Four Inches of Cannon
The clock on the wall had only clicked by two minutes before I saw little Luke come walking down the sidewalk. I was not surprised to see him in his blue cap with the ear muffs sewed in. These December days keep getting colder and colder. He turned the corner as he usually does and walked down my street towards the large yellow bus stop sign. I sighed happily sitting back… until I noticed the way he was walking.
At first I was not sure of what I saw; if anything. Along with the shake in my hands, my eye sight has not much improved over the years. I’ve had the same pair of glasses for over two years now, since before my dear old Luke left me. Glasses are quite expensive.
I forgive him, I do, but he was so selfish to leave me like that.
But as little Luke came closer towards the bus stop I could not blame my eyes any longer. It was his left leg, he was favoring the right. He was truly limping.
It took me a moment to realize I was driving my fingers into the wooden arms of my chair so hard one of my fingernails was bending backwards painfully. Rage is truly like boiling oil with a lid on top. It turns under intense heat; it steams and spits. It finally breaks free of any constrains and spews streams of molten fluid and turns everything you can see black. With bruised finger tips I raised from my chair to press my face against the cool window.
“Luke,” I whispered.
Before I knew it, the bus had come, and he climbed in with his heavy backpack and hurt leg. He walked towards the back of the bus, as he always does, and then sat with his friends. I watched the bus drive all the way up the street, and turn out of site. I strained my eyes just trying to catch a last look at my Luke through the bus windows… to see if he was smiling.
But I could not, and like a spark, the boiling oil of rage in me ignited into a catastrophic blaze.
I have only ever pulled the trigger of my old Luke’s revolver in my mouth as he did. I have done it faithfully for almost a year now and always on the minute in the morning. Only at that exact moment Luke killed himself. Black was all I could see, and I was stumbling dangerously through my home, trying to confront what I had seen.
I found Luke’s gun, and I bit my teeth down on it, closing my eyes. My finger was on the trigger and my mind began to spin through explanations.
Little Luke came home from school yesterday just fine. I would have noticed if he had been limping; so it did not happen at school yesterday. That meant it must have happened at home yesterday evening. Third graders bruise their shins and scratch their elbows…they don’t injure themselves to a limp!
My jaw was trembling around the barrel of the gun and I was breathing loudly through my mouth. I am sure that I must have been a spectacle, there on my knees, sweat dripping from the tip of my chin with four inches of cannon in my mouth.
Someone did this to my little Luke. Someone hurt my little Luke. Someone close to him. Someone who could hurt him and get away with it. A man. A husband and a father. Mothers get upset and spank or send children to time-outs. Fathers get angry, and shove innocent angels down stairs. Their awkward limbs do not know how to stop their fall and they get bruised and twisted.
The trigger was half pulled as I worked out the culprit to this crime. I looked down my nose and saw an empty chamber of the revolver to the left of the barrel. I quickly let go of the trigger and nearly dropped the gun as I pulled it out of my mouth and my body was flooded with light. I had nearly pulled a live round into my head.
A strange mix of relief and desire for action came over me as I slowly click the empty chamber back into place in front of the hammer.