Prompted Tales #1
Thoughts on the "Elderly"
One of my best friends in high school was Susan.
She had two cats, one replacing the other when Sebastian Sr.'s kidneys failed him. Both were elegant long coat tabbies, with rings of honey brown and ebony flowing into each other from head to tail. Good company.
Susan painted every day. In fact, that's how we met. Turns out art class was and probably continues to be an undervalued aspect of the home's weekly schedule. I can still see her rolling into the common room, usually clutching her own supplies in her free hand. And smiling, at me, a total stranger, with an unwavering look of trust and eagerness deep behind her eyes.
Her MS didn't deter her love for painting, nor did those shaking hands or her ailing eyes. Resiliency was definitely her strongest of lessons. The will to make art until the heart beats no more... That was Susan, through and through.
After the required 40 hours of community service, I visited her every so often. Without fail, she'd look through me while we talked, as if I was somebody else entirely. I knew full well that I was a bandaid for the pain she was in. It wasn't her failing health or even the death of Sebastian Sr. that got to her. It was the absence of her daughter, and my being there was just a temporary fix.
Her letters came, albeit infrequently, for a while after graduation. I'd write back, "I hope you're well. How's Sebastian Jr.? Thank you for the graduation card."
But then, one month passed without a letter. And another. Then a year.
My heart sinks to this day knowing I never gave a proper goodbye. I hope her daughter did. And I hope Sebastian Jr. is taken care of by his long-lost "sister."