Saturday, September 13, 2008

Light vs Darkness

My children had spoken of the boy, face covered constantly by the black, heavy, hooded sweatshirt, who seemed to be the leader of the Pack Up To No Good. At first, I wanted to protect my children by refusing them access to the area where the young man tended to operate his covert dealings. As more information spilled out, however, I backed away from that stance. My kids were aware and wary, and keeping their own distance.

Considering whether or not I should take a course of action, I determined that, failing any evidence or proof, I'd simply have to let things be, and let the hooligan activity run its own course with discovery and therefore, the destruction of evil intent.

The crisp evening air hit my face as I turned the corner of the apartment; a solid encouragement to pick up the pace and generate body heat. Keller gleefully kicked up his heels in the jogger, and Dell, already engrossed in the latest scent offered on the sidewalk, trotted happily beside.

As I crossed the first driveway, I startled a bit as a bulky figure moved swiftly to begin the wheels of his skateboard turning. Deftly hopping aboard with the full of his weight, I was certain I saw him glancing furtively at me out of his peripheral view.

Ah. So there he was. He certainly looked like a scoundrel, but one mustn't judge by outward appearance.

My eye followed him as he made his way to the playground full of children of all ages: toddlers, elementary aged kids, teens. A few parents dotted the landscape as well, and the sound of blissful enjoyment filled the air.

Aubrey's voice broke above the din, as she called to me. She handed a Popsicle to the boy on the bicycle next to her, and he pedaled off, leaving she and I alone in the cul-de-sac. As she chirped and chatted gaily, my eyes travelled the area carefully. Where did he go?

Finally content, and her storytelling complete, Aubrey turned back to the gaggle of children who were waiting in the wings for her. I turned to continue my course.

Stepping up on the next sidewalk, the one beside the pool, continually scanning the horizon, I saw, across the way, a face shrouded in darkness, staring at me. He was a good distance away, inside the fence of the pool, seated stealth-like against the far wall, under an umbrella, slouched so as to remain unnoticed by any passerby.

The locked eyes were unmistakable. From his stony gaze I surmised he was unwilling to be pleasant to anyone perceived as a threat to his lair. My heart was at once sorry for him, compassionate, and on alert.

Where were this boy's parents? What events in his life had brought him to such a dismal outlook on life, one that caused him to shrink from light to slither in the darkness; to isolate himself not only from adults, but also from his peers, except when he wished to be seen as the leader?

I continued walking, leaving him be in solitude, yet found out.

My circuitous route brought me back to the house, but I was unsatisfied as to what the next move of that young man might be. So, I added an additional pace, and returned in u-turn fashion to the park. He was nowhere to be found. I communed with my daughter a second time, and then reengaged my return home.

Had he been watching, waiting for me? Perhaps so.

Upon my final ascent to the front door, he deftly crossed my path with his running leap onto his board, only to skate off into the twilight, once again seeking the darkness to shroud him from my gaze.


Dawn Sodini said...

You are incredibly patient in the many circumstances that cross your path.

Annette said...

Hmmm. To be continued? Pray my dear. For his soul. As I'm sure you have.

val said...

Not that i dont give everyone the benefit of the doubt, there are still times when you need to use caution.. ang, my ONLY sister be careful. kids arent like they were when you were 14. the world has changed. be careful.

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