Every day, he sits on the old worn-out sofa, holding the chipped mug his son gave him as a birthday gift, and looks through the smudged window of this decrepit bungalow, impatiently waiting for Karl to show up.
Upon Karl’s arrival, his heart speeds up, his face warms up and a big grin envelopes his face. These sensations bring back feelings he felt every time he saw his son come home from school. That was years ago. Those were the summers of his life. When cancer took his wife and a car accident took his son, he crept into a bitter cold winter hibernation. And his home crumbled into a frigid and empty house.
Until Karl showed up.
Three and a half months ago, worried neighbors called the state’s elderly protection agency. Their consoling words and offers of support had fallen on deaf ears and a dying heart.
When Karl showed up the first time, he was sitting on the sofa looking aimlessly through the window. From the distance, he picked up the silhouette of a young man, similar in physique to his son. As the silhouette approached and he could see the face, he thought he saw his son and his heart skipped a beat. Karl knocked, introduced himself as a social worker and entered the house. Karl was genuinely affectionate and sincere. They spoke for a while. Karl promised to show up every day and spend time with him. When Karl left, he cried. No, he sobbed. Those were the first droplets of winter’s thaw.
Karl’s every visit added another log to the fireplace of this warming heart.
The bungalow is decrepit. The mug is chipped. And the sofa is worn-out. But the man anxiously gazing through the window, is no longer in a house, but a home.