Reads: 16

14. Dormant Emotions

The next few days, Cecil had not been on his bench in the park. It got to the point if he wasn’t there, Velda would begin to worry. 

The kiss he laid on her cheek had stirred emotions in her that had been dormant for a decade. She found herself thinking about it several times throughout the day and wondered if she was really starting to maybe ‘fall in love’ with him. Was she just being swept away by the gesture? she wondered. She wasn’t sure, but one thing she did know, it had made her look forward to life again and sprung something up in her that she thought had been long gone. 

One evening as she got ready for bed, she looked out and saw the snow coming down in large, wet flakes. Cecil sat on the park bench under his blanket. On colder nights he would try and get into the shelter, but perhaps there was no room this evening. Velda was torn. She couldn’t just let him sit in the freezing snow all night. 

“Cecil!” she called to him. He turned around and waved his usual wave. Velda motioned for him to come over. “Come in here!” Velda cried. She took his coat and hung it on a hook near the back door. “I tried the shelter but they’re full tonight,” he said, shaking the cold snow from his cap. "I was going to walk over to the bleachers and try to constuct some sort of tent with my blanket!" 

 “I can’t let you stay out in the cold over there. Tonight, you’ll stay in my sunroom.” “Oh, Velda, I don’t want to impose.” “Nonsense,” she replied. She put the kettle on for tea and proceeded to gather linens from the hall closet. “You just help yourself to some cookies and tea, and I’ll be in to join you soon.” Cecil smiled, sat down and took a few cookies from the plate on the table. He was so fortunate to have such a kind, caring friend.

Velda made up the sofa bed and even laid a soft, warm bathrobe and new toothbrush out for Cecil. “There now,” she chirped, "you should be mighty comfortable in there tonight.” Cecil took her hands in his. “You don’t know how grateful I am for this, Velda. You’ve treated me so kind, how can I possibly repay you?” Velda blushed. “It’s been my pleasure,” she said. 


Submitted: January 25, 2023

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