Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chapter 3 - Episode 2

He was 25 at the time, and had his own small grocery shop, selling microwave food. A business that had worked out very well and 5 months he had started it, he could afford to buy his own house. The house that had made him the neighbor of Kate, Mathew and their 3-year-old son Benjamin. They were nice people, as he moved in it was the day before Benjamin’s third birthday and they were busy with the preparations of it as Mathew saw him struggle with his king-size bed. Without hesitation he’d come outside and helped him carrying the bed inside. Both Mathew and his wife had helped him the rest of the day moving and offered him dinner, as they had put it, going to the cafeteria around the corner was no way to start a life in a new home. That night he heard them continue the preparations of the birthday of their son.

Benjamin was a chubby little boy, probably a bit overweight, but always laughing. And in the months that passed he was babysitting the little boy every now and then, when none of the grandparents were able to do the honours. Benjamin liked it when the neighbor was babysitting as it would mean that he could eat all the hotdogs he wanted, watch Disney movies on video and they would play hide and seek. But that fall something changed.

Kate and Mathew noticed that their friendly neighbor was in trouble of some sort as they didn’t see him that often anymore, and he didn’t offer to baby-sit their son. One day they saw him sit on the front porch, hands covering his face and they heard him sob. Mathew went over to their neighbor and asked him if he would like to have dinner with them. But he knew what was going on and thanked him, but he had to take a rain check. But Mathew insisted and told him he and Kate wanted to discuss something with him. He agreed to come over later that night, but dinner was out of the question as he had to take care of some business. Later that night he went over and was greeted by Kate, who offered him a piece of cranberry pie, casually asking him what was wrong as she had seen him crying that afternoon. She was genuinely worried. Mathew came in just when he was starting to explain his grief. He told them about the dog he had when he was a kid, about that a car had killed his pet and that he just a few days back had seen a dog just like it getting hit by a car, his young master crying over the dead animal. He told him how his suppressed memories surfaced and he didn’t know how to deal with it. Today he had cried for the first time since he could remember and later that afternoon he went to his doctor. He now had Prozac, but he was reluctant to take them. Both Kate and Mathew were touched by his story, and offered him to join them on their holiday into the mountains. Mathew was going to teach Benjamin fishing and hunting and Kate would go hiking in the forest, taking home mushrooms and berries which would make a great meal together with the caught fish. He at first refused to take their offered as he explained that neither fishing nor hunting were his thing, but Mathew insisted that he would come along, he could stay in the cabin or accompany Kate hiking. He agreed after Kate had described to him how lovely the cabin and scenery were.

To be continued...

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