Summertime Sundays.

Summertime Sundays were his favorite days. Families rushing around to get to this place and that, church bells ringing through the day and laughter seemed to be doled out in mounds. He loved to stroll up and down the sidewalks of the village just breathing in the lives of those enjoying a day of rest and play.

Sometimes he would sit on a bench and just watch for hours. Watch mothers, fathers and children, he was not a bad man, he just enjoyed life. There were things he saw that made his dull existence a bit more bearable. He was a man in his late fifties, single, and until recently, caring for his elderly father. These moments, bathed in what could have been, were special.

He was well known in the village. Most thought he was a saint, the way he cared for his father. He made sure that his dad was comfortable right up to the end. His father had not recognized him most of the time; Alzheimer’s had made quick work of memories. More than one tear had been shed through the years, but that is all memory and memory can be put away for later.

He lifted his head to the sky and let the sun warm his face. He closed his eyes and listened to the symphony of this Sunday. Birds chirping and whistling, children laughing, cars driving, even the gentle wind rustling through leaf laden branches, all these noises brought a smile to his prematurely wrinkled face.

“Hello Mr. Santé,” a voice said.

He opened his eyes to see a small child holding a bright red ball.

“Hello Spence, and how are you today?” Mr. Santé said with a wide grin.

“Summertime Sundays,” the boy smiled.

“Yes Summer Sundays,” Mr. Santé replied as the youngster ran off with his red ball.

He stood and quietly strolled away from the park. He found himself whistling a merry tune as he walked. It had been a while since he had wanted to whistle. He turned when he reached the small house he called home. It was his now, but seemed empty without his father asking him who he was. He opened the door and stepped into the house.

It was stale and messy. He looked around wondering how it had gotten so disheveled. He began to pick up the mess and within minutes was hard a work cleaning out his life of the last few months. He opened all the windows to let in fresh air. He scrubbed floors and counters, dusted every shelf, polished every wooden surface. He spent hours cleaning, making his life fresh and new.

As the evening wore on to night he sat exhausted. The house was immaculate and the smell of pine wafted through the home. He smiled as he looked at a picture of himself and his mom and dad. They were gone now and so much of his life was over, first his mother, then finally his father. He was sure that where ever they were they were happy and that thought brought a smile to his lips.

He stood and allowed his hand to caress the image of the dead family as he walked to the stairs ready to sleep. In his room he sat quietly, going over the day in his mind. His face froze in an odd way. His brow furrowed as if deep in thought. He went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. His father’s face stared back at him.

“I can’t remember the boys name dad,” he said to the reflection.

As night turned into day, the house stood quiet, clean and fresh for Mr. Santé’s new life. He lay peacefully on his bed sure in the knowledge that his mother and father were in a better place. As the blood dripped from the cuts, he knew he would be better off while he still remembered them.

Summertime Sundays.

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