The Day Life Took On Meaning, section four, the end.

Fiction By Mairead // 10/27/2009

    “So?” Margaret asked, as she sat down in his car.
    He looked at her a long time. He couldn’t speak.
    She nodded, and felt her eyes get moist at the beauty of that day. He actually appreciated life. She knew. “You know now why it is an experience,” she said, laying her head on the headrest on the seat.
     He nodded now. “Yes,” he answered quietly. There was a long pause; neither thought it important to speak.
     Margaret looked thoughtful. “And what do you think you got from this? How did it help you?”
     “I can’t tell, Margaret. It’s hard to grasp.” He rubbed his eyes and then smoothed his hair. “I feel like you know what I mean, though.”
     She nodded. Yes, she knew, and it was beautiful. He was a new Kolbe now. No, not a new Kolbe, but he was finally the real Kolbe that she had been waiting to see. Now she knew that he existed and that all of her efforts hadn’t been in vain.

     A little over two years later…
     He walked up the gravel path, his head sagging.  He was picking up something for Margaret that she had left at the camp the day before. He had had a long day. He had worked from 6:30am to 5:00pm doing yard work for Peter’s Landscaping. There had been some complications and he was called into his boss’s room. The conversation was playing over in his mind….
     “Shut the door Kolbe,” his boss, Rick, had told him. Rick was Peter’s son, and so quite the fancy and successful businessman. He looked like he never worked a day in his life to get to where he was.
     Kolbe did as he was told and walked up to the desk questioningly.
     Rick shook his head. “You know Kolbe, I like you. I like you very much, but….”
     Kolbe knit his brows together and wondered what he was in for. Quickly, incidents flew through his mind and he tried to place something that he might be in trouble for. He had never been called like this into Rick’s office. Could he be mad about how many days he had needed to get off early? He knew his mother was near death but could not reconcile to the fact. He had taken off so that he could have time with her before he had to work his evening shift at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Other than that he had spent his time on weekends at the local Nursing Home working with the elderly, and had grown to love it.
     “I’ve gotta let you go,” Rick said finally, with a sigh. “You haven’t met our standards here. I can’t let you stay like this anymore.” He sat down in his expensive roll away chair that probably cost more than all that Kolbe had earned while working for him, and gave Kolbe a small smile. “I’m sorry to see you go like this, son, but…”
     Kolbe’s mouth opened and he was about to swear at this man who had suddenly become an enemy, but something stopped him. Oh, but was Rick smooth. Rick had always been smooth. Ever since that first day when Kolbe had come in for his interview he had known you had to get on this guys good side to get anywhere in the company. Now as he looked at his pale gleaming eyes and his flashing smile he was glad that he was fired. Still, even if he was going to walk out of this office today, Rick couldn’t get rid of Kolbe Pattron that easily. “Excuse me sir, what standards?” He kept his voice calm through much effort.
     “Well for one, if you must, getting here to the office on time--”
     “Wait--” he got out of his chair and stood bent over with his hands on the desk.
     Rick looked up at him slowly and inhaled. “I’m not finished Kolbe.”
     He clenched his jaw tightly. He knew why he was never on time. His Mom’s illness had been causing him to stay up into the morning working three other jobs to pay for her medication. It was a legitimate reason in his mind, but this spoiled, hand fed manager was never going to understand that fact. He decided to walk out, with no comments or complaints.
    
     He stopped in at the camp office and asked for Margaret’s friend Liza. Leaning against the counter he sighed and watched the hands of the clock move slowly and quickly around the face. She came out in a few minutes with a smile and handed the coffee mug over the counter.
     “Thanks,” he answered, zipping open his backpack and sliding the mug into the main pocket.
     “No problem. I noticed that she left it here and wondered how I could get it back to her seeing as yesterday was our last day at camp for the summer.”
     “Yeah.” There was a pause. “I bet it’s hard…seeing them go.”
     She shrugged. “Most of them come back next year. It’s not that big of a deal.”
     ‘Yeah,’ he thought, ‘but what about the ones who don’t come back?’ He nodded slowly. “Well thanks again.”
     “Tell Margaret that I said ‘hi’ okay?” She gave him a quick smile and went back into the back room. The door squeaked behind her on its un-greased hinges.
     He slung the backpack over his shoulder and stepped outside. The late summer sun was glaring down warmly and as he raised his hand to shade his eyes he saw the buses coming to pick up all of the children from their last day of camp. He wondered what some of them were going back to. He wished that even if he could not completely heal their broken lives, that he could at least help to bind them.
     Turning with a sigh he began to descend the hill towards the parking lot. Once he had gotten half way down the path he noted with sorrow that all of the busses were gone. But then his eyes alighted on a little figure in a wheelchair still waiting for her family to pick her up. The volunteer at her side watched as Kolbe came close to them.
     “Hey,” Kolbe said quietly, not even looking at the worker. He bent down and looked at the girl sitting still and quiet in her wheelchair. It was Alicia. He hadn’t seen her since the summer two years before.
     Alicia looked at him long and hard, her eyes darting over the lines of his features, almost as if she were searching them for something.
     Kolbe swallowed. “Hey there,” he murmured, trying to make eye contact with her fleeting eyes. “Do you remember me Alicia?”
     All she did was try to focus on his face in silence.
     He sat there for a long while and watched her. She seemed to have gotten stronger since he last saw her. Healthier. It was good to see her growing. But she didn’t respond to his questions. He sighed and rubbed her head as he rose and began to walk to his car. His keys jangled at his knee as he moved with powerful strides into the parking lot. Suddenly he slowed down. Was someone singing?
     “Jesus loves me this I know…” Alicia sang, getting louder as she went on.
     He stopped short.
     “…For the bible tells me so…”
     He turned around.
     “…Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.” Alicia grinned, her face glowing with the radiance of remembrance and she began beating in rhythm to the song.
     Kolbe felt tears in his eyes. It was the first time he had ever cried in his life. He didn’t know how to react.
     He stumbled back to her side and knelt down in front of her wheelchair. Giving his hand to her, he sang the song brokenly, his throat growing tight.  As he finished she began to laugh. Her face was glowing and he could tell that she was full of joy. He stood up and bent and kissed her forehead. At that moment he knew the meaning of beauty. These children had touched him in a way that nothing else could have done.
     He sighed and looked around him. As he remembered all of the campers laughing and running through the sun lit field, he smiled, and his whole face was illuminated in his realization.
     All of these kids held extraordinary in their tiny, seemingly helpless hands. And for that everyone shunned them. He wanted people to be able to feel as he did at that moment. He wanted them to know that it was because of the children’s weakness that they were so strong. It was because of their hardships that they could truly have joy. It was because of their tears that their smiles were so touching. It was because of their pain that their happiness was so emphatically shown. It was because of their lack of speech that their looks were a treasure. It was because of their disability that they were truly beautiful. 

Comments

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This was stunning!!!! You did such a beautiful job with this story!! Great job!!!!

Elizabeth | Tue, 10/27/2009

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The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine

*bows in thanks*

Thank you Elizabeth!

This ending section practically wrote itself. I keep going back to it and find that there is nothing that I really want to change, and then I feel refreshed. Something that never happens with my other writings... :/

Yes, I'm satisfied with it....it really helped me to grow into a new stage of writing. :)

Mairead | Tue, 10/27/2009

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"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

Wow.

This was beautiful, Mamie.

Kyleigh | Wed, 10/28/2009

Gorgeous!

I actually cried at the end of this piece! I'm so sad to see it end, but you couldn't have chosen a better way for it to end...

Thank you, thank you so much for writing this! It speaks volumes about working with disabled kids that is so true--it really captures the spirit of working with them and sharing their little joys and triumphs...

Heather | Wed, 10/28/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

I'm so glad that you recieved

I'm so glad that you recieved something from this  Heather. :) Thank you for your lovely comment.

Mairead | Wed, 10/28/2009

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"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

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