What can YOU say in six sentences?
He stared through the thin, blue wisps of cigarette smoke at the boy in the black and blue striped T-shirt. From the distant observer’s vantage point, the boy’s sloping back and hunched shoulders told of tension incongruous with the smiling, laughing family that surrounded him.
On the table, sickly sweet and melting, ice cream pooled at the bottom of deep glass bowls and circled the sticky mouths of the boy’s sister and brother; the boy remained still, impassive, staring through the misty café window and beyond to the iron grey sea.
And the observer so wanted to reach out and touch the boy’s shoulder. And so wanted to whisper, “It’s ok.”
He stood and looked back across so many years, then turned towards the door, allowing the boy in the black and blue striped T-shirt one more shot at happiness; leave the past where it is, he thought, as he placed the photo in an overflowing bin outside in the rain.