Was it a dream, she asked herself upon opening her eyes. The whisper could be her subconscious reminding her not to lose faith, the complexities of life always a mystery that was never easy to explain.
The rays of the late morning sun struck her face, its warmth invigorating. There was no other recourse but to get up and prepare for another day.
Somewhat refreshed after pouring out all her insecurities of the past, gaining enough confidence to move on, accepting whatever the future held for her, she kept repeating to herself that she would become renewed.
She has accepted loneliness as a given in her life: no one could escape it once in a while, especially her. The least she could do was ride it through and never dwell on it.
– o –
“Where are you going?”
Rusty heard his uncle’s query from downstairs. He was finished watching his last video, he believed, for a long time. His best buddy had to rest in a shelf, wrapped carefully, boxed and protected from dust.
“Thank you for the company.”
Primping in front of the mirror while combing his hair, he whistled blissfully like a bird, soon to be out of the cage.
Finishing a quick breakfast, his smile never left his face.
“Something I need to know?” Uncle Tom asked, observing his nephew’s different mood. “Have you talked to …”
Rusty interrupted him with another segue, as if uninterested about the issue.
“I saw a new girl in the neighborhood. Time to weave my magic!”
“Ow? I did not know you are a magician now.”
“Be happy for me, Uncle. It’s what you want, remember?”
He was turning the table against me, Uncle Tom thought. Even so, he was delighted that Rusty finally broke out of his mold. It would be interesting to meet who the girl on his sight.
– o –
“Those are nice flowers you got there!”
She turned around, looking for the source of the compliment.
“Yes, they are.”
He walked toward her, determined to make her acquaintance.
“I’m Jack,” his introduction was accompanied by a grin. “I worked in the bakery.”
“Glad to meet you,” she took his proffered hand. “I’m Rose, like the flower.”
“More beautiful I believe.”
– o –
Their bakery, closed every Sunday, was lonely without his nephew bugging him around. So instead of a quiet morning, Uncle Tom decided to follow Rusty to where he was headed. Since Wendy’s unexplained non-appearance the following day and Rusty’s resurrection to his former self, Uncle Tom was unable to cope up with strangeness of it all.
Have they finally separated? A new girl in the neighborhood?
His intriguing questions were answered, not too far away from where he mused about them.
There they are. He could not recognize the girl because she faced away from him.
Who was she?
“Rusty!” he called out, interrupting the couple’s obvious sweet conversation: intimate could best described them.
It was the girl who turned around first, leading Uncle Tom to clap his hands.
“No, Uncle.” Rusty led her toward him. “From now on, she is Rose.”
“And who you might be? Jack?”
“How did you guess?” Rusty laughed, prepared to explain their reason.
“Look at your shirt,” Wendy, alias Rose, pointed to it.
“You’re the same old Rusty,” Uncle Tom punched him lightly on the stomach. “But now, the happy one.”
T H E E N D