How you play today, from this moment on, is how you will be remembered. Take the opportunity to rise from the ashes and grab glory…
We Are Marshall, 2006
Hello, coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Tasty Quotas at Olive’s Café, where you get a taste of philosophy and messages from works of art.
My friend sent me a video of the scene from We Are Marshall (2006), and it was the scene where the new football coach, Jack Lengyel, is giving a speech in front of the memorial, where the names of the former team members and other victims in the plane accident were carved on the marble. Even though the team hasn’t had any luck with winning their games, it didn’t stop them from playing, and eventually win their game in the end. From the loss and the grief of the community, his speech inspired the team to take the opportunity to redeem themselves. The reason that she sent the video to me was because we were both going through a rough time in our lives, and the obstacles that we were facing were so overwhelming, I thought that they were too hot to overcome. What that scene did for me was show me how to redeem myself by getting up from my fall and rising to the light.
When I look at “glory” in this quote, I think about how we can win honorably when we achieve in anything we work hard in, even during the time of grief and loss. In the times of redemption, we reflect on where we fell from and why we need to get up and keep going. While we redeem ourselves, we see glory as our goal, our reward for coming out of the ashes after we get burned. As human beings, we work hard in achieving our goals, and even build ourselves up in the process. Through our hard work, we fall to the ground, sometimes with bumps and bruises, other times without a single scratch. No matter how many times we fall, we always get up to grab our glory, especially with our bumps and bruises.
Whether you’re in the military, education, medicine, law, business, or in the arts, everyone can grab glory. We see it a lot in sports, especially when an athlete is recovering from an injury, retirement, or scandal. What we can learn from these athletes is how they play their sports. They take a break from playing, reflect on their mistakes, or the mishaps that occur in their career, and they build themselves. Only they come back stronger than before. Besides athletics, people in other careers would have to go through something that takes a toll in their lives, whether it’s a loss of a family member, an operation gone wrong, losing a case, a deal that took the wrong turn, or an art piece that offended an audience. I would recommend anyone to watch the scene when they go through a big loss in their career, as it can ultimately affect their lives.
What glory looks like to me is of a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. For me, falling is as easy as writing my name, for a long time, at least. When I fall, I give myself a hard time by punching myself internally over the mistakes that I’ve made. I do learn from them eventually, and that’s when I come back stronger. It takes time, as I work on myself by doing what I love most and even reading personal growth books to help. Out of the 28 years living in this lifetime, it took me almost 2 years to redeem myself after falling and cleaning up my wounds. It’s still a working progress for me personally, but the progress is well worth it. Glory, to me, is when I can take my life as an example, write it in my novels, and make people happy through my stories. When we redeem ourselves in time, we get closer to having glory ourselves.
One thing’s for sure, we can always take the opportunity to rise from the ashes, and grab glory. All we must do is get up from our fall and keep going.
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Hello, coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Corner at Olive’s Café, where you get insight on thoughts of life.
Here’s my opinion on organization: I love being organized, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep myself organized. I can keep track of what I have, and easily get rid of things that are not important. It’sboring, but it’s essentially beneficial to life, whether I’m doing art projects, wanting to find a book to read, or even prioritizing my assignments.
Although, it can take time when it comes to organizing your space. Some people plan out their organizing after looking at their space, while others just organize their storage because they don’t have time to plan, even when it takes more time to organize. Here’s some advice: pick a day and time to organize yourself, whether it’s your house or office. I recommend the weekend before the evening time so it doesn’t interfere with your plans, or a day that you need a break from work so you can be more relaxed. If you’re at work, organize as you work, and prioritize tasks.
What makes me grit my teeth is my top 3 people: the messy, the careless, and the nosy. These people make my skin crawl, my blood boil, and my gums hurt. If you haven’t noticed already, I’m an organizing freak.
Let’s begin with the messy people. The messy people are those who throw things around and stuff them anywhere they see fit. Not only that, they take even longer time to find what they need. What’s worse is when other people are looking through space they share with the messy people, and they can’t find anything. You can’t tell what’s new or old, clean or dirty, essential or garbage. I understand that time is of the essence, but it will be better if things were put where they belong. Not to benefit others, but to benefit themselves.
Then, there’s the careless people. Not as messy, but they take stuff and then leave them somewhere else. To people who love organization, that’s annoying, even for employees and customers. Customers ask employees for what they need, employees can’t find it in the proper place, everyone gets upset, and then later employees find it in another place. In my opinion, it’s the employee’s job to maintain the stores, not clean up after people. Here’s an idea: don’t leave the area until you can return the item to its proper place. It’ll be easier for all of us who care a little more.
It’s a bit much, I know, but careless people make me grit my teeth so much, I’m losing enamel on my teeth.
Lastly, the nosy people; the people who just touch things. They’re harmless, I must admit, and all they do is touch things. What makes them annoying is that once they touch something, one of two things happen: something breaks, or they see something they’re not supposed to see. It’s not a big deal to some people, but to others it’s “invasion of privacy”. When they touch my things, I feel like they could break or misplace something. Once they touch something, they start messing around until they see something new and more interesting. I don’t know about you, but personally, it’s annoying.
What all three people- the messy, the careless, and the nosy- have in common in organization is one thing: they mess up the system. Organization is a system that helps people move and move fast. No offense, but these three people get in the way of that. I know that people like some anarchy, but trust me, even anarchy can screw us over. However, here’s the good news: organization doesn’t necessarily have to be everywhere. In the art world, organization exists through instruments and materials, even measurements. Freedom comes in when the work begins. Organization helps a lot, but it doesn’t have to take over our lives.
Organization, in my opinion, can be helpful to keep track of the things we have, and later use them. Organization, as a system, can help see things clearly, and even help bring things to light hidden in the dark. If you have trouble with organizing your space, feel free to comment below.
Remember, when you have trouble organizing, just consider timing and prioritizing, and if it helps, write your plan down. Organization can become second nature when you develop the habit.
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Hello avid readers and coffee lovers! Welcome to Olive’s Cafe, where you can enjoy your coffee artistically!
I have great news for those who need help with writing and editing documents! Kathryn Oliver, owner and writer of Olive’s Cafe, is now available on Fiverr, where you can find gigs on everything you need!
Go to fiverr.com/olivescafe91 for a quote and to get service!
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Enjoy your coffee artistically!
Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Cafe, where you can enjoy your coffee artistically!
Olive’s Cafe has great news for you: Olive’s Library has brought in some new stories for your enjoyment! You can enjoy reading about siblings reuniting in Brother with a Dream, a man just enjoy looking in Phantom in the Park, a robot’s discovery of purpose in Hi. I’m Robert Frankenstein, a man reuniting with his parents in Our Long Lost Boy, perspective of your ‘space’ in Home, and a young man’s luck making a u-turn in Brown Eyes in Astoria.
Our newest approach in Olive’s Library is to explore genre writing with anthologies of short stories. The purpose to bring to life what our familiar genres look like with more relatable topics.
Please make sure to comment below in each short stories of your opinions, perspectives, and even suggestions on what we should write next in Olive’s Library. Keep on the lookout for more short stories in the Library, and don’t forget to check out other content in the Menu!
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Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s the story of a man who’s luck made a U-turn:
I look at the time… Sigh Why do I even bother? I’m on my way home anyways.
I lost my job. I lost my dream job. I fought for this job while in college. I finally got it after a year of fighting for it. 5 years strong… and I lose it to someone else who is “more qualified”.
I mean, what the hell?
I went to school for this job, and I lose it to someone else.
I shake my head. What the hell do I do, now?
I sit on the bench as I wait for the train to come. 5 more minutes.
I wipe my face, as I just thought of the fact that I now have to look for work in the morning.
Maybe some friends can help me out with a job…
I lean against my thighs and hide my face in my hands, wondering about the next move.
I’m so screwed!
Suddenly, I feel movement next to me, sitting in the empty seat.
I don’t bother moving. I just have so much to think about, and today has been frustrating…
“Excuse me, sir?” The person asks for me.
After I sigh, I slowly sit up to look at the person next to me.
Then… everything around me stops.
I stare into brown eyes. Crystal clear, shiny, glossy brown eyes.
I just stare as she speaks, but I’m not hearing a word that this woman says. Her skin golden brown, her curls coiled and wildly organized. She smiles, and her teeth are pearly white.
Oh my… I have never encountered such a beautiful creature in my life. I have dated a few women in my lifetime, but this woman is not human. She’s an angel. For me, maybe?
I shake my head a big and blink my eyes to come back to reality. I blink the final time, and clear my throat as I say, “Yes?”
“I’m sorry. I hope didn’t disturb you,” she says apologetically.
Why is she apologizing? I’m glad she woke me up!
“Oh, no… Um… It’s okay. I was just…sitting here,” I say, wiping my hands on my pants.
Jesus, did you send her my way? I hope you did.
“Um,” I finally have a clear thought as I ask, “How can I, uh, help you?”
“Yeah, um, I’m new in New York, and I’m kind of lost. Is there a train that takes me to Astoria?” she asks me.
“Oh yeah, you’re in the right platform. That’s where I’m headed,” I answer.
Jesus, you did send her to me! Thank you!
“Oh great! I hope you don’t mind showing me around,” she says.
Oh, I will more than glad to help, my beautiful, angelic creature.
“No, I don’t mind. Train should be here in 2 minutes,” I say.
“Thanks,” she says in true gratitude.
Oh, man… Just when I thought my day was getting worse, but it’s the complete opposite. A woman, more beautiful than Aphrodite, is sitting next to me asking for help. She could ask anyone, but she chose me…
Now, we sit here, waiting for the train to Astoria. And, in no time, the train arrives. As it comes to a complete stop, we stand and enter the train. I look for seats, and I lead us towards the empty seats by the windows. We sit next to each other. Almost touching…
Dude, seriously? What am I thinking? Once this girl finds out that I’m unemployed, she won’t hang out with me, let alone talk to-
“So, what’s your name?” she asks as she looks at me.
I look back, and I see those eyes again. The glossy, brown eyes. Brown eyes that hold such an angelic soul.
After a few seconds, I finally answer, “Brandon. Yours?”
“Angela. It’s nice of you to show me around,” she says to me.
It’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to me in a while.
“Of course. You wanted help, so why not?” I say, smiling back.
Wow, I’m smiling, and I’m beginning to forget my job.
She nods and continues to smile at me. “So, it seems pretty early to go home, don’t you think?” she asks.
“Um, well… The truth is…”
Be honest, dude. She’s been very nice to you, so far…
“I just lost my job…” I say to her.
She stares at me, her smile fades away. Her brown eyes still glossy. I smile a little, then turn away from her. Ashamed that I’m sitting next to the woman that I’ll be dreaming about every night, yet I’m unemployed. I look down and fiddle with my shoulder back.
Yet, I still feel her eyes on me. I look at her, and her glossy brown eyes are still staring at mine. Pale blue with little to hope for.
After a minute, she pats my shoulder, and begins to say, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
I sigh out, and I shake my head as I rub my face. “Well,” I begin to say, “I worked there for 4 years, and it was my dream job. So, I didn’t even bother to look for something else. I should have, though…”
“Will you start looking soon?” she asks.
“Yeah, once I get home and look online. At least I was smart enough to save my bonuses. It’s enough to last me until I find something,” I explain.
She nods and smiles, without showing her pearls. Now, I’m curious…
“What do you do?” I ask.
“Oh,” she says as she smiles, showing her pearls again. “I’m a writer. I used to live in Florida with my parents but saw more of an opportunity and inspiration here in New York. I’m actually broadcasting my own radio show as well.”
“Oh, wow, that’s nice!” I say, excited for her.
It’s her smile, that’s why I sound excited.
“Yeah. Not much opportunity in Florida, as older people are starting to reside there, so health and medicine is in high demand. Not so much on art,” she explains.
“I bet,” I say as I sit up next to her, “I’m in architect, and studied for it to get the job that fired me. But, maybe I should have done something else…” I begin to pause as I think about my job again.
“Well, since you live in New York, maybe think about your own architecture firm. I mean, why not?” she says.
I look at her, and now I can feel my own blue eyes being glossy.
She’s not just a dream. She’s an inspiration.
I smile at her, and I say to her, “You’re a genius, you know that?”
She laughs, and it feels like it’s harmonic. Almost like playing an instrument.
However, I start to think about her idea. I mean, it makes sense. At my (now old) job, I received a lot of praise for my blueprints. They even considered hiring me for a project for them. Brown eyes is a genius.
We continued to talk for 15 minutes, learning that Angela came from an artistic family in Jacksonville, and was even encouraged to move to New York. Her mother was a singer in Memphis, and her father was a musician in New Orleans, but they met in Miami when they were in their 30s. I even learned that she was born on the 4th of July.
Just brilliant: Brown eyes is a summer baby. What’s more: Summer women are my ideal. I don’t know why, they just are.
We even continued to talk after we got off our stop. We talked as we got to the street. We talked under the tunnel, and let me say, I’m so fascinated with Brown eyes and the words that are coming out of her mouth. She’s great with them.
We talked all the way until we got to her apartment. We talked so much, I was so unaware about the time.
She turns and looks at her apartment, then confirms that it’s hers.
“Well, thank you for walking me home. Maybe tomorrow you can show me more of New York,” she says.
“I will be delighted. And thanks for the idea. I think it’s brilliant,” I say.
She nods, and we exchange numbers before she says her good bye and heads inside. I watch her walk inside until she disappears into the elevators. I smile as I stand there.
This is it. It’s her. It has to be her. The girl of my dreams.
Now, I know what I need to do: plan for the day tomorrow and come back to see her again. This may be too soon, but I think she’s the one for me. Only time will tell…
Please comment below on the story of an upcoming love. What are your thoughts, or feelings, about this man’s meeting after he lost his job?
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Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s a story of how a home would feel like in different visions:
The sun is out, bright and shining, the grass is green and healthy, and warmth hugs us with arms of happiness. The day so beautiful, nothing can ruin this moment.
The sun shines the room, the furniture glows with bright hues, and it’s filled with joy.
I look at a face. Smiling. Eyes wide and bright. Makes me happy. We laugh together.
This is home. Kaleidoscopic, warm, and light. I want this day to last forever. I want this moment to last forever. My home cures my depression, my anger. I laugh with the other face.
The rain falls, dark and gloomy, the room feels heavy and stressed. The furniture no longer glowing. Instead, they’re falling apart, fabric torn and soggy.
The rain is seeping through the ceiling. The ceiling is falling apart.
There is no face. No smile. Only. Blank. Makes me solemn. I cry alone.
This is my home. Empty, cold, and filled with misery. I can’t feel anything but sorrow as I see tears from the other face.
ALL OF A SUDDEN…
Flames engulf the room, burning the furniture, stripping them naked to the bone. I hear wood burning, sparking.
The fire burns on my skin, but it doesn’t eat it away. It just stays on my skin. It’s painful.
The face burns, melts away. No smile, only silent screaming. The fire burns in anger and pain. I scream in fury.
This is home. Burning hot, unbearable, and it’s worse than hell. The skin peels away from the other face.
The darkness takes over. Nothing can be seen, and there’s no furniture. The room is empty, except for breathing. Then whispers.
There’s something else in the room. I can hear it. I can feel it. It’s out to attack.
The face smiles. Menace. Evil. The eyes are red. I can’t look away. There was nowhere else to go. I shake in panic.
This is home. Dark, void, and terrifying. The face is blue, bearing teeth with venom seeping out from within.
Home. Home. Home. HOME.
Is this home? Where is home? One moment it’s bright, then it’s cold, next it’s burning hot, and then it’s dark. I don’t know whether to stay or run.
I can’t take it anymore. I want to scream and cry for help. But I have nowhere else to go. I’m lonely, and I have no other home.
Where to go? What to do? Who do I talk to?
I see the sun again. I see my home. It glows from the sun, and I see the face. Smiling. Full of life. Standing next to the green grass.
I’m happy. I can feel it.
Please comment on your experience with feeling at home. Wherever it is, does it feel like home? How would you describe it?
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Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s a story of a man returning to his family:
__And now, our next contestants will be dancing Waltz, with accompaniment of the song, Crazy in love…___
I wash the dishes as I hear the television set from the living room. My husband, Charles, sits on the recliner, sleeping.
That old man never stays up to watch television.
It’s been that way for 30 years. What’s different is that he’s retired now. I even get excited when we walk in the park together in the early afternoons. Just right after tea time.
Now that the dishes are done, let me watch my show.
I head towards the den area, and I sit down on the sofa to begin my knitting. Suddenly, I hear the doorbell ringing.
Who could that be during this awful snowstorm?
I set my yarn on the arm of the couch, as I get up to get the door. Charles is too fast sleep to do anything. That old man never stays up.
As I approach the door, I ask, “Who is it?” I hear nothing.
I stand in front of the door.
I ask again, “Who is it?”
Again, nothing. Then, there’s another knock.
Instead of knocking, I look through my peephole. Darn my old age! I can’t see very clearly.
I step few inches away from the door, and realize I have my glasses with me.
Should I try and look again?
I shake my head a little and deciding not to look through that small hole again, I open the door.
There, right in front of me, I see a tall man, wearing a black hoodie and covered in snow. The storm looks awful, and this poor man looks extremely cold.
“May I help you?” I ask the stranger. He just stands there, not saying a word. Just stands and shivers. His hands balled up into fists, as if he’s attempting, but failing to control his shivers.
Although I may be old, I do tend to lose my patience, so I inform him, “I understand that you’re cold, but I can’t help you unless you tell me what I can do.”
After a beat, he finally shifts, and moves his head a little, and says, “I’m hungry…”
It was almost inaudible, but nonetheless, I heard what he said. Luckily, I still have food leftover in the fridge.
“Well, come in, and I can feed you some food,” I say, inviting him into my home. Slowly, but surely, he walks into the house, and waits for me in the foyer as I close the door behind us.
“You can remove your coat and hang in on the hanger next to you. Then, you can follow me to the kitchen,” I say, as I wait for him to get comfortable.
Slowly, but surely, he removes his coat and hangs it on the coat hanger. Then, moves to take off his shoes, places them next to his coat. As he stands straight, I take a look at him.
Tall, strong, seems young, and looks comfortable. Has a beard, though… Doesn’t seem homeless.
Curious, I ask, “Where are you coming from?”
Scratching his head, he responds, “I uh… was walking to find shelter. My car broke down, and I’ve been walking for miles on the road. I was driving from an acquaintance. Currently looking for work…”
This is poor, young man…
Suddenly, I develop this feeling about him. It’s as if I knew him from long ago, but I can’t put my finger on it.
Darn my old age!
“Well, come along. You must be hungry,” I say, as I turn and head towards the kitchen. As he follows, I start to have to that feeling again. The feeling that I must have known that person before.
Ugh, my head is beginning to hurt.
Darn this old age!
I tell him to sit by the counter as I open the fridge and take out what was remaining of supper from earlier. I set it down on the counter and head to the cabinet to grab a plate. After setting it down, I take a spatula, and slice a nice piece of the quiche and set it on the plate.
Ooh, I almost forgot!
I click my tongue and snap my fingers, as I remember that I also cooked steak, enough for a third person.
Darn my old age!
I open the fridge again and take out a pan of steak. I set down the pan, scoop out the steak, set it on the plate next to the quiche, and return the pans of food to the fridge. I take his plate, put it in the microwave, and cook it for 5 minutes. It tastes better when it’s nice and hot.
The young man needs it anyway.
I turn to look at him, and I see that he’s falling asleep. He must be exhausted. To wake him up, I ask him, “Do you have anywhere else to go?”
He jolts up and rubs his eyes to regain his composure. Then, he answers, “Um… no ma’am. I’m just trying to find work out here…”
I look him, wondering why he’s looking for work, especially at this weather. I look out the window, and I see know rapidly falling on the ground, the storm blowing the snow around. I look back at the young man.
“Well, just for tonight, you can stay with us. We have a spare room that you can crash in, just until tomorrow when the snow storm subsides,” I offer.
He blinks slowly, and nods as he says, “Thank you, ma’am.”
BING! I turn, and I see that the microwave has finished heating up the dish. I grab my oven mitts, open the microwave, and grab hold of the dish. I walk to him and set his dish in front of the young man. “Ah,” I say, as I point my finger up, and I just remembered that he needs utensils.
Darn my old age!
I walk around the counter, open the drawer, and grab the steak knife and fork. As I approach him, I hand him the utensils. “Enjoy,” I say as I smile at him. He grabs the utensils gently, and nods as he says, “Thank you, ma’am.”
I pat his back and walk away from him to place my oven mitts back to where I found them. I face and fold my hands together as I watch him eat. I smile as he devours the food from his plate, and I feel a sense of joy to watch someone enjoy my dish.
Charles enjoys it, too, but I’m used to it already.
However, this feels all too familiar…
It’s too quiet in here. The television and Charles’ loud snoring are the only two things that are filling the space. I take a deep breath and begin to speak, “So, where are you from, young man?”
As he wipes his mouth with the napkin, he answers, “I don’t remember exactly. But, I’ve been living in Queens for years. Stayed at different homes, working from one place to another. I don’t know. I feel out of place…”
After that meal, he’s singing like a bird.
“I understand. So, what brought you to Buffalo?”
“I got tired of living in the city. There’s no work for me, and my friend, whom I met in foster care, took me in just about 3 months ago. But today, I told him that I had to leave because I didn’t want to take up his space. Besides, I found a job a few miles from here, and they have a place for me to live. I start two days from today.”
“I see,” I say, understanding why he’s out here. “Well, you can stay for the night, until the storm subsides.”
“Thank you, ma’am. I appreciate that,” he says.
He’s so polite. But I swear, if it wasn’t for my old age, I could possibly remember who he is.
“Just out of curiosity, how old are you?” I ask.
“Well, I’m-” He’s interrupted by Charles walking into the kitchen.
Wow, the bear has finally finished his hibernation.
“Judith, have you seen my-” Charles stops in the middle of his question, as he says me and the young man looking at him. Charles looks at me first, then at the young man, as he hides his hands in his pants pocket.
“Well, hello. How are you?” Charles greets.
I shake my head. I want to laugh so much…
“Hello, sir, I’m better now that I’m somewhere warm,” the young man answers him.
Charles nods, and looks out the window to see the snowstorm. He looks at the young man again, and says, “Well, I hope that Judith lets you stay in the guest room upstairs. You can stay for the night.”
I already did that, old man!
The young man smiles, which I can’t tell because of his beard, but his eyes can show that he is, as he nods. “Yes, Judith has informed me of that.”
Oh, for the love of GOD, Judith! Why can’t you remember this young gentleman? He seems so familiar.
“Oh, okay then, never mind,” Charles says, surprised, as he walks towards me, and stands next to me. “So tell me, young man, what’s your name?”
For a moment, the young man pauses. Frozen still, as if he was asked if he did something criminal. My smile fades as I look at him. He can’t remember his name?
After what seems like a while, he finally responds, “Um… I don’t know for sure, but I believe my name is Frederick. Frederick Cooper.”
Then, it was my turn to freeze. That name seems familiar to me, too.
He continues, “The family name, Cooper, is from a family that took me in after I got lost in Manhattan when I was 9 years old.”
Right then and there, my eyes widen. My heartbeat skips. Now, I feel cold.
Charles, also in the same state as me, he stutters, “Um… I…I… I’m sorry. But d-d-did you say that you went missing at 9 years old?”
“Well, yes,” he says, “at least that’s what the family told me. They couldn’t find my family, and I believe I got injured during that time. So my memory is a little off.”
I continue to stare at him. Could it be?
I blink rapidly to see him clearly, before I ask, “Where did they find you?”
He looks at the ceiling, possibly to remember the answer, then he says, “I believe Central Park.”
I turn to my husband, and I swear I was about to snap my neck for going so fast. Charles slowly turns to me and I know for a fact that he’s thinking the same thing as me.
Then, I hear Frederick ask, “What’s wrong? Everything okay?”
We slowly turn away from each other to face him, and say, “I’m sorry. It’s just that-“
I pause, not sure of whether or not I should tell him. I look down at my feet, contemplating on telling him. Then, I look up at him and say, “Our son went missing 30 years ago at Central Park…”
“Oh,” Frederick says, taken aback from what I just said. “I apologize about that.”
“I’m sorry,” Charles steps in, “but I hope you don’t mind. How old are you?”
“I’m 39 years old, sir,” Frederick says.
Dear Lord. Can it be?
I cover my mouth as I feel that my blood turns cold. Charles rubs his forehead and turns away from us.
By now, the room feels heavy. The temperature, although warm from the lighting and the fireplace in the living room, has dropped drastically.
Or is it just me?
It became quiet for what seems to be an eternity. Thankfully, Frederick breaks the silence as he leans forward, and sets his arms on the counter and asks, “I’m sorry, but do you mind telling me what’s going on?”
I am too shock to speak, and Charles feels it, so he says, “Frederick, our son who went missing 30 years ago, he was nine years old at the time.”
I don’t know why, but after Charles said that, I felt Frederick’s blood going cold, and his skin turning pale. He blinks a few times as he asks, “What?”
He nods, and as his voice breaks, he says, “And his name was Frederick…”
And right there, it’s as if he’s starting to remember everything, Frederick’s eyes widen as he looks at me and Charles. After a heartbeat, he begins to ask, “So you mean to tell me that I could possibly be your son?”
I nod, still covering my mouth. Charles covers his face to hide his teary eyes. After what seemed like forever, I finally move from the kitchen through the living room, and into the closet to find a box. The box where I have all of my son’s pictures and newspaper articles of my son going missing. I grab the box, and head back to the kitchen to give it to him.
He grabs it gently from me, and sets it down on the counter, as he removes the lid from the box and sees all of his pictures. I watch as he grabs the pictures, and thoroughly looks at them. He even grabs the newspaper clips and sees his picture above it.
At least I remember that. Darn my old age…
He looks closely to the picture he has in his hand, and immediately looks at me. Then, at Charles. Then, at me again.
I hope it is…
He sets down the picture, and tucks his hand inside his shirt, only to pull out the chain. It’s the locket that I gave my son for his 9th birthday.
The locket that has my face, and Charles’ face inside it.
Frederick opens it and sees the two pictures. All of sudden, I see a tear fall from his eye. Then, he whispers, “Mom…”
Finally, I hold my chest as I begin to sob. Happy that Frederick has finally remembered. That my son has finally come home.
It’s him! My long-lost boy!
I rush to him, not caring that I’m old to rush anywhere, and went to hug my son. We hug each other tightly, both of us happy that we finally found each other. We sob in happiness into each other’s shoulders, as he says in my ears, “Mom, I’m so happy to finally see you again.”
“Oh Freddy! I’ve missed you so much!” I say. This is truly a blessing.
I feel Charles hugging us both as he cries with us in happiness. Finally, we’re a family again.
Our long-lost boy has finally come home…
Please comment your thoughts on this story. Have you ever lost something that was so special, that you kept praying, but all of a sudden it comes back to you?
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Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s a story of a cyborg coming to life for the first time:
“Robert…Robert…Robert…” “Do you think he’s good? Can he hear you?” “I’m trying. Robert…? Robert…Robert…”
Is that my name? Who is calling me? My creator?
“Danny, I think we should stop. I don’t think he’s responding.” “Hush! He’s going to respond. I promise. Robert…? Robert, wake up…”
I think I’m supposed to wake. Is Robert my name?
I turn my head to look around the room.
Computers. Chairs. Desks. Paper.
I face front. I see… Humans.
“It worked. It worked! Michelle, it worked!” The human jumps up and down.
I scan and register. Human is…excited.
“Okay, okay, I get it. He works, just stop jumping around.” The other human faces the human and holds the arm to stop the jumping.
I scan and register. Other human is…annoyed.
The first human stops jumping, moves the white cloth and walks to me.
“Hi. Can you please tell me your name?” The human asks me.
I open my mouth. My voice box activates. “Hi. I must be Robert.” My lips move, in shapes to speak.
“Oh my GOD! This is awesome!” The human shouts. “Would you calm down?” The other human says. “Michelle,” the human approaches the other. The human grabs both arms. “Don’t you realize what just happened here? I created him. And he works!”
Am I male?
I am registering my gender.
I am male.
I look at the two humans in front of me. The excited human is male. Young male. The annoyed human is female. Young female.
I look at my hands.
My hands are tan. Supple. Smooth. I touch my hands. Rubbery. Skin. However, I feel heavy.
I have been created by Danny.
I activate my voice box and speak, “Danny, what am I.”
Danny walks to me, lips spread wide, showing teeth. I do the same. Danny makes noise.
I register. Laughter. Am I funny?
“Oh my GOD,” Michelle turns as she makes movement on her eyes. I do the same. Danny makes more noise.
He laughs harder.
I open my mouth. I laugh as well.
Danny falls on the ground. Profusely moves his legs and holds his stomach. Kicking.
I move legs to go down on the stand. I move towards him with my legs. I stop, move my right leg, and make physical contact with my foot on his gluteus Maximus.
He stops moving. He stops laughing. I continue to laugh.
I listen and hear Michelle laugh as well.
They find me funny.
Danny positions himself on hands and knees, before he slowly gets up. He breathes in and out.
In and out.
I stop laughing. I close my mouth. I blink. I look at Danny. I do the same.
Danny looks. His eyes widen. I see blue eyes.
I change my eye hue.
Danny opens his mouth, but nothing comes out. His hands on his face. He covers his face. He looks at me again.
“Oh my GOD. He’s…. He’s perfect,” Danny speaks, barely audible.
Michelle turns to look at me. I see green eyes.
I change my eye hue.
Michelle covers her mouth. Then, she speaks, “Oh my GOD. How does he do that?” “I guess he registers anything that he observes. I mean, I can work on that to make everything permanent, but Robert… He’s my perfect Frankenstein creation,” Danny speaks.
I register his statement. I research Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein created a monster out of human parts. Famous in horror stories.
Am I a monster?
Is Danny Frankenstein?
I turn to look at Danny, activate my voice box, and speak, “Am I a monster.”
Danny shakes his head as he speaks, “No, no, you’re not. You’re not a monster. You’ll never be.” “Then, are you Frankenstein.” “Danny, how does he know about Frankenstein?” Michelle speaks.
I hear rising intonation in her voice. Question. Is she asking?
Danny speaks, “His head operates like a computer. I connected his head with the hard drive, and I was able to register information available on the internet into his head. This is amazing!”
Danny makes a high pitch sound. Screeching.
I close eyes to avoid the noise entering in my head.
After 5 seconds, the sound is gone. I open my eyes.
Danny looks at me. Lips widen, teeth showing.
I do the same to him.
“All right, Robert. My name is Danny Harvey. I’ve been working on you for 9 years. We are in the facility for scientists,” Danny speaks. He turns to Michelle and makes small movement. Michelle moves forward. Danny looks at me again. “Robert, this is Michelle. She works with me.”
Michelle moves her hand side to side. Waving. I register her movement. I do the same.
“This is truly amazing. 9 years of trial and error. And here, he stands. Robert,” Danny speaks. His intonation is stable. Statement.
I register the intonation between Danny and Michelle.
I open my mouth, activate my voice box, and state, “I am Robert. You are Danny and Michelle.” Then, I ask, “Am I human?”
Michelle widens her eyes. I register her reaction. Shocked.
Danny states, “You are to me.”
I look at my hands. But I feel heavy.
Michelle speaks, “Danny, be honest. Tell him what he is.”
Danny makes eye contact with Michelle, moves his head slightly up and down. Two small nods. Then he turns to me. Then, he states his explanation, “Robert, you are an android that will help people live daily lives. Basically, helping the disabled. You cook, clean, fix things, play games, anything that has to do with daily living. Soon, every single disabled person will have a friend.”
I blink. I blink twice more. Friend. I register the word. I widen my lips and show my teeth.
“He even smiles,” Danny states. Smiling. I am smiling.
“Michelle, what do you think? The perfect friend?” Danny asks Michelle.
I look at Michelle. I smile.
Michelle looks at me. Her lips stretch. She doesn’t show teeth. She smiles.
Michelle looks at Danny, “I think he’s perfect for your father.”
I register her tone of voice. Sarcasm.
Then, she turns and moves to a desk.
Walking. I register.
I do not move. I look at Danny. Danny looks at me.
“Yeah, perfect for Dad.”
There is beeping. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Danny looks down at my left pec. It blinks red. I can see red hue flickering between us.
“Well, time for sleep. Good night, Robert,” Danny states.
I blink. Blink again. I close my eyes. Yet, I still noise.
“Michelle, what’s wrong?” “Danny, didn’t you hear what the general said? He’s meant to be a soldier, not a caregiver or nanny.”
I register her tone of voice. Stress.
“But I never intended to turn him into a soldier. I see something more in him than that.” “I understand, Danny. But the government didn’t invest $20 million for an android to take care of people. He’s meant to go out in war and fight against the enemy.” “I know, but I can convince them otherwise. Maybe invent something else that the army can actually use.” “But Danny, they want Robert, not another weapon. You heard them.” “Yeah, but come on, Michelle. Imagine how many people we can help just by making him.” “Look, I don’t want us to get in trouble because you invented Robert Doubtfire here.”
I register new information.
I was created to fight.
“Well, they will have to get rid of me before I invent anything dangerous.” “Danny, you’re–“
I hear the door open. I hear footsteps. Movement. I register the sound.
Three humans. They come closer.
I hear Danny.
“Dr. Harvey. How’s the android?” “Yeah, about Robert. I believe that instead of killing human beings, he can care for them. The kind of hero who will be admired.” “I told you repeatedly that I want Robert to get rid of the enemy, not be a nanny!” “I told you, Danny.” “But sir, I–“ “No buts, Danny. Now, fix him, or you’re done.”
I hear the footsteps. They become faint. I hear the door open. I hear the door slam shut.
I was meant to fight.
I attempt to register.
I see my true purpose. To fight.
I hear Danny and Michelle.
“See? I told you, Danny?” “Well, I’m not changing him back. He’s not fighting.” “But Danny, if you don’t fix him, the general will have both of our heads.”
I register their tone of voice. Stress. Anxiety.
I can register human emotions.
But I cannot feel them. I cannot imitate emotion. Only action.
I am meant to protect.
“Okay, fine! I will fix him. No nanny robot, no Robot Doubtfire. Just Android G.I. Joe. But I will never take away his purpose of caring for people.” “Danny whatever floats your boat. He can rescue people and get rid of the enemies at the same time. Everyone wins.”
I register her tone of voice. Relief.
I cannot be human. I can only observe.
But not imitate.
I am not meant to be human.
I am meant to protect humans from danger.
I hear Danny. I register his tone of voice. Sadness.
“Well, Robert. I guess you won’t meet my dad, then…”
Danny is gone.
I am not meant to be a friend.
I am meant to fight…
Please comment on your thoughts of the scientist and the robot. How would you feel if you find out that cyborgs are made for war, but could be used as a friendly companion?
Thanks for tuning in on Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café!
Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s a story of a man in his inner thoughts:
The birds chirping. The sun exposed. The grass and trees smell fresh like water. Speaking of which, the pond is populated with lily pads and ducks. I look around, and people are walking, smiling, and talking. Talking. Lots of talking. I’m not big on talking.
Observing. That’s my thing. No cellphone, no book, nothing with me. No distractions.
I don’t know, I just like looking.
Usually I get dirty looks from people when I stare too long. I almost got my ass kicked when I stared and smiled like a creep. Creep. Am I a creep? I just like looking. What’s wrong with looking? Sigh I don’t go to many places. Dirty looks and foolish threats. Why?
I just like looking.
A young boy sits next to me, holding his ice cream. Ice cream. Just looking at it makes me cold, but now I can’t help but crave it. I stare at the ice cream. Should I get myself ice cream? It’s just down the street. Yet, I don’t want to lose my spot. I sit here every day in the afternoon, right between writing my journal, and brunch. I sit here every day in the afterno-
“Mister, would like some of my ice cream?” The little boy interrupts my thoughts. I blink once. Then again. I think I stared too long. I shake my head to the boy as I answer, “No. Thank you. I will get it later.” The boy shrugs and continues to eat his ice cream. I look back at the park. All of a sudden…
“Hey Nemo, let’s go. Grandma’s waiting for us,” A woman walks up to the boy next to me. I look at her. All I see is this angelic glow around her. It could be the sun. It could be her.
Sigh I just like looking. Now, I like looking at her.
As I continue to look at her, the woman looks at me. Her smile fades, her eyes glosses. Then, slowly, her smile comes back. “I’m so sorry, sir, I hope my son didn’t disturb you.” I continue to look at her. I blink once. Then again, before I answer, “It’s no issue. He’s been kind to offer me ice cream.”
Wow, I’ve never spoke this much to anyone. I look at her, and she continues to smile at me. “Well, I made sure this young one is kind. Isn’t that right, Nemo?” Nemo. Sounds adventurous.
I just like looking.
The boy nods and gets off the bench. The woman grabs his little hands, and before they walk away, the woman says, “Take care, sir.”
They walk away.
I stare at them. Just stare.
Then, I wave. Whoa, a first! I never wave at anyone. Usually, people wave me off or curse at me. For looking.
I don’t know, I just like looking.
Looking. Looking. Looking…
I look at the pond. The ducks are swimming. The wind is blowing, leaves moving. And I’m just looking.
Then, I wonder. Will I ever see Nemo, and that woman again? I hope so.
Maybe, I have something to look forward to tomorrow. I’m hungry. Looking makes me hungry. I feel like a sandwich. Time to go to the café down the street…
The Next Day
I walk in the park after tea and biscuits. Small breakfast. I don’t have time to eat breakfast. It’s time for the park. I look at my favorite bench. I see them. Nemo and the angel.
That’s a first… I walk to my bench. I sit next to them. The angel turns, looks, and smiles at me.
My eyes wide.
OH! Shiny white teeth.
“Hi there! Nice to see you again,” The angel speaks.
I get goosebumps. She’s so pretty. I blink once. Then again. Next, I say, “Hi. Nice to see you again, as well.” I look down at my hands.
I have nothing in my hands.
I look up. The sky is clear. The sun exposed again. I look the pond. No ducks. The trees and grass are green and smell fresh like water.
This time, I smile. I appreciate the smell.
I look at the angel. She smiles as she asks, “Do you like the park a lot?” I nod. I just like looking. Should I tell her that? I respond, “I feel at peace. Every day.” She nods, understanding my statement.
We continue to sit at my favorite bench. I don’t let anyone else sit with me, or even without me.
I just like to sit here and look.
But, Nemo and the angel? They’re an exception. They’re kind to me. They didn’t give me dirty looks. They didn’t run. They didn’t slap me. This is new to me. New. Speaking of which…
“How long have you lived here?” I ask her. She smiles as she says, “I lived here for 2 weeks now. I live with my mother and son.” Then, I wonder…. Where’s the boy’s father? “I don’t mean to be in your business, but what about-“
“Nemo’s father? He passed away in a car accident last year,” she answered for me. The angel turns to Nemo and says, “Nemo, you remember the nice man from yesterday, right?” Nemo looks at me and smiles as he nods. I look at him and smile. “Hi, Mister,” Nemo greets me. I wave and say hi back. Then, Nemo tilts his head in curiosity.
Does he like looking too? Or is there something in my face?
He opens his mouth, and then asks me, “What’s your name?”
What’s my name? I hate my name.
So introverted. Annoying. Nonsense. Makes me feel like a ghost. A silent one. All because I just like looking. But, let me entertain the boy.
“Phantom,” I say.
The angel looks at me in shock. She’s starting to question my name.
Then, she gives me a suspicious look. “Really? Is that your real name? Or do people just call you that?” she asks. I shake my head. “No, my mother called me that when I was born.” The angel crosses her arms and sits back as she crosses her legs. Nemo is looking at me too.
I confirm to her, “It’s my real name. She thought it suits me. When I was in womb, I wouldn’t move so much. At least that’s what she told me. Growing up, I didn’t like doing a lot. I was just there…”
Looking. Looking. Looking…
She squints her eyes.
“Strange,” she states.
I shrug. “Well, after getting older, I didn’t mind. I still don’t.” Finally, she nods.
“Well, my name is Angel,” she says.
Angel… That name fits her. The shiny glow, the kindness in her town. She truly is Angel. I smile. I look at her. I just like looking…at her.
“Angel. It’s a beautiful name for someone who is one,” I claim.
She blushes. How cute. Cute. Me? Not so much. I just sit at the park and look.
I just like looking.
“Well, Phantom, it’s a cool name to us. Right, Nemo?” Angel asks. Nemo nods in excitement. Angel and I laugh. I liked looking. Now, I like laughing more. I feel happy, and welcome. No more feeling lonely. No more staring.
Angel, thank you for our beginning…
The Following Day
I sit at the park.
I stare at the pond. Tears falling. The clouds block the sun.
It’s dark in the afternoon.
I’m alone in the dark.
Crying. I look down at my hand.
A letter left for me. It has my name on it. I found it on the bench when I came to the park. I opened it.
Angel and Nemo are gone. Forever. Angel and her family are moving.
Just when I thought I had a friend.
This is depressing. Why do I bother coming to the park?
The park. I get peace from the park just from looking.
I used to like looking.
Now, I don’t like to look anymore. My new friend. Gone. From my life. It feels like I didn’t exist to begin with. All because I just like looking.
Speaking of which. I look at the note again.
She left me her number. My tears stop falling.
My day brightens up under the clouds.
I smile. Angel left me her number. Under her number: Let’s keep in touch I look at the note. Her handwriting is beautiful.
I just like looking at the note.
I will call her when I get home.
I smile once more.
Maybe, my name does fit me.
Please comment on your experience with Phantom. Have you ever went somewhere so peaceful, you would have conversations with your inner thoughts.
Thanks for tuning in on Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café!
Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café, where you can read the stories of adventurous characters as they explore life. Here’s a story of a brother with an aspiring dream:
The sun is out, and there’s only a few clouds in the sky. The sky, a beautiful blue. I continue to look out the window as we move. Green trees, grass, and just free space. Boy, I would love to run around with my best friend, Rover. But today, I’m on a mission; I have someone special to see. Someone that means so much to me. It’s been 7 years straight, and I don’t know what has changed over the years.
I look to my left, and my roommate is just focused on the road. His face straight, a few blinks to keep himself awake. I kept asking him if I can drive. He just swats me away like a fly. I laugh at him, because he’s just so focused on the road, and I don’t know if he’s even aware of his actions. For 3 hours, I would pick on his ear, give him the wet willy, and all he does is smack my hand away and even attempts to bite my finger. He doesn’t even shout, nor slips. He’s just so focused.
Maybe he’s as nervous as me, and this is the first time that he’s going to see my family. Best of all, he will see why I’ve been so anxious and adamant about going home. And soon, he will understand why I have spent every waking day and waking night working on my gift. I turn away and go back to watching the nature as we drive by. Bright sun, blue sky, some clouds, green trees and grass. Everywhere.
As we get closer to Tampa, my heart starts to beat faster. I get nervous. I start sweating, like I’m on a race to the finish line. I wipe my forehead as we reach the traffic light. Finally, after 4 hours of driving, my roommate looks at me, disgusted, as he says, “What happened to you, Mike?”
“Nerves,” I say after a few seconds. Actually, I squealed. After I cleared my throat, I say, “Nerves. It’s just nerves, Nick.”
“Oh my God,” Nick sighs as he wipes his eyes and face. Then, he turns to me and says, “I have driven for 4 hours to get to Tampa, and now you’re nervous. Back then, you were excited.”
“I would have driven myself if you had let me 3 hours ago,” I say to him, eyes wide open. Is he serious now?
“The reason I didn’t let you drive is because you’re slow, and you would have turned back. For whatever reason, I don’t know. But now that we’re here, I’m NOT turning back now until you’re satisfied with… whatever that you did,” Nick explains.
Damn, he’s right. Why is this guy always right?!
I wipe my face again and take deep breaths, I hope that nothing goes wrong. Just thinking of seeing my family after 7 years makes my brain hurt.
Just remember why you left home. It wasn’t because you didn’t like it. It was because you have a dream. Remember that.
It’s a constant reminder as to why I left Tampa to live in Miami. It’s not that I didn’t find a reason to live in Tampa, I just thought that I can find something better in Miami. Boy, I was wrong. But I did make the time for myself to come up with something that can help my family. I could just imagine…
I calm down after my breathing exercise and nod my head. “You can do this, Mike,” I reassure myself, “You can do this.”
“Dude, stop talking to yourself. You’re freaking me out,” Nick says, as turns left on green. After a minute, we started to laugh.
Nick is such an ass. But I can’t thank him enough for coming with me.
Nick isn’t blood, but we’ve been friends since middle school. He knows almost everything about me and my family, but the one thing he doesn’t know is my younger brother, Matt.
I look out the window again, this time, the blue sky turns from yellow to purple. The clouds are turning gray, and the sun setting to allow the moon to rise. Shit, Nick and his literature…
Wow, evening already…
15 minutes later, and we park in front of my family’s house. Single family, one story, just like how my mom likes it. My dad doesn’t mind, but he would like a man cave to relax in. *”Oh, you know how your father is. Always stressed at work, and then comes home. You know, the Flintstone family style,” My mom always tells me over the phone. It’s comical to see my father look like Fred. Come to find out, that’s what Matt likes. At least, he used to like it…
I help Nick with our bags and head towards the porch. My mom, Nancy, comes out excited, and rushes to hug me first. I drop my bags and hug my mom back. “Oh, Merry Christmas, Mike! I’ve missed you so much!” “Hi, mom,” I say, my words muffled in her shoulders as I hug her. She lets go of me, and then hugs Nick as she says, “And Merry Christmas to you, too, Nick.”
“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Callaway,” Nick greets back. She lets go and tells us to come inside. We step inside, and out comes my dad, in an ugly Christmas sweater. “Hey son!” My dad greets. As he comes to hug Nick and I, I ask, “Dad, what’s with the sweater?”
My dad pulls away, and looks down at his sweater, looks back at us and says, “Hey, since we don’t have snow here in Florida, might as well keep on the Christmas spirit, yeah?” he chuckles at his own remarks. We laugh with him, well, because he’s kind of right.
I mean, why not?
“All right, now, guys, let’s get you settled to your room, as I prepare dinner. Now, go on,” my mom tells us. Nick and I go to our room and settle our bags on the floor. I grab my backpack and pull out my brother’s gift. I smile at it, knowing that my brother will like it. For 7 years, I had no sleep, little to no food, and missing out on all the fun with my other friends, but it was all worth it. It is worth it.
He will like it.
“He better like it, whatever it is,” Nick says as he plops on his bed. I look at him, shocked that he can read my mind. Before I can ask, he says, “You’ve been gawking at it like Nikola Tesla with his own inventions. Sheesh.”
I chuckle a little and shake my head as I set the gift down my bed. Then, I hear the door open and close.
That must be Matt coming from school…
I look at Nick and ask, “Ready to meet my brother?” “Yeah, sure,” Nick says, as he gets up and grunts. As we both walk out of the room, I tell Nick that he’s getting older and fatter. We both laugh and then… I see him.
Matt, all tall and grown up, and he’s only 15. We stop in our tracks, and as Matt puts down his back, he looks at me. He smiles as he runs to me in silence. We hug each other, tightly, and I can hear a little whimper coming from him. That’s how he cries. Then, I feel his tears. I pull back and wipe his face. “Hey, you’re grown now. You can’t cry in front me like that. What will the ladies think?” I joke. He squints, and he smiles widely as to seem he’s laughing. He is laughing.
Damn, this kid and I can see eye to eye now.
I turn around and lead him to my friend. “Nick, this is my baby brother, Matt. Matt, this is my roommate and best friend, Nick,” I introduce them together. Matt goes for the handshake, but Nick grabs him and gives him a brotherly hug. As they pull away, Matt smiles widely at Nick. “Bro, you are, like, seriously, tall. We all laugh and walk to the dining room table for dinner.
As we sit down, I tap my brother on the shoulder for him to see me and say, “I have something for you, but after dinner.” Matt nods, and then goes to the kitchen. Nick looks at Matt walking away, and then at me to ask, “What’s wrong with Matt? He can’t speak?”
I tell Nick, “Well, he’s been hard of hearing in his left ear since he was 5 years old. He can speak, but only when he wants to. He loves to write, though. Just like you.”
“Hey, what can I say? Writing is a great way to communicate. Ask the ladies,” he says as he leans back and expands his arms. “Yeah, what ladies?” I ask. We laugh as my dad comes to the dining room table to sit with us.
“Mike, Matt is so excited to see you. I mean, he started writing all over the fridge telling us in an essay,” my dad announces. We laughed really hard at it, but at the same time, it fills my heart.
Matt isn’t usually excited about many things, from what my parents tell me. Ever since I left to pursue my dream in technology, he didn’t want to speak anymore. Having me around was the only thing that gave him a reason to communicate. Soon, though, he will have no choice. He’s going to want to communicate.
As we dinner, I ask Matt, “Dad tells me that you won a contest with the newspaper. Congrats!” Matt smiles as he looks at me, and then says, “Yeah… I wrote about how technology can either hurt us or help us in the future. You know, sci-fi stuff.”
I nod and ask him if I can read it later. He nods and then eats his smash potatoes. “Nick, you’re a writer. Why don’t you help my brother with his work?” I ask Nick. “Oh, absolutely dude! Maybe help you with some romance writing, if you know what I mean,” Nick winks and nudges at Matt. Matt looks at him as he says, “I’m a sci-fi dude. Besides, ladies love science.”
We all laugh as Nick sits there dumbfounded. “Psh, whatever. I’ll still help you, only because you’re cool,” Nick says after a minute. I shake my head at Nick being ridiculous, and we finish our dinner just before 8:30pm. Okay, I need to stop looking at the time…
Nick, Matt, and I sit outside on the porch, and watch the stars from the sky. Nick taps on Matt’s shoulders to get his attention and he asks, “Hey bud, do you have any friends at school?” Matt nods, and he responds, “Yeah, but… not a lot, though. Only a few, that’s it.” Nick turns his head slightly and squints his eyes.
Oh no, he’s gonna ask that question…
“Do you have a girlfriend?” Nick asks. I hit myself in the face with my palm, and Matt laughs inaudibly at Nick. After Matt calms down, he answers, “No, I don’t. Not looking for one, now.”
“Come on, why not?” Nick asks as he throws his hands in the air.
“Maybe because he’s too young right now,” I say to Nick, looking at him sternly. “He’s only 15, Nick.”
“So? I had like 2 girlfriends by the time I was 15,” Nick points out.
“Nick, stop counting your cousin and your science partner,” I argue. Matt squeezes his eyes shut and laughs… inaudibly. I laugh with him, but compared to him, I sound like a major dork with the wheezing and laughing real loud.
Nick looks at us like we’re messed up, and says, “It’s no wonder Mike doesn’t have a girlfriend.”
“Hey, you should hear yourself laugh. Dude, you sound like a dying hyena begging for water in the desert,” I argue back. Matt throws himself back as he continues to laugh. Nick and I continue to argue back and forth about girlfriends, and the lack of. What made Matt release tears as he laughed is when I told Nick that he’s going to end up with a Cyndi Lauper look-a-like from the 80’s as a wife. With lots of cats. Lots. After 30 minutes of arguing back and forth, we head back inside, and I get Matt’s gift from my room. I walk to his room and see him sitting at his desk.
I knock on his door and announce that I’m here. Matt turns around and says, “Hey.”
I sit on the edge of his bed as I hold his gift, and say, “I know Christmas is in two weeks, but I wanted to give you your gift early, so you can use it soon.” Matt looks at me with glossy eyes, excited about this gift. He wipes his eyes on his pants in anticipation, and then I hand him his gift. He grabs it but doesn’t open it. I look at him, then the gift, and then at him again as I ask,” What’s wrong, buddy?” He looks at me for a minute, then says, “I just… thought about something. I forgot to say thank you for coming back to us. It wasn’t easy… you know?”
I nod my head in agreement. “I know, it’s hard to communicate when you can’t hear clearly. It’s even more difficult when you don’t have something to communicate with when you don’t want to communicate verbally.”
Matt nods his head, then starts to open his gift. He looks inside, and his eyes open wider. He looks at me, then back in his gift, and then back at me, just to see if this moment is really happening. “No way,” Matt whispers in excitement. I nod and smile as I say, “Yeah.”
Matt looks in his gift again and pulls out the cellphone and a box that holds something unique. He turns on the cellphone, and then sets it back into the box as he holds onto the smaller box. He asks as he examines it, “What’s this?”
“Open it and find out,” I tell him. He opens the smaller box, and he covers his mouth as he begins to tear up. Looking at my brother cry out of pure joy made me feel accomplished. 7 years of hard work made my brother cry in joy. “That’s why I was gone for 7 years. I made you something to help you hear and communicate,” I say to him. I point at the ear pieces and I explain, “These ear pieces are Bluetooth and they connect with your phone. You can call people, hear the alarm, and listen to music. So, you don’t have to use earphones or other Bluetooth devices. Just your ear pieces. Turn it on.”
After wiping his tears off, Matt turns on the ear pieces and squeals. Although the exterior is black, we can see them light up in red, blue, green, and yellow, signaling that they’re on. “But remember, Matt,” I begin to remind him, “you have to recharge them every 90 days. Otherwise, you can’t hear clearly. Pretty cool, huh?” Matt nods at me, then gives me a huge hug.
After we let go, he grabs the ear pieces and then turns to work on his phone. He puts on a song, and shrieks as he listens. “This is awesome, dude! I can listen to people talk on the phone.”
“Yeah, I know!” I say in excitement. After we calm down, I tell him, “I understand that Mom and Dad can’t afford for your ear piece, nor a cellphone. And from what I hear from them, the doctor was trying to give you crap ear pieces. But not for my little brother.” Matt smiles at me. Then, he says, “You know, before these ear pieces, you sounded quieter. Now, it’s crystal clear.”
With a hopeful tone, I announce, “Just imagine what I can do for other kids with the same condition as you. Then, everyone can listen.” Matt looks at me with glossy eyes, with hope that I can change the world, as I was able to change his.
Please comment on what you thought about this story. Was there anything that you did, or are doing now, for someone you love and at the same time can help others?
Thanks for tuning in on Olive’s Library at Olive’s Café!