. We had this exact meal. Ever since then, on this day, we would give them as much help as we can”, Mr. Harlen said, holding his wife’s hand.

The doorbell rang. Young Lockley opened the door. He immediately noticed the figures of a young woman and an elderly lady. He had never seen these people before. He ran back to hide behind his father when he welcomed them in. Lockley caught sight of the clock; it was ten at night. He usually was asleep by this time.

The family enjoyed their meal. The two women looked relatively healthy. Could they be the people that his father was talking about? The older one looked perfectly fine. She talked more than everybody else. Soon, the two left with bags full of boxes.

Lockley looked at his mother, confused.

His mother smiled at him, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “You were well behaved tonight. Those women have been through a lot. The mother has made a miraculous recovery after years of donations from us and our friends. Now they go around the town and bring miracles to all those less fortunate. You just have to be thankful for what you have. You’re a special kid.” She walked back to her room, tucked Lockley into his bed, and turned out the lights, as Mr. Harlen waved the two ladies goodbye.

The author's comments:
I feel like people take many things granted a lot. Sure, it's a cliche. But that doesn't stop people from doing it. Anything, ANYTHING, can be taken away in less than a second.

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