I don’t do this at all in person-that is- talk to strangers. People, who have come to know me, know that I am not your ‘ice breaker’ conversationalist. Call me toffee nosed or what have you’s…but that’s just me. So it did appear strange to me that I recently did break the ice! (Lately I have been surprising myself a lot)
Come September and the chill had set in already. One such morning I was out there standing at the depot. I was the only one – either I was too late or was tad too early- whatever the reason I liked being by myself.
As if my thoughts were heard, I saw a boy walking towards me. “Oh God not Him” I muttered under my breath. He approached me with 2 long stemmed roses. One was pale pink and the other yellow, with a hint of red. My earlier instinct would be to ignore him; but he sat beside me laying the flowers between us. So I let out a good morning.
“Good morrrrneeen” he chirps and laughs like a happy child. I know he is one. Soft inaudible mumbling escapes him. And I ask where he’s going.
“Todaay eeees myyy firrrrst daay of schoool”He says – “Myyyy bus …I meeeesssed myyyy bus.”
Unaffectedly I say , oh is that so?.
“Yessss I deeed” Counting his fingers he speaks aloud.”I have to takeee thwooo buses to schoool; myyy schoool is Wessstfield Hiiigh.”
And as if he read my mind he asks “Dooo you know where myyy schoool is?”And without waiting for my answer he repeats “I have to take thwooo buses”
I asked which grade he was in. He stopped short, fixed his cap, then thought for a while and answered
“I don’t knooow”
Dressed in khaki pants, a black tee shirt, sneakers that were worn out, a pink truckers cap worn sideways, big dark sunglasses that hid his impish face, carrying a high school musical backpack – your typical every day teenager except he was one with special needs.
Interrupting my thoughts, he goes on ” Youu knooow, I am reeeeech. Verrry reeech!” And he laughs out, clapping his hands. Extremely happy – that’s what he was – he made me smile. I warmed towards him.
“I have thwoo hundrreeed dollarrrs wiiith meee”– he squeals.
Curiosity got the better of me and I blurted “how?”. Maybe a lottery? That was my first thought. Excited that he had a listener he tells me he worked hard in the summer selling ice creams in the Cove. Now, for those of you who have been at the Cove, you may know exactly who he is. The number of times I have gone there I have seen him approach people with cupcakes, chocolates, flowers to sell. And the few times he’s approached me I have refused. He never pesters you though. If you say no, he doesn’t insist.He’s not your typical salesguy either.
Time and again he lifted the flowers, smelt it and laid it between us. I asked if he was going to sell the roses .Swinging his legs he giggled -“Noooo, theees eees fo’ myyy girrrlfren! Tooodaay eeees our firrrst day of schoool. I am taking theees flowerrrrs fo her.”
That was the sweetest thought I had come across in a long time. He made me smile. So much love in this boy and there was a warmth about him that was very soothing.
He started to say something, but just at that moment our bus arrived. He got on the bus first , gently laid the roses next to him ,swung his legs, kept mumbling to himself as we headed towards the transportation center – while I kept staring at him , my thoughts elsewhere.
This boy was full of life, overflowing with happiness that even spilled over to a rather melancholic person like me. There was just something about him that touched my heart.
As he got off the bus, he turned around, waved at me and smiled the happiest smile I had ever seen. Strangely enough I waved and smiled back!! That is when I promised myself to buy from him the next time I saw him at the Cove.
Luv n Cheers