It is raining, making the surrounding area slightly hazy. As I stand here, near this amazing tree, hiding from the rain, I notice the red leaves, 'Why red?' I wonder.
The rain starts to pour harder, making me glad I don't have to walk out from under the tree anytime soon. I divert my attention to the ground, noticing the three gravestones.
'Debbie Matthews, Colin Matthews, and Ryan Smith.' "She did better than anyone predicted," I say to them. "I was right Debbie, she is alright." I smile looking at the graves, "She looks like her mother." I tell them.
There is a sound that floats into his ears, a running in the rain. Feet hitting puddles, he turns to see a woman running towards him. "You must be joking," I say looking up at the tree.
She comes into view; it's the waitress from the diner, Mel. "Felix?" she asks, her voice filled with surprise. Her blond hair is wet, her clothes soaked; still she has a smile on her face.
"Hello," I say as I began to wonder how I should explain me being here without having to lie. "Nice weather, huh?"
She smiles wider, "Yea, splendid," she jokes. She diverts her attention to the graves, then back at me.
"I can leave," I say in a soft voice, "if you'd prefer to be alone."
She smiles, "Its alright," she says while placing flowers on the graves, "I enjoy the company."
There is an awkward silence. "So," she begins, "do you know them? Or are you just trying to stay out of the rain?"
I half smile, "Both, actually. I knew your uncle, Ryan." I say truthfully.
She is thinking about it, probably adding years up, "But he died 12 years ago…" she said, slightly confused.
"With your father," I say sadly, "on a day quite like this one, if I remember correctly."
She nods. "How'd you know him?" she asks, almost curiously.
'Truth or Lie,' I think to myself as I walk over to the base of the tree. "He taught at the school I went to, I was a freshman, he was one of the best teachers I've ever had." I answer her honestly.
She seems skeptical, "So how old are you exactly?"
I smile, "Older than I look." I say with the same smile, "Enjoy their company," I say motioning to the graves as I walk away, in the fading rain.
By the time I reach the cemetery gates the rain stops completely. I can't help but look at the sky, 'Seriously?' I think to myself, 'Was that necessary?'
The walk back to work was longer than I expected. I check my watch as I bound up the stairs to my office floor, a few minutes left. As I open the door to my office, I notice someone sitting at the table.
"Almost late," says Angie with a smile.
I exhale loudly, "Almost," I say as I remove my sweater and hang it on the rack. "What brings you to my office Angie? I got the first 2 hours to myself…" I say.
She shakes her head no, "Maybe another time," she says while looking under the table, "come here." She says.
I couldn't be more curious, as I walked over to her.
"Not you," she says to me.
I open my mouth to speak, but stop when I see a kid crawl out from under the table. I wonder how surprised I look right now.
The boy has brown eyes, dark brown hair just passing his ears, and fair white skin. His eyes are almost shining, brimming with curiosity.
Angie just smiles, "Felix, this is Elijah. Elijah, this is Felix."
The boy stood up, and gathered as much composure as a kid can muster, and stretched his hand out.
I smile widely, "A pleasure to meet you, Elijah." I say as I shake his little hand.
He nods, "How do you know my mom?" he asks.
I smile, "I've known your mom, since around the time you were born." I say kneeling down to his eye level. "She was my doctor once, a long time ago."
He smiles, "she is a good doctor." He says proudly.
I can't help but laugh, "Yes, yes she is." I say to him. "Today is a school day, isn't it?" I ask, "Why'd you come to work with mom?"
He shakes his head, "I don't go to school."
I look at Angie, and she nods. "That's really cool." I say with just the right amount of enthusiasm. "So who comes to teach you at home? Besides mom." I ask.
His eyes light up, "Her name is Elizabeth, but I call her Lizzie."
Angie's phone goes off, and she looks at me with a 'help me' look. I nod and get the message; she knew I had the first 2 hours off. She gets up and leaves quickly. Elijah didn't even notice she left; he was preoccupied with the view.
"So what happened to Lizzie today?" I ask him as I sit down at the table looking over the papers that were there.
"She got sick, Friday, but she isn't better yet." He says sadly.
I look over at him to see him sitting on the floor, looking out the window. "Well I'm sure she'll get better soon." I say to him. "Did you eat lunch yet?" I ask him.
He turns around quickly, "No, but mom said that we could go to Debbie's today." He seems excited.
"Would you like to go with me?" I ask, hoping I am not being to forward. "Your mom can meet us there when she is done with her work."
He smiles as he stands up, "Yes please."
I smile and stand up, walk over and grab my sweater and together we head over to Debbie's. Making small talk along the way, mostly about the weather, and about the clouds.
The diner is pretty empty, but the employees look beat. "Good timing," says Mel, as she walks over.
She gives Elijah a hug, and leads the two of us to a booth. "You want a minute to look over the menu?" she asks.
"Nope," says Elijah for me, "I want a cheeseburger and French fries."
She smiles, "What kind of soda?" she asks.
"Orange soda." He says with a smile. He's a cute kid.
"I'll have the same, but with a tea instead." I say, hoping neither thinks it weird.
Mel smiles as she walks away, "Coming right up."
"So," I begin to say to Elijah, grabbing his attention, "How old are you?"
He puts his hands on the table and leans forward, like he is about to tell me a secret. "I turn 8 in September." He says almost quietly.
Mel is walking back with our drinks. "How old are you Felix?" he asks me, his eyes looking very curious.
I smile, "Near your mom's age," I say as a mug is placed on the table in front of me.
Mel smiles, but is clearly thinking of something to say.
"Thank you," I say with a smile.
"Thanks Mel!" says Elijah with much enthusiasm.
Mel smiles then turns to leave. She turns back and our eyes meet. She wants to say something. She goes to speak, "Mel!" a voice says from behind the counter. She closes her mouth, and heads over to the person who called her.
"Do you like her?" Elijah asks bluntly.
"I've only just met her Elijah," I say, wondering what he was really asking.
He sips his soda, and we make small talk about the diner, and the last thing 'Lizzie' was teaching him.
The door to the diner opens, drawing Elijah's attention away from a conversation about his favorite kind of dogs.
"Mom!" he exclaimed, "Felix bought me a cheese burger."
Angie looked disappointed. "And an orange soda if I am not mistaken."
I can't help but laugh, realizing Elijah would not usually be able to order such foods with his mother. I offer a smile to Angie, "Whoops." I say shrugging my shoulders.
She sighs, and sits down next to her son. Mel comes walking over and Angie orders a salad.
A quick look at my watch, I have a little less than an hour to get back for my first appointment. "Busy morning?" I ask Angie.
"Yes," she says looking at Elijah, "Thanks for watching him."
"Anytime," I say to her earnestly. "So it sounds like Elijah, really wants a dog." I say winking to him with a smile.
Angie looks up, looking hurt; I have now officially taken sides. "Well maybe when he is a little older."
Elijah sighs, "You always say that."
"They do say having a dog is a great way to impart responsibility," I say, "maybe you should reconsider." I finish hoping I am not being to forward.
"Maybe," says Angie.
"Maybe," copies Elijah with a smile.
I laugh, and take a sip of my tea. Mel brings the salad over, and sits next to me. "So, how goes it?" she asks the table.
"The burger was so good!" Elijah says, "If only I could have some bacon…"
He looks at me, and I get the message completely. Clever boy.
"Yea, no." says Angie, "Its not healthy."
"She's right," says Mel nodding in agreement.
I just smile, not needing to say a word. I wink at him when nobody is paying me any attention. He smiles.
I check my watch, "I should get going." I say, motioning to stand up. I pull a 50 out of my pocket, and place it under my mug.
Mel slides out of the booth, and so do I. "Cya," I say waving goodbye to Elijah and Angie.
The walk back to the hospital is longer than it was going to the diner.
Upon returning to my office, I notice the sun piercing through the clouds, shinning in on the windows, lighting up the office.
I can't help but smile at the beautiful sight.
There is a knock on the door. I stand up and make my way over to the door.
As I open it I see an older man, in his fifties at the most. "Mr. Grand," I say softly, "please come in."
"Felix, please," the man says, looking tired, "call me Brian."