The Three

March 15, 2017
By , New York, NY

New York City from up here is quiet, all of the lights cast out into the night sky, creating a dazzling spectacle. The three belligerently drunk boys have clambered up to the top of an office building to see the life they live in.
“What a life it is, ain’t it?” says one.
“It might just be, couldn’t complain less,” says three
Speaking incoherently, two produces a locket from his coat pocket. Two and Three turn sullen. This is the last they have of their past life. It can only be understood by going back in time, to the start of how and why they live.
“No matter what, I got you both, it’s been a long road but we’re finally here.” Two mumbles
“To Mom!” One yells out.
“To Mikey!” Two chants.
“May their lives live on,” murmurs Three as he takes a swig.
After taking in the soul of the city from above, all three make their way back down to the streets below. It is three in the morning, the avenues have fallen silent. The occasional taxi passes by as the wave of green lights follow the boys down to lower manhattan. Ditching the Q at Union, the gang of three stumble their way to battery park where they live.
The three live together in a three bedroom apartment in battery park that was handed down to them. A couple years ago, all three were just scraping by, bouncing from place to place in the city. Then, by fate, they saw an old man who needed help as they moseyed their way across the Brooklyn Bridge. He was clinging to the railing, ready to take his life. As he was about to jump, One ran and grabbed a hold of his shirt collar. Two and Three raced towards him and grabbed his arms. They wrestled the man and pulled him to safety.
In tears, the man sat and begged the three to jump. He pleaded to be next to his wife once more. The three, seeing the man’s misfortune console him. Bouncing from place to place and causing mischief was what the three do, with the old man, they had to put that all aside and become more human.
“Calm down sir, you’re all right, we’re here to listen,” Two said consoling him.
“I just want to be with my wife, she passed away two days ago. I’ve been with her 60 years, through the war and everything,” the old man said through all the tears.
“Let’s go have a beer, I know we seem like we’re a little young but we all do need it,” One said.
Helping the man up and putting his arm around the old man’s shoulders, One walked the old man down to the manhattan side of the bridge with Two and Three in tow. They mosey their way down to the lower east side and along the East River. Seeing a convenience store, the three scrap together what little money they have left and buy some beers at a corner store.
Seeing the little money the boys had, the old man interjects the three,”hold on fellas, let me buy them and I’ll let you into my apartment.”
The boys both agree and within a couple minutes, the man brings back a couple belgian lights, the old man’s favorite. Helping the old man, they make their way to battery park.
“You fellas seem like you aren’t the troublemaking type.”
“Thank you Sir, we try not to. We help out as much as we can,” Three replies.
Unlocking the door to the building and entering the elevator, the old man notices that the three are carrying what they own, with everything in their tattered backpacks. The guys make their way down the hallway and stop at the end. It’s not a bad apartment, well maintained, it’s better than the places the three has been.
“Well, here is my place, it’s not much, I bought this apartment a long time ago. My kids have since moved out and started lives of their own. It was my wife and I, now it’s just me,” the old man says, unlocking the door and letting the three in.”Come sit fellas, you’re more than welcome.”
“Thank you sir,”
They crack open the beers and start talking over the universal tongue looseners. The tells the boys why he wanted to end his life. The old man had his roots in a poor farming family. He was conscripted into the military when the Second World War broke out. Fighting through the beaches of Japan, the old man became wounded through a grenade blast. He met his future wife on a hospital ship when she saved him from mortal wounds.
The pair became inseparable and married when the war ended. They moved to the City not long after and had kids. The post war rush was a gold mine for the old man. He developed a pharmaceutical company aimed at helping wounded soldiers. Making his money, he settled in battery park where he continued to live to this day.
His kids moved out long ago, and was left with only his wife. Even though he had his pharmaceutical giant, the old man lived a relatively simple life. When his wife got sick, the old man tried his best to come up with a way to save her. His efforts were fruitless and she died not too long after. Heartbroken, the man walked to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge and tried to take his life, only to have been saved by the three.
“Well, that’s my story, I don’t know what else to say. I see you guys have moved around a lot, where are you guys from?”
“It’s a long story sir, we’ve been around places,” replied Three.
It turns out the three were brothers. They grew up in upstate New York where their family were struggling to make ends meet. With the their parents divorced, the three were left on their own. The town they lived in were well aware of their tomfoolery. The three messed around with neighbors, pranked the townspeople, and disregarded school.
One day, their mother, was killed at work. She worked at the local foundry and was crushed by a falling crucible. The three were at school when cops came in and pulled them aside to tell them the news. Coming home in shock, the three devised a plan to run. Their father was an abusive drunk who did not like the sight of his kids. Agreeing to the plan, the trio grabbed their backpacks, rummaged through their stuff and grabbed what they needed. One, sensing that they won’t ever come back went to their mother’s room and grabbed something that they’ll remember.
The gang of three escaped into the woods and down the hudson river valley. Scrapping together the money they had, the three bought train tickets in poughkeepsie and went down to the City. The streets of New York became home to them. The brutality and speed of the City kept them in check. One, Two, and Three contacted their friends for a place to stay on cold nights or food to stay up. Doing this for a year or so, the three stumbled into the old man as they were headed across to brooklyn. They saw the good in people and helped him shining past their misfortune.
“I’m so sorry you fellas had to go through that, no person should have to have done such things.”
“Look, fate brought us here together, it’s now time for me to pay it forward. My time is almost up and because of this, all three of you moved me to stay longer. How about this, my kids have moved out and I have three bedrooms. Why don’t you fellas stay with me till you finish up with school and do good in life,” said the old man enthusiastically.
“Sir, honestly, we would love, its been a long time since we had a bed to rest on. I don’t know if you truly want us to,” replied One.
“It’d be my pleasure,” said the old man.
Fate brought the four together. By chance, the group of three, met their savior. A man, haunted by a gruesome war, the loss of a loved one, and alone in life saved the boys. The boys brought the man back to reality and showed him perseverance. They all saved each other.
Time went on, the boys settled in with the old man. They became the family the old man never had. The three finished school, helped the old man around the house and with work. The three were given jobs in the old man’s company. The boys became men and the old man slowly slid into the afterlife. As he lay in his deathbed, the man asked the boys to move on and live as much as they could.
“Boys, since we met, I never got your names, you guys have only told me numbers. Before I die, I want to know the boys that saved my life and helped me up.”
“My name is, Jonesy,” One said.
“I’m Rory,” Two said.
“It’s Mory,” Three replied.
“We never got your name either sir,” asked Rory.
“It’s Mike, my friends call me Mikey.”
“My sons won’t know I died, I don’t know them anymore. Please take care of my company, my home, and my ashes.”
Mikey passed away of old age that night. The three took his ashes and brought him over to the southernmost tip of manhattan. Rory scattered his ashes while Mory and Jonesy read the lord’s prayer. Afterwards, the three drink. They sneak up to the top of an office building. They sit, taking in the beauty of the City. Jonesy pulls out the lockett. Two and Three fall silent in surprise. The three all remember their loving mother and the life they had vaguely. Jonesy opens the locket, it’s a picture of their mother and the three as babies.
“To mom!” Rory yells out.
“To Mike!” Mory yells.
“She’s always with us no matter what. We’re living a hell of a life guys. From the start we had each other. From the cold subway nights to the warm summer days. We’ve wandered about but haven’t lost family. I’ll be with you guys to the end.” Jonesy says.
The three quietly sit on the ledge in awe. They’ve made it. The three brothers, through their misfortune, escaped to live a better life. Floating around with nowhere to go, they saved a man broken, giving him hope for a future. Bringing each other to heights of greatness, the three have made it. New York City, brutal as it is, has given the boys hope. Now they live.

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