Time passes quickly, down on Bryer Street. This is especially true for the men who lived in the neighborhood. Most of them, like John, worked hard to make a living. They were gone at the crack of dawn, and often times they stumbled wearily to bed long after the sun had set.
The women, for most of them didn’t work outside of their home, were always busy keeping their houses up. So it wasn’t unusual if they didn’t notice some of the details around them. Most didn’t think twice about something being out-of-place. More than likely, another member of their family moved it while going about their daily affairs.
There was a time when the neighborhood had a way of taking care of any problems that might arise, but those days were long since gone. Bryer Street, in the absence of its longtime protector, had slowly grown into something ordinary. And, even though the residents often gathered together from time to time, each secretly felt that they were growing further apart.
For one, this feeling hurt more than any of the others realized.
It was later in the morning, on the same day that Vanessa would awaken to thoughts of her father’s late night visit, that another of the street’s residents would be entertaining thoughts of his own. Unlike the little girl next door, he knew exactly what had been stolen from him.
On this particular morning, he sat in the rocking chair on his front porch, slowly rocking in the comfort of the morning shadows, and looking at a small object he had placed on the railing before him. It was the only thing left from a day when he could sit in this very spot and happily idle the hours away.
“You’d be turning in yer damn grave,” he mumbled in its direction, as if to speak to the person who’d carved it for him. He groaned in pain as various parts of his body reminded him of his age, not that he needed reminding. “Best to not daydream my day away,” he continued, this time to himself. “I”ve got important things that need a-doin’.”
Davie leaned forward and took hold of the railing with both hands, using it to stop his movements just as much as he was using it to pull himself up, and he paused only to look at the house at the end of the street. The lights were off, not that he could have been able to tell through the morning glare, and the owner’s car was gone.
“Keesha,” he hollered over his shoulder. “I think I’m a-goin’ for a little walk.”
She didn’t answer, nor did he expect her to. She was still feeling a little under the weather and would likely sleep until lunch time. That suited him just fine, because if she knew what he was up to, she’d probably brain him with a rolling-pin.
He chuckled as he took one last look at the figurine on the railing, then nodded his head slowly, as if to confirm that he was doing the right thing.
“It’s what you would have done, my old friend,” he whispered.
A few minutes later, he was slowly making his way toward the end of the street.