The cool night breeze gently moved the hair around her shoulders, reminding her to enjoy the moment. Coming here, to this beautiful place, had been the right move for her. Slowing down the pace of her life and enjoying the space she was in rejuvenated her. She breathed in slowly, taking in the sound of falling water, the clatter of a nearby restaurant, the gentle murmur of conversation. She continued moving forward and, as she did so, new ideas began to seep into her mind. Yes, the break had been good. Now she was ready to get back to work!
They entered the restaurant filled with excitement and wonder. The vacation was turning out to be one filled with first experiences and memorable moments. The light shining through the windows onto the neatly set tables suggested that they deserved to be among the people experiencing this luxury despite what many people back home said. Sitting at the table, they smiled at one another. They had worked long and hard to get here and now was the time to enjoy the grandeur of this place. Now was the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
The large print of Paris hanging over the mantle represented a happy time in her past: laughter, love, connection. Moments created in that magical city had led her to take a leap of faith and change the direction of her life; a direction she did not regret. Now the time had come to make another change, to replace the moments of Paris with a cause that she believed to be important.
Determinedly she took down the print and replaced it with the canopy of trees spread over the shrinking Amazon. The next stage of her life was to begin.
The rainbow shining in all its glory across the harbour was a sign: they were doing the right thing. Reaching across the iron-wrought table, she pressed his hand and nodded her agreement.
The email pinged its arrival on the laptop of the one who had started the Movement. It was one of many and reflected the full compliance of those whom his group had approached.
The following week was the beginning of the end. The catalyst was the capture and beheading of the wealthy and powerful men in major cities around the world. The intelligentsia had begun their revolution.
The bird tapping on the window reminded her that there was life outside of this room and these four walls. She had been so engrossed in her task for the last few days, that life had stood still. Eating crisps in front of her laptop had been the norm; and her exercise routine had been set aside. Her research was done! Attaching the documents to an email, she sent it off to her supervisor. Hopefully now they would make the decision to cancel the forthcoming policies. If they did not, the company would be the target of crippling lawsuits.
Teddy pulled into the parking lot while Christine jumped eagerly up and down in the back seat. He liked the 50s vibe of the diner and hustled his eager family through the entrance to a corner booth.
“Let’s get milkshakes!”
“And fries, lots of them!”
Teddy smiled at his wife. Spending time together on their driving holiday had reconnected them all – especially as their mobile devices had been left at home. The stop was a perfect addition to their old-fashioned vacation.
The family noisily dived into their meal, their enthusiasm unhampered by selfies.
Lifting her face, Sara soaked in the absolute peace that surrounded her. The cooling breeze reminded her that the summer days were shortening as was her time here. The unfettered days of her vacation had been a respite from the drudgery of her daily routine and had led to a decision her family would not easily accept. Being the oldest child did not mean she should be the lifetime caregiver of their wheelchair-bound sibling. Either everyone take their turn looking after him; or each person contributes to his care. It was time Sara take back her life.
The empty shelves told their story: the poverty had spread, affecting even those who had once lived with plenty. No longer did the wealthy strut about the towns showing off their well-padded bodies clothed in fine materials. Now the middle class felt what the hungry knew intimately: stomach cramps and dreams of the next meal. They now knew what it was like to never be satisfied; to be focused on one thing only – survival.
Behind towering walls, those who had orchestrated the widespread poverty congratulated themselves while gorging themselves on mouth-watering dishes. Their plan to control everyone was bearing fruit.
I stood up, enthusiastically applauding those on stage. They had enchanted me with their skill and, for three hours, had held my attention and taken me away from my worries.
Exiting the theatre, I hurried along the street back to my home. An ailing parent was my mundane reality and this evening had been my escape for a few hours. My days would now follow the routine of caring for a woman that had once been the flame that drew many around her. Now I was the lone moth that lingered near her diminishing light. Alzheimer’s is a cruel master.
The sky rumbled, throwing ice-cold water against the window panes. Silvia shivered as she looked outside. It felt as if she were being reprimanded for her decision but she held firm. She wasn’t going to acquiesce to her siblings’ bullying! Mom deserved a chance and disconnecting her life support would take away a hope at life.
Tears running down her face, Sylvia gripped her mother’s hand tightly to the echo of beeping machines. She leaned forward to hear her mom’s final words. “Let me go Sylvie, my time has come.”
As the last beep faded, a life gently slipped away.