bounced wildly at her side. Her large purse clutched tightly in her
hand. She waved to the bus, reaching in to grab her wallet. Her hat
nearly falling off.” I can’t be late “ she thought. Suddenly her
shoe caugtht on the irregular concrete sidewalk and she went
forward struggling to keep her balance, but lost the battle and
skidded across the pavement, barely catching herslf with her hands,
saving her face from hitting sidewalk. She lay there for a moment, her belongings scattered around her. Half in shock, have in embarrasment, she got back up to her knees and suddenly felt the hand under her arm to lift her.
“Are you ok mame, ?
“Yes, I think so,” she said.
“Please, take a moment”, he said, ”I will pick up your
There strewn about was the content of her purse…… she had the
habit of unconsciously not always fastening. She stood for a moment, getting her bearings and balance, then watched as the stranger carefully retrieved her makeup bag, her wallet, hairbrush, a checkbook and a key chain jingling with an assortment of keys and tags of a sort. A loose photo lay on the ground,almost caught by the wind. He picked it, noticing the handsome young man in the picture,, kneeling next to his dog. “I think I got it all Mam, here you go”, he said handing her the photo and the purse, as he put the contents back.
“Are you sure you are alright?”
“Yes, thank you so much, you have been so kind. But I have a very
important appointment and I must catch this next bus. Again thank
you for your concern.” She quickly turned and walked away, still
shaken from the fall, but determined to catch the bus as it came to a
stop at the corner. Its exhaust fumes caught in her throat as she
hurried toward the bus.
She dissappeared into the crowd, stood in line and then got aboard. He smiled at her from the sidewalk, as she found a window seat on the bus. She waved, smiled, nodded to him and mouthed a silent
“Thank you.” He waved back, and gave her a thumbs up and went on
Lilli looked at her watch, she couldn’t be late. The graduation
ceremony was about to begin and she wouldn’t miss it, she couldn’t
miss it. It would be the only time she could see him, the only time
after all this time to look at him again. He could never know she was
there, it was not allowed, but in her heart how she wished she could
hug him, just one more time. Just the thought of seeing him again
brought a joy and yet tears to her eyes. Years had passed since she
saw him, but now he had a new life ahead, and she would only get in the way and confuse him.
She rubbed her knee, becoming aware of the bruise from her fall. But nothing mattered, as the bus came to a stop at the University. She gingerly got off the bus and walked to the entrance and into the
bustling auditorium. Standing room only, the attendant said as she
entered through the open doors. That was fine she thought, she could see him from where she was. Her new camera lense would bring him in close to her, at least for a moment.
Lilli stood, carefully removing her camera from its case. Slowly the
names were called,” Thank God, they have not gotten to the R’s yet”
she thought, as she raised her camera to focus on the stage. She
looked intently…. Quickly, Qwantro,…….slowly the names were
called as each went up the steps, crossed the stage in their cap and
gown, hands outreached to accept their diploma. There was clapping and whistling, cheers for the graduates. Then the R’s. She readied her camera, steadied her hands and then she heard over the shuffling, whispering, his name being called…. DAVID S. RUNDER. A thunderous applause erupted as David and his dog walked up the steps toegether.
Her camera shot off multiple photos as he proudly crossed the stage
with his dog Max at his side. Max stopped, looked out across the
auditorium, strong, handsome, doing just what he was trained to do.
what she and he had worked on that one long year together. Now, he guided David forward with his eyes, guided him through life.
For a moment she imagined his eyes caught hers. For a moment she
imagined he knew she was there and remembered…for just a moment.
She turned and left the auditorium, tears falling, knowing that would
be the closest she could ever get to him again…he belonged to David
now and forever. It was his purpose, she was just his teacher, who’s
gift was the gift of letting go.