By Bud Lemire
2061 (part 4)
After a good night's sleep, I woke up to a dark rainy day. So much for the island today. Oh well, it isn't going to rain forever. I didn't mind the rain so much, I just didn't like being out in the thunder and lightning.
As I looked out my window, normally I'd see people running from their vehicle to a building, or vice versa. These days all I see, are seagulls. It always made me feel less lonely when I saw people outside taking part in sociable activities. Doing their everyday things. Damn Covid took them all away. Well, almost. I still had Cassie and old Mrs. Whistletree. I'm sure she wouldn't be on the Island today.
I decided to take the elevator down to the first floor. It seemed so odd not to see anybody here at all. I found myself gazing out the window, hoping to see someone. Anyone!
Oh, it looks like someone is in the Smoke Shack. Must be my imagination, but I better check it out just in case it might be someone. It was pouring out, so I had to run for it, but that rain felt good. A shower for my willpower. When I got there I could see who it was, “Cassie!”
“Hi Bud!” “I know I probably shouldn't be out in this weather, but I had to come to see you, I needed company on this day. You see, my Mom passed away 10 years ago today. She was on the ventilator, and she just slipped away in the night. Bud, I prayed that would happen, so she wouldn't suffer anymore. I felt so bad I thought that way.”
I could see tears in Cassie's eyes and wanted to comfort her in some way. “Cassie, I am so sorry to hear this.” “But you know, you prayed for her suffering to end, and when you love someone, there is nothing wrong with that.”
I sat down next to her and told her about how I prayed for some of my family when they were going through suffering before they died.
Even after 40 years this Smoke Shack still smelled like an ashtray. So I invited Cassie up to my apartment.
She told me she's never been in the Tower, but she heard there were a lot of druggies and drunks living here. I told her “Not anymore.” She smiled at that one. I told her in 2021, there may have been a few who liked their beer, and there were many who smoked cigarettes, but they kind of cut down on those who smoked anything else.
Arriving at my apartment, I opened the door and she followed behind me. I knew it, the first thing she wanted to see was out the window. “Oh Bud, you have a great view!” Yes, even on a rainy day, you couldn't beat my view. But on a sunny day, or even a beautiful sunrise morning, it was the best. Then she asked if those were all my CDs and if I listened to them all. I said “Yes, I sure have, because I love music.”
"Oh, you like the Beatles!” She was looking them over and then frowned. “Did you know Paul passed away several years ago?” I was sorry to hear that, but I know nobody lives forever. “He had one big hit that went high on the music charts, and when it got there, his heart gave out. He was ninety-something years old. His wife was by his side and gave him one last kiss before he passed.” I thought about that because I knew love never dies.
She wanted to look around, so I told her to feel free to look around. She looked in my bedroom. “Oh My God Bud! You like a lot of things. So many books too. Bud, why do you keep all this stuff?” I wish I had an answer to that. But truthfully, it was the things I loved. I always planned on getting rid of the things I wouldn't read, watch, or use again, but just never got around to it. That is what I told her. She just smiled and looked around some more.
I asked her if she was thirsty and she said she was, but didn't want to say anything. So I pulled out two bottles of water from the fridge and gave her one. I watched as she gulped down at least half of it.
She walked to the window, while I took a bathroom break. When I returned she called out to me. “Bud, come here quick!” I looked out and there was this beautiful rainbow out the window, from the Municipal Dock to Aronson Island. “Bud, where that Rainbow goes down on the Island, is where I like to sit and just let my mind wander.” I smiled because I did that often myself.
“Bud, where is your camera?” I grabbed it right next to my printer, and aimed and took a picture out the window. I took a few shots. “Bud, let me see them.” I let her look, and she smiled and said they turned out beautifully.
We talked about many things before she went home, and we knew if tomorrow was nice, we'd be going for a bike ride to explore Escanaba and see if anyone else was alive.
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