A walk with Joel

He knew he should have carried his scarf and gloves. It was freezing cold outside, not that he seemed to mind but he could not afford to fall sick a week before his graduation. As an afterthought his scarf and gloves would have been considered a faux pas, considering he had gone for a friend’s party. Even in a small town of  France, fashion was given utmost importance. As he was approaching his house he saw that Mr. Wilson who owned a small bakery adjoining his building, was closing down for the day. Climbing up the stairs of his porch, he realized that he had forgot the keys to his house. Instead of disturbing his father who by this time would have been fast asleep, he decided to go for a long walk. Mr. Wilson smiled and offered him coffee as he passed his bakery. He wondered why the French were so obsessed with coffee. He being half Irish and half French despised almost each and ever French mannerism which his father had tried to imbibe in him. He had often told his friends that the French-Irish combination was the worst one ever! As he turned round the corner he entered ‘the nameless street’. That’s what his friends and himself called this street as it had not been bestowed with a name. As he continued walking, watching his shadows elongate and diminish, he reached the building where the girl, who he immensely liked, resided. He stood below the building for a moment gazing at her window. Noticing that the lights were off he smiled and carried on. Walking past a couple of blocks he noticed a man dressed in bare minimum clothes sleeping on the bench. He was shivering considering the severe cold the country was facing since the past couple of weeks. He removed his overcoat and quietly put it over the person and carried on. He realized that by helping others, somehow the burden was lifted off his mind. By the time he reached the outskirts of his town, he was feeling exuberant and light. He approached the small tree house which his father and he had built during the summer. He heard Rene barking and he immediately started running towards her. He hugged her as she started licking him ferociously. Rene and him had to separate as his dad had developed an allergy to dog hair. He had let her loose and she had wandered in the wild ever since. There were times when months would go by without them meeting but he knew he would always find her near the Tree house whenever he wanted to meet her. Somehow she always came to know that he was approaching and they had this connection since childhood. He carried her in his arms, climbed up the Tree house and allowed slumber to carry him away to distant lands.

27th April 2013


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