From the comfy armchair, he can see the beautiful rays of sunshine flowing from the heavens. The skies, pale blue, speckled ever so lightly with soft whispers of grey cloud floating lazily along the breeze. From his squishy armchair, he watches tall hedges, mostly well kept, waving to him with the gentle push of the wind. Flowers embedded within the hedge shyly poke their heads to greet the early morning sun. A smile faintly crosses his lips as he watches his family run through the pristine grass. Groomed to perfection. Its greenness thoroughly maintained, each individual blade standing at attention. Its duty, to caress the pitter patter of feet. Young and old. Slow and fast. To never waver as feet softly brushed over them. To never balk when the youthful, joyous feet bounce, fall and rip at them. Forever dutiful. Just like those who walking along them. He can see it out through the window, those he loves, those he holds most dear. Broad smiles filling him with such joy. Some running with a ball at their feet, others lounging catching the blissful warmth of the sun. All smiling with such ease only they can provide each other. From the sunken armchair he watches.
“What do you see?” a soft voice rings through the air. Female, curious. He simply watches the dimples and wrinkles shine off the faces of his smiling beloved. The question is repeated before he simply answers.
“Can I go outside?” He wishes to join them. The festivities. He wishes to feel the same warmth of the sun, the lovers caress only grass can provide below your feet. To smile in the faces of his loved ones.
“Not yet,” faintly rings through the air, not in reprimand, nor with any intent to acknowledge his request.
“But I want to go outside. Why not... I… I want to go outside.” He says, voice filled with innocence of a small child. He simply wishes to join them. To feel the wind tassel his hair, to lounge around with same carelessness as them.
“I want to talk to you first.” Replies to bodiless voice. Understanding flickers across his face.
“Ok, but not for too long. I really want to go outside.” He replies absentmindedly.
A small chuckle escapes him as he can see a game of bocce being repaired. He can see both of his grandmothers slowly rise out of their lawn chairs, not without some struggle, clucking away as they approach the group gathering at the center of grass. The sea parts as they approach, wide berth given not due to their physical appearance but their sheer aura and expertise in the delicate art of the weighted ball roll. From his low bearing chair, he yells out to wait for him, to save to spots for him and Maria. He can almost feel the weight of the smooth ball in his hands. Chipped here and there from overuse.
He tells the voice as much with a knowing smile on his face. To which she asks why this is the case. “Because Teresa has no finesse, she has only one speed”. He uses such a statement with an aura of obviousness, clearly alluding to a inside joke.
To which the voice only replies with a simple “of course.” As if the most obvious answer in the world.
Within his chair, he can’t seem to move. His legs simply refuse to acknowledge his will to move. However, he seems more than content to simply watch through the window.
As if sensing his legs rebuff to his will the voice asks, “why haven’t you gone to join them yet?”
His smile slightly wavers. “I’ll just go play next round.” He says in a failed attempt at nonchalant refusal. The voice, however, is not convinced.
“Is it because you can’t move?” It asks carefully sensing a dangerous topic. His smile seems to slightly shrink further, now teeming with concern.
“Of course, not.” He snaps.
The voice, unfazed by the retort, was merely testing the waters, now understands where the line is. She simply changes tact and asks what he can see. Irritation is still flowing through him stating that she can clearly see out the window with no attempt to disguise the bite in his tone.
A period of silence follows, a breather.
The voice asks him to describe it what is going on outside. He recounts what he can see, the sun, the hedges, the flowers, clearly depicted. The people out on the grass, however, he can’t see exactly who’s out there, but he knows its his family.
More silence follows, the voice seemingly giving him another temporary reprieve from the pestering. He was more than happy with that. Time seemingly stands still as he starts to readjust in his seat, not from the uncomfortable feeling from the long hours of sitting but to get a better look. And with the rotating and straining to see further through the window the voice returns. “What are you looking for?”
“Maria isn’t here yet.” Is his only response. Ignoring the voices follow up questions about the whereabouts of Maria. He becomes visibly concerned about the missing person. He can see the image outside darkening. His breathing turning shallow and quickening with the thumping of his heart almost punching a hole in his chest.
“Tell me about Maria.”