Where the Sidewalk Ends
Her normal attendant hadn’t shown up today, so she had “Joe” to take her shopping and out for a little “exercise.” Of course, the exercise was all on his part. He pushed her wheelchair along the paved pathway of the park and she took in some sunlight. At least that was the idea. It was actually cold and gloomy out today – overcast with a chance of rain – which matched her mood just perfectly.
Joe took her down toward the water. The little lake was calm with no ducks. It reflected back the gray sky and the yellow and orange of the changing trees. Fall, again. Who’d have thought she’d see fall once more. Certainly not the doctors.
When he pushed her past a bush and across some gravel, she assumed he’d knew a short cut to the parking lot, where he’d park the damn chair and lift her, like a sack of potatoes, and place her snugly into her ancient Oldsmobile, and then drive her to her tiny apartment and leave her to herself. When her wheels touched the wooden planking, she looked around.
This was not her park, this boardwalk not the path to the car. These trees not the colorful oak she’d just seen. These trees were tall and naked. This body of water to her right wild and full of life. A duck landed and a fish jumped. A squirrel chattered at them from above.
“Where are you taking me?”
“You’ll see,” he answered after a moment. She shivered, unsure if it was his low voice or a change in the temperature.
Up ahead, she could see the end of the boardwalk.
“What are you going to do when the boardwalk ends?” It looked muddy and her vehicle wasn’t equipped with four-wheeled drive.
He snorted.
“All paths end,” he whispered and her stomach clinched.