He didn’t notice it at first because his mind was elsewhere. From the mundane things of his work and family, to the odd behavior a young boy had displayed with him the night before, he wouldn’t be coming back down to earth anytime soon. His mind drifted to his daughters piano class, where he was sitting on a small couch, waiting, as she plucked away at the keys in the room next over. And as he sat there, in boredom, the muffled sounds of the piano was interrupted by the creak of the front door, and shuffled footsteps.
Who ever it was, it seemed to have been annoyed because as it made its way down the hallway, it bickered in a low raspy whisper.
“ Why don’t you just quit? You hate to practice. You’re just wasting your time...and money.”
But, as soon as the bickering entered the waiting room, it came to a halt. It was an old lady, and as soon as she realized that she wasn’t alone, she went silent and gained her composure. The father didn’t think much of it until a small boy poked his head out from behind this women, waved, and then disappeared back behind the girth of his grandmothers backside. And for the next fifteen minutes or so, a game of peek a boo had commenced between the man and the strange little boy, until the piano teacher gave his daughter a high five, and sent the two packing, making room for her next student.
This was a typical night for this man. Rushing home from work, grabbing whatever kid for whatever lesson, and then chauffeuring them off to class, and then of course, more waiting, made him question if this was what being adult was all about. And other than the old lady with brat in tow, he knew his night would pretty much end the same as well.
Stop by the store for milk...and then head home to his wives burnt offerings and endless questions, and sure enough, that’s what happened....
“Where were you guys? What took you so long? I was worried. Why didn’t you call me? I seen an ambulance heading towards the piano teachers house. I thought something happened.”
And as soon as she calmed down, they would eat their dinner, and then wait for another day to arrive.
He felt the tugging again, and finally looked down. There was a small girl, four, maybe five, looking back up at him, smiling, while taking cover behind her grandfathers overcoat. The older gentleman didn’t seem to notice what was going on, and simply stared off into the distance with the other commuters on the train, perhaps, thinking of better times.
And when their stop had arrived, she gave the man one more little tug and waved good buy while mouthing, “ See you later.” while disappearing into the crowd.
“Hmmm? That was weird.” he thought to himself, and then glanced out the window as the train was pulling away, to witness the older gentleman grasping at his chest and sinking towards the earth, alone.