A young woman sits in a playground. A soft breeze ruffles her white gown and the tops of the palms surrounding her. She sits in the shade, on a small bench. Dapples of sunlight reach through the fronds, sent by the radiant sun in the clear sky. Her beautiful face is complimented by the frame of dark blond hair, flowing in the breeze. She is bent over a novel, her complexion one of complete absorption, eyebrows drawn together, with a smile playing on her lips. As if she’s reading something amusing or happy.
Every now then, her concentration is broken and she looks up from her novel, spotting her little brother playing among the monkey bars, swings, and slide. A striped whirlwind with a shock of blond hair, sitting above a lopsided goofy grin, bright blue eyes behind round spectacles. The picture innocence and happiness, rarely found outside childhood. He sees his sister eyeing him, so he sticks his tongue out and blows a raspberry, and runs away, laughing with delight. The girl, smiling, returns to her book. She is thoroughly engrossed once again in seconds.
They go on like this for hours. One laughing and playing, energetic, never stopping for a breath. The other sits, totally still, completely absorbed in a world far from our own, subtle changes in her facial expression are the only signs that she alone is privy to the secrets of this other realm. Both thoroughly preoccupied, their concentration broken occasionally to check on one another. Both innocent, both happy.
The sky darkens, and the first drops of rain begin to fall. Warm summer rain. Nevertheless, the girl doesn’t want to wet her novel, and the last thing she needs is for her brother to catch a cold. She calls his name and he races over. They gather up their things and leave the park just as the rain begins to intensify. The little boy laughs and runs ahead. She calls his name but can’t help laughing to herself. She runs after him, giving in to the impulses of childhood. And the 2 run, skip, and dance all the way home, through the soft sheen of summer rain.
The man closes the book. Tears have begun to darken his lap, falling from a wizened, aged face. A soft smile plays on his lips as sad eyes the shade of morning sky eye the old women before him. Elegant gray hair frames the beautiful sleeping face, the soft beeping of the machine by her side giving the only sign that she is still alive.