She sat in the living room and cried. Her life was seventy-five percent behind her and the remaining twenty-five percent was one of tears, old age, infirmity, grief and pills. The tan threadbare sofa that she sat upon had been bought by her husband over thirty years ago. He was gone. He had been for some time now. Once he had passed on, nothing really mattered. Days crawled from one long monotonous lonely thing into the next. The mailman came and rattled her front door but she didn’t get up. The mail lay in an unopened heap next to the baseboard. She would pick it up every few days, rifle through the important bills like her utilities and discard the rest. She was empty. Minutes on the clock were her enemy. Once the batteries died in her wall clock, she didn’t replace them. The silence was a salve to her soul… the long wait. Why be reminded? She grew accustomed to the sound of no one coming by.
She cried today as she had cried on countless others. The house had fallen into disrepair. Trash piled up. The yard was overgrown. The swimming pool was too expensive to maintain, so she paid the gardener to keep it drained and it sat… lonely, empty and blue in the hot afternoon heat. It was a pale shadow of what it once was. She remembered pool parties for her children, neighborhood 4th of July cookouts, happiness and family. She cried.
One day she heard a knock at her screen door. She had the front door open to let the breeze in. It was pleasant. She figured that it would cool the house and help let the ghosts out. Bad mojo. She walked to the door and saw two young men and a girl. They smiled and said that they were skateboarders. They offered to clean up the place and do yard work in exchange for using the pool on their skateboards. She didn’t understand but they were polite and very happy. They didn’t seem like the youth she saw on TV that were angry and listened to all of that violent music. They came into her life that day. It was a big change. They cleaned up the yard and kept their word. They planted flowers in the window boxes. These young skateboarders brought a fresh perspective to her life. It was as it was. Life returned to her backyard. The pool was utilized for fun and laughter floated back to her as she sat in her chair…
In the end, it all comes down to love and respect. People shouldn’t be alone. The world is a cruel place. We need each other. If everyone would help their neighbor, no person would be without help. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie