Archive for the ‘Heartwarming’ Category


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by: Colette Calapristi Casey

The bedroom window rattled as the wind and rain persistently beat against its panes. A rush of wind roared only to be followed by a silence, continued in its rhythmic attack throughout the night. Eli stirred in his bed and rolled to one side slowly opening his eyes. The LED on the clock read 4:44 a.m. Eli closed his eyes and thought ‘again with this time’ and pulled the quilt over him knowing it would be another cold night. He turned restlessly in his bed thinking, remembering and knowing that something would have to be done, but who would do it was the question. He heard the first drip of an old patch in the roof that had apparently begun to fail. The wind and rain continued outside as he got up to move the bucket under the leak. One drop after another entered the bucket. Soon it would be full.

He went back to bed and tried to fall asleep, but only ended up tossing and turning until the first warmth of dawn rested upon his face. He sat up and stroked his beard and sighed. Eli was a simple man with simple needs. He had been alone since his wife Reba, passed away some 10 years before. His bed would forever feel empty from the day she passed. He rationalized his existence as the way it should be when you’ve been blessed with a soul mate, one shouldn’t expect more after they’d gone. He accepted his solitary existence as a realization that everyone would end up alone sooner or later.

Eli shuffled into the kitchen to fix himself a cup of tea. Just as the water began to boil, his phone rang. He rubbed his face in an effort to help him wake up. He reached for the phone on the counter and answered it.

“Good Morning, this is Eli.”

“Eli! Good morning dear friend. This is Joshua. I trust you slept well!” Joshua was Eli’s friend from the community center. He, like Eli was also a widow.

“Oh you know, restless as usual and on top of that, the roof is leaking again.”

“So sorry to hear that Eli. Well you know who to call don’t you.” Joshua laughed.

Of course Eli knew who to call. His son was a general contractor, but he hated to bother him with something as minor as a leak.

“Yes, it may be that time.” He gave a light laugh. “I see that ignoring it has only made it worse. Soon my bed may be a water bed!”

Both men laughed and then a pause hung steady in the air. “Eli, the reason I called is to see if you will join us. There is so much we can still do. We meet them today. They need us and we need you. Please say you will go. I will come and pick you up and we will do it together.”

Eli sighed. This again. What could he do? An old man, he had nothing to offer. The teapot began to whistle. He turned off the burner and moved the teapot to a cold burner. Eli looked to the floor and noticed something sticking out from under the Refrigerator.

“Joshua, can you hold on a minute please?

Joshua agreed and Eli set the phone down on the counter.

Eli reached down to the floor and pulled on the corner of paper. As the aged paper emerged from its place of hiding, he noticed the handwriting was that of his beloved Reba. He felt his heart skip a small beat and a warmth come over him.

“Joshua, I will call you back in a few minutes. Will that be alright?”

“Yes, of course Joshua, but they will arrive at 5:00 p.m. tonight. You have so much to share with them.”

“Yes, thank you, I will think about it.”

He sat down at the kitchen table and stared at the note. Not yet wanting to read it but to bask in it, something undiscovered from her. He read the note in silence.

“For today I will strive to do the following: “And each shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4).”

Eli read the note twice. He turned it over from front to back, examining the corners and wiping away crumbs of long gone food. He remembered Reba writing daily notes to herself and then sticking them on the refrigerator, but this one felt very new, very much about his life now. Was this a sign among all the others? He picked up the phone.

He spoke softly, “and each shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.” A tear filled his eye. This was Reba through and through. He’d felt her presence more so lately. It wasn’t just the Community Center project, or the images of the war that called to his heart, but it was this. This was Reba through and through, trying to change the world one person at a time.

He smiled and the tear that had rested in his eye, slowly poured onto his cheek. His shyness, his loss, his loneliness is not how Reba would have wanted him to live. He spoke again but this time with a smile. “Yes, Reba. I hear you. I will do it.”

Eli picked up the phone and called Joshua. The phone only rang once before Joshua answered.

“Joshua. I will help. I’m not sure what I can do, but I will do my best.”

Eli heard a yelp on the other side of the line. “Eli! This is wonderful news! Your ability to speak Syrian will help these people so much!”

“Yes, but remember my family left Syria when I was just a young boy. I’m not sure how fluent I will be.”

“Eli, I’m positive it will come back to you. But more importantly, we are welcoming those who have lived in great fear for their lives. Our faith teaches us that we must help those as everyone has the right to live without fear. I’m so proud of you my friend. I know how shy you are and it is greatly appreciated. We are only but one, but when we work together we are many. You will make a wonderful difference in these peoples lives. I will pick you up at 4:30.”

“Yes, good Joshua. I will be ready.” Eli hung up the phone and sat back down at the table to read the note again.

The day passed quickly for all the tasks that needed to be done. The call to his son to schedule time in his schedule to look at the roof, clearing out old mail and newspapers and setting up the house in the event of guests, something that hadn’t happened in years. Eli cleared off the living room table and set up four chairs. He went to the bookcase and retrieved his father’s Syrian-English dictionary and set it on the table. He also retrieved letters his father had sent him. He began to read each letter in his father’s native language. It had been a long journey for his family to emigrate from Syria to Israel and then to the United States. So many stories of strength and courage. Pride for his heritage and pride for his family swelled inside him.

Before he knew it, the clock read 4:35. Where was Joshua? He folded up the letters and checked for his house keys and wallet. He was ready. Joshua finally pulled up to the house at 4:44. Eli smiled. 4:44, always that time.   He looked at the framed image on the wall that Reba had hung before she passed. He hadn’t paid much attention to it over the years because it was behind the door that he normally left open for a cool breeze. He saw it now “I Ask Not For a Lighter Burden, but Broader Shoulders.”

Eli took a deep breath, walked toward the door and stepped into the sunshine.


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Aurora-Borealis4_2116385bOn the Corner of 7th & Heaven©
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
copyright 2014

Bobby was known to all as the kindly shop owner of one of the most glorious places in the south end neighborhood. His shop was situated perfectly on the corner of 7th and Heaven avenues.

Bobby was a simple man who took pride in the collection of all things magical and mystical. He was a short bit of a man, only about 5’6 with a rotund physique and enormous smile. His voice was soft, his hair was curly and gray. A kind man who was married for a brief few years before his wife passed, with great sadness. Although humble, he did display proudly a recent achievement of being recognized by none other than the Queen. As such, He re-named in recognition of his award, his beloved shop to “Sir Roberts Magnificent Emporium of Mystical and Magical Treasures vs. The Magnificent Emporium of Mystical and Magical Treasures.

Bobby was a man of the world so to speak in that there could be something at anytime from anywhere in the world. In some cases, some particular items aren’t necessarily found anywhere in the world, but in Bobby’s corner of the world at best. But then life in Bobby’s world was anything but expected.

Whether you are in search of a flying carpet, a magical looking glass, or a curiousity that inspires dreams and goals, it can be found at the emporium. It was how he was known, it was how he lived. He lived dancing in the magic of the energy around him. Many talk of his mysterious birth to a kind and loving couple that were never able to have children of their own. One night on the rare occasion the Northern Lights appeared above London leaving the city speechless and inspired. It was from this event, they say that Robert arrived on the ribbons of the Northern Lights.

His childhood was not unlike any other, but he did stand out among the children. If a child was bullied, Robert would take the bully aside, whisper something in his ear and give him a friendly pat on the back as if a mate from birth. In his wake were smiles, laughter and hope. It’s just the way it has always been.

Bobby smiled as he flipped the light to his prestigious “Sir” sign and watched as the snowflakes appeared as falling crystals within its light. It was a lovely night. The best part of Winter in London, England. Snow fell softly on the streets until drifts began to form. His window panes clung tightly to snow coated corners while the warm glow of the shop invited in the curious and the cold.

“Hey mate!” In came Freddie, a long-time friend of Bobby’s before he was a “Sir Robert”

“Hello dear Freddie.” Bobby smiled sweetly. “Getting’ a bit of a chill out there is it?”

“Yeah, yeah it is. You got your meeting tonight? Any fireworks planned?”

Bobby smiled. “Maybe, you never know what will happen.” He said with a wink and a smile.

Every Sunday at approximately half past seven, Bobby played host to a large contingent of neighborhood children and their parents. They came for the ‘Sunday Magic’ presented by Bobby.

Each Sunday Bobby created something spectacular through reading circle, magic tricks or songs. The magic created would be the birth of creativity, a spark of imagination or the doorway to a whole new world of possibilities.

The bell above the door chimed and soon the air was filled with the voices of children and their parents laughing, chatting and quite simply in the process of warming up.

“Welcome Children! Welcome.” Bobby exclaimed. This was the highlight of his week.

A chorus of ‘Bobby! Bobby!’ greeted him.

“Helloo Children! His laugh was gentle, his eyes brilliant. “What you say we start with a story tonight?”

Again a chorus of ‘yes! yes!’

“All right children, gather ‘round now. Parent’s you too.” Bobby waved them into the circle that was forming on the floor where he sat.

Once settled, Bobby began.

“Gather round ye young children for a tale of woe and of glee,
for it is the story of the birth of Magical Mcgee.
McGee was a lad without splendor or shine,
An average child they say born before his time.
His mother was lovely
His father was brave
But their treasure, a child, they were left to crave.
That is my dear friends
Until one winter night
The winds came a howling and the sky lit up bright!
The mother, the father
And their good dog Gibbon
Looked up and they gasped
at the colorful flowing Ribbon.
The light danced in the sky
From hither to yawn
Swirling and flowing
Bringing with it a new dawn
The mother
The father
Looked down in their arms
And lay a fine baby
they would keep safe from harm
They laughed they cried
They thanked heaven above
For this child was theirs
which they promised to love
A child of light
A child of love
Born of pure magic
Gentle as a dove
And now I will tell you
A special surprise
For I have now found
A treat for your eyes
Look closer my loves
And hope you will see
Born on the magic
Of wee little McGee

Bobby took three rubberbands in his hands and locked them together in a circle. He then showed each child the circle.

One explained, “Hey that’s me! I’m a doctor!!”
Another one gasped, “I’m a teacher!”
And yet the youngest, “I’m helping children in Africa!”

The rest of the evening continued on as each child revealed a potential never imagined. The parents were astonished but not surprised, for they knew of Bobby’s way with the world.

And then Bobby did something they didn’t expect. He brought the circle to the parents. As he past it around, each parent gasped and smiled and the look of a hopeful child came over their faces.

One explained, “Can I still do this?”
Another one gasped, “It’s not to late?”
And yet the youngest parent, “I’ll be brave enough?”

Bobby smiled at them all and collapsed the rubberbands back into what they once were.

The evening conversation then pursued with talks of hopes and dreams yet to be filled.

By the end of the night, hugs were exchanged and joy was abundant. Bobby closed up the store and shut off the light and in the moon light snowflakes looked like crystals.

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By: Colette Calapristi Casey

The sun quietly slept as Grace roused from her sleep. Her long sleeve cotton nightgown was wrapped warmly around her body in a comforting cocoon. Grace stretched her long legs under the blankets while extending her arms above her head and letting her hands fall on top of her long dark curls that stretched across her pillow. She turned to see her husband Shawn, but as usual he was up, already starting to milk the cows she supposed.

Grace rolled to her side and threw off her blankets. She reached and covered herself quickly in her favorite dark pink fleece robe and slipped on her slippers. While Grace was doing this, she saw two little dark eyes framed in white hair from underneath the blankets. Within seconds a little pink tongue appeared.

Grace pulled back the covers slightly to see her little white Shih Tzu crawling on her stomach towards her. She met her with a hearty morning pets and kisses to the top of Chelsea’s soft furry head.

“How’s my pretty girl? Aren’t you happy all the kids are home?” Grace gave Chelsea more kisses.

Chelsea was swept up into Grace’s arms and happily stayed there as Grace went down to the kitchen.

The kitchen was Grace’s heart of the home. It had always been a good farm kitchen and when the kids were little, all six of them, would gather after feeding the livestock and milking the cows. Grace always had a hearty Farmers breakfast for the kids; eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes, ham and she liked to mix it up with her croissants and muffins.

It had been remodeled with the success of her bakery business ‘GraceCakes’ and now boasted everything she ever wanted, convection ovens, a spigot over the stove, and a large table that would not only seat Shawn, herself and their six kids, but could be extended to seat all of their spouses and any grandbabies that came along.

She smiled as she looked at the table and her thoughts of grandbabies. She now had one and her arms that ached to hold a baby again were now satisfied with baby Sam. For now.

Grace washed her hands, put on a pot of coffee and started getting out her fixings for her famous cinnamon buns. They should be ready about the time everyone started to wake up. Chelsea followed her every step and sat at her feet waiting for the baking to commence.

Waking up early had always come easy to her. She never particularly slept well as a child and sometimes would find herself waiting for the dawn to arrive. She never minded being awake so early, because in the morning she found something special. Something that always was there, an energy that awaited the day. The anticipation of new possibilities.

“Hey mom.”

Grace jumped. She wasn’t used to sharing her quiet time. She turned and saw her daughter Julia. She was rubbing her eyes and yawning. Her hair, normally shoulder length was shorter due to the wildness of her curls. She was wearing a pair of extra long pajama pants and an oversized shirt. She was beautiful.

“Oh geez honey, I didn’t hear you come in. What are you doing up so early?”

“Ah, Sam the Man. He woke up about an hour ago and I just got him back to sleep. I wanted him to be well rested for tonight. I can’t wait for his first Christmas Eve.” Julia smiled and her eyes widened when she saw the coffee brewing.

“You are a saint!” Julia went to the cabinet and pulled down a cup and poured herself some coffee. She walked over to Grace who had started to add ingredients to a bowl.

“I hope those are your cinnamon rolls Mom.” Julia whispered into Grace’s ear.

A smile crept across Grace’s lips and she raised a brow. “Maaayyybbbeee…”

Julia sat on the stool next to her mother and watched in silence as her mother kneaded the flour and began to make small rolls.

“Mom, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course sweetie. You can ask me anything…well, just about anything.” Grace winked and continued rolling.

“Mom, I don’t know how you raised six of us on this farm, started your own business and ended up being the Mom who is always there for us. I’ve just got Sammy, and I am exhausted all the time and to be honest I don’t know what I’m doing half the time.” Julia took a deep breath and a small tear appeared in her right eye.

Grace looked at her daughter and gently reached up to dab the tear. “What makes you think I knew what I was doing either?” she said softly, compassionately.

“Oh GREAT! Now I’m really in trouble, “ Julia started to cry a bit more while she laughed.

“No, really Hon, nobody hands you a book that has been customized for how to raise each child. I’m sure if you were to ask Gretchen or Walt if I was the best mom, they’d say no way. But, I can’t control that. I did the best that I could with all of you and whatever I did came from a place of great love. The kind of love that you know now. The love of your child.”

“Here let me help you.” Julia took some of the dough and began shaping the rolls as if to keep herself busy yet close.

“You know Julia, over the years I kind of started to realize that parenting is a lot like baking. You start with the basic ingredients. You can’t have a good cake without a strong foundation, so you add lots of flour. That becomes your base. Too little and your cake falls apart. Too much and it overpowers it.

You’ll need sugar to provide the sweetness. Not enough sugar and its bland, too much sugar and it’s ruined. You need Baking Soda and Baking Powder – which don’t taste very good, but they are essential for your cake to rise.

Raising children are the same. You have to be there for them, in good times and bad. You have to not be afraid to show them you love them – but you can’t be a ‘hover mother’ either!”

Grace and Julia laughed in unison.

The baking powder and soda are also part of the recipe. Life brings on events that are difficult and heartbreaking, but in the end you know they will be okay, because you are there to balance with love and foundation. They may not see your love at the time, but they will later. You may not get the recipe exact every time. You may want to mix it up a bit and add some flair, but the constant is you.”

Julia took a sip of her coffee and placed it on the counter.

“Mom, that, actually was beautifully said. How did you learn that? I mean, you grew up in foster care.”

Grace smiled. “I did. Here and there. I picked up some of the good and tried to throw away the bad. I know what it’s like to have the flour sifting constantly, but I’ve also known sweetness. If you were to put the flour and sugar side by side, the sugar is always everyone’s first choice. It’s like that with love. Love is stronger than all the horrible things that can happen in this life. It’s just like, well with your sister, she has been through so much, but she’s here. She is in a house full of her family for the Holidays because of the love. Love survives all. Most importantly, you have to love yourself and that means forgiving your mistakes.”

Grace leaned into her daughter and rested her forehead on Julia’s. “And that is how it will be with you. The love will get you through anything, if you let it.”

Both women looked at each other and hugged.

“I love you Mom.”
“I love you Julia”


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Home Run!
By: Colette Calapristi Casey

All my life my mom and me have been best friends, partners in crime she would say. I remember a long time ago on my fifth birthday my mom told me she loved me to the moon and back. I got a telescope for that birthday and we saw just how far that moon is! Holy Cow! Mom must love me a lot.

Well I didn’t think anything could be any better than that birthday a million years ago, but I gotta say, things have been ok. Me and mom have been peas and carrots, Pete and Repeat and she always called me her co-pilot on how she used to say, “This spaceship we call earth.” Yeah, we like to watch Star Trek and Dr. Who. Someday I might be an astronaut. Mom says I’m smart enough.

I wasn’t too sure when Marty came along last year. He was a BIG guy! Lots taller than my Dad who is in heaven; or what I remember of him. Marty made me smile and when mom was around him, well, she was really beautiful. For a mom.

I mean, he seemed okay and he liked to play baseball. I was pretty good back then, so he was able to keep up with me. Marty had a good pitch and he started coming round more and more, which was cool, I guess. One day he came over wearing a pair of Vulcan ears! Me and mom just cracked up laughing all over. So he could play ball and he was funny.

I’m excited because today is the big-BIG game between the Spokane Sports and the Colfax Cougars. We’ve been working hard to get ready and Marty even stepped in to help coach with our team. Wait, I can’t find my socks….

“Charlie! Come on! We’re going to be late.”

That’s my mom.

“Come on sport—let’s get a move on,”

That was Marty.

“Cooommiinnnnnnnggggg,” Geez Louise, its not like I planned to lose my socks. Oh—there they are! Why are they in my Scout Tool Box?

“Come on Charlie—really!” mom again.

I ran down the stairs and saw both of them looking at me with that look. You know the look, like, if you were like a second late to class and the teacher is looking at you like, I dunno, you had planned to be late. You know what look I’m saying. Maybe it’s because they’re both teachers at my school.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying lucky guy – not. But I don’t mind. Most kids like my mom and Marty so its cool. I guess it wouldn’t be cool if Marty was like mean and rotten like Mr. Sorenson or like crazy ole Miss Gentric.

“Come on Sonny, load up- The Little League Championship is a big deal kiddo. We don’t want to be late.”

That’s my mom again.

I walked out to the van and Marty was already in there and it was running. I climbed in the back and listened to them talk all the way there. It was cool. Marty kept cracking jokes and making me and mom laugh.

We pulled up to the field and Holy Cow! There were a lot more people than usual.

“We’re here sport. You ready?”

That was Marty. Again.

“Yeah, let’s do this!!!!”

We got out of the van and mom grabbed her hair that was blowing in the wind like crazy.

“Geez, sure it blustery. Hope this wind doesn’t cause you fellas any trouble.”

Marty laughed and patted me on the back. “Are you kidding? We don’t let a little bit of bad weather stop us do we sport?”

“No way. We’re tough Mom!”

Marty patted my back. I kind of liked it when he did that or gave me a hug.

Me and Marty waved goodbye to Mom and ran over to our dugout. I started laughing the whole way over there.

Marty looked at me. “What’s up buddy? You going to be able to hold on a few more minutes?”

I was laughing from my belly now and looked over at my Mom who was just sitting down on the bleachers. She looked confused.

“HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow, we’re really gonna get her aren’t we Marty?”

Marty laughed too. He patted my back. “Yeah buddy, I think we are.”

When we got to the dugout, Marty and Coach rounded us up for our pep talk. Those are always cool.

“Alright Gentlemen, we got some special instructions for you here. After the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, don’t run out on the field. I’ll let you know when its time.”

That was coach.

“Coach Robinson and Charlie have a job to do before the game starts. You young men understand? We’ll let you know when it’s time to go on.”

All the guys looked at me weird, but they nodded their heads. A couple guys tried to get me to tell my secret, but there was no way.

It took FOREVER for the Pledge and song, but finally it was DONE!

Marty looked at me and grabbed the microphone off the bench, then he took me out to the mound. It was way cool.

“Good Afternoon everyone. I ask that you indulge me for just a few minutes. My name is Marty Robinson and I’m the Colfax Cougars assistant coach. Some of you may be asking what the heck I’m doing here right?”

It was funny the way he said it. The people in the bleachers laughed.

“Well, I’m here because of what I love. I love baseball. I love kids. I love Charlie here. And, I love his mom Elizabeth.”

I was watching Mom and her face was CRAZY! She didn’t know what was going on!

“Elizabeth, you are the light to my field, the crack in my bat….

People started laughing and ohhing and awing and stuff like that. Marty just kept going.

“…the stars to my night and my one and only homebase. Elizabeth, I love you to the moon and back. Will you do me the honor of sharing your star field with me for the rest of our lives?”

Mom was starting to run to Marty and she was just bawling and laughing. It was hysterical.

Mom made it to the mound with me and Marty. Marty took my hand then took my Mom’s. “Will you guys be my forever family?”

I liked the way he said that. All of it. It made me happy.

Okay, so maybe me AND mom might have been crying. But you could barely see mine.

Marty let go of our hands, reached into his pocket and pulled out a diamond engagement ring with a REAL diamond. Mom was like shaking, but it was a happy shake.

Mom was saying “yes”, she was nodding “yes”, I think if there was another way to say yes my mom would be doing it.

Marty picked me up and gave me a huge hug. Best sixth birthday ever.


A little league event
A school teacher
An engagement ring

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Frankie Goes Back to Hollywood
by: Colette Calapristi Casey

The lock turned easily and made its standard clicking noise to indicate all was safe on the western front. Well Western Groceries at least. Franklin, the lone store manager sighed heavily and rubbed his shoulders. “What a day” Franklin said under his breath and then turned away from the store he had worked for over 30 years.

Franklin strode down the old brick sidewalk careful not to trip on the warped bricks laid over 100 years ago. This was an old town. A town of not much notice and falsely quiet. Each storefront pushed its way onto main street shouting its wares, its sales and its brightly painted sales signs. As Franklin walked past the antique shop he noticed a pair of sunglasses that reminded him of a pair he had in 1980. He stopped and stared at the pair. A smile crept across his face and his eyes danced with the memory of a mullet, a corvette and a summer fling. Her name was Janelle. His heart began to beat a little faster and he could now see his breath in the air.

Janelle was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary smile. He had first captured Franklin’s attention as she came through his check out line. She purchased Silky shampoo, a pack of gum and Perfect Pink lip gloss. Not that he noticed. Each time she came in the store, Franklin watched her every move while he stocked the shelves, mopped the floors or checked her out. Checked out her groceries that is. Over time she came through his line more often until one day he walked her out to her car carrying her purchase. This time it was a Mountain Dew, bag of chips and hair bands.

“Janelle, I wanted to ask you something.” Franklin stuttered.
Janelle flashed that one of a kind smile. “Sure Frank, what’s up?”

Franklin gripped the plastic bag in his hands and began twisting it. “So, would you like to see a movie sometime?” The bag in his hands had now twisted all the way to the items at the bottom. And it was getting sweaty.

Janelle looked away and then back to Franklin. Those few moments that Franklin lost eye contact made his heart drop practically to the bottom of the bag he was holding.

“Yeah, that’d be fun. I’m free on Friday,” Janelle said and then Christmas lights. Her whole face smiled. Franklin could swear that even her strawberry blond hair started glowing.

A long rumble came up behind Franklin startling him away from his memory. At once, the sunny day in the parking lot was gone and he was once again a 55 year old overweight grocery store manager on his way  home occupied only by a cat that didn’t like him very much.
Before turning to away from the antique store he set his eyes once again on the sunglasses. How bright his youth had been. So bright in fact that he always thought he could do better based on his good looks, great car and wit. But now all that was gone, he had chased a jealous lover. Vanity would never let anyone rise above it for there was no room in anyone’s life for anyone else once vanity moved in.

Franklin looked around and ran his hand across his head that once boasted rich dark curls now only left with but a few strands that he had combed over to conceal the gleaming scalp.

Franklin sighed and turned away looking ahead at the darkness, the emptiness and his path home. His steps echoed in the village with every move towards home. There was nothing but the sounds of his steps and….music? Franklin stopped. He turned and looked down the alley. He had heard music.

The music was familiar, the rhythm haunting.

I’ll be your savior, steadfast and true
I’ll come to your emotional rescue
I’ll come to your emotional rescue

Uh-ah, uh-ah-ah, uh-ah-ah-ah

“Mick Jagger. Emotional Rescue.” Franklin said  out loud, I can name that tune in 6 notes or less. He smiled. The music attached itself to his core curiosity. He walked into the darkness of the alley following every note. The music came from a stairwell that led down under the street. With each step, the music became louder. Franklin reached the access door and opened it. He found himself walking along a dark hall and the music was pounding. He came upon another door and opened it slowly. At once, night had turned into day, Fall into Summer. Franklin felt something heavy on his head and reached up to realize his head was covered dark brown curls. He gasped, he looked around and saw his beloved Corvette. He smiled, but that’s not what he wanted to see. He was at the lake. It was warm and relaxing. He noticed it was all his friends from his youth, but he didn’t care. There was only one person he wanted to see. The music from the boom box continued to pound. Mick’s voice never sounded better:

“I’ll be your savior, steadfast and true
I’ll come to your emotional rescue
I’ll come to your emotional rescue”

He saw her. Strawberry Blond. She turned slowly and then….Christmas.

Uh-ah, uh-ah-ah, uh-ah-ah-ah

• Beneath the street
• A store manager
• A pair of sunglasses
• curious

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