I dreamed this…
Cracks on the Sidewalk by kkc
I spotted her walking slowly on the sidewalk.
Long silver oily hair, black button down 3/4 sleeve shirt. Big holes were there in the knees of her worn out black jeans. Grey hooded sweatshirt wrapped around her small waist, just in case. Her gaze was fixed on the concrete as she cautiously strolled along.
As we approached eachother, I smiled and cleared my throat. ” Hello there, how are you,” I asked. Startled, she lifted her eyes up as if they were weighted down and quickly glanced at me. I saw her steel blue eyes and they were magnificently beautiful. Pain came right through those eyes that searched mine. ” Beg your pardon,” she whispered. ” I asked you how you are doing,” I replied. She told me that it had been 20 years since anyone asked her that.
” Everyone has a story, care to share yours,” I carefully asked her. We took a seat on the sidewalk bench. So she began, ” I went to the best schools, wore the best clothes, was given what I desired. My parents gave me money and things but not much of their time. Their luxuries afforded me an ivy league college of which I made Dean’s List every time. I loved art and literature and adored music as well. In my early adulthood, I gave away my inheiritance to charity then I went to the Woodstock Concert and partied for days which turned into months. We travelled in campers, vans, tents and roamed free. No one had a care in the world.” She paused to take a drink from her thermos.
” I met the man of my dreams, fell in love, built a home together and raised three kids. We had love before we had money.”
I searched her sad eyes and knew she had more to say. ” Where is your family now, ” I asked. She replied, ” when I said no one asked me for 20 years how I was, that is true. On the day I had to bury my husband and three kids, everyone asked me how I was doing. Right after that, the questions stopped, people returned back to their lives and I became lost. I began strolling on sidewalks as if I was searching for answers that would never come. The cracks revealed truth.”
After tucking her hair behind her ear she continued, ” I was out doing grocery shopping on that fateful night in June. The kids stayed home with my husband so I could quickly get what we needed. What I didn’t know was that someone was watching us and had been for months. Neighbors told me they heard nothing except for four pops and they knew what those were.” I stopped her and asked her if it was too much to tell me this. She just kept going.
” As it turns out someone from my past found me and thought I still had all the riches of my family. He figured he could break in and find stuff to take and search for money. Since my husband’s car was not there, it was in the shop, and he saw me leave in my car, he figured the house was empty. He became startled when he broke in and panicked and he shot each one of my family members then fled on foot. While running, he went in the street and got hit by a car. This man survived and later confessed while in the hospital.” By this time tears were streaming down her cheeks all the way to the pavement.
” After this, I just started wandering around. My home went into foreclosure, I left my job, sold my car and gave up. When the weather is nice, I live under a bridge. In cold months, I stay at a shelter. My eyes stay cast to the pavement because I cannot bear to look up at beautiful skies. The promise of a new day for me means pain and heartbreak all over again. Beauty burns my vision, reality blurs it and tragedy has taken it almost completely.”
Standing up now, we hug. No words can come out of my mouth. Comfort is something I cannot give because she won’t allow herself to receive it. The last thing she said before she walked away was , ” we had love before we had money yet my loves were taken from me because of money. My soul is bankrupt, my spirit is broke. True richness in life doesn’t cost a cent.” With that, she looked down and walked away leaving her tears splattered on the cracks in the sidewalk.