A girls journey to find that one small thing that means so much to say goodbye.
| As she steps off the bus, she is looking for sights that are familiar. The girl knows she only has a few hours to find it and get back home before anyone notices she is gone. She lived here before and thought the place she needed would be easy to find but times have moved on and so much has changed.
She takes off walking and says to herself, “I’ll search the streets and find the old place, then I'll find where I need to go from there.”
This is an old time neighborhood where everyone knows each other and they tend to meet up at the local coffee shop daily. They talk of old times and new times to come. A few people notice this one girl, looking worried and seeming to be looking for something.
The girl is searching but she knows she must not get lost, she must find the bus stop in a few hours and get back home. So she passes the coffee shop three or four times so not get confused on where she is, but what she searches is for eluding her and the frustration is building.
Almost in tears and not knowing what to do, she passes the coffee shop one last time. She must go, time has run out. Her heart is heavy as heads back to catch the bus. A couple comes out of the coffee shop and walks her way, they stop and wait for her.
As she moves to go around, the lady asks “Honey, are you lost?”
The girl shakes her head no and does not answer.
“Can we help you in anyway? You look upset and you have wandered around aimlessly for hours.”
The girl looks at the couple and thinks that maybe she should ask. It would not hurt and she is running out of time.
“I used to live here, years ago with my mom and dad.” She said with tears in her voice. “I’m trying to find a local park. Not big but it
was in this area. It’s not a big deal but that is what I’m looking for.”
The old man thought for a second, “I know the park is close but we haven’t been there. I tell you though, go around the corner and there’s a magazine rack on the sidewalk. Ask the gentleman there that runs it. He has lived here his whole life.”
The girl felt relief and with a smile for the couple, “Thank you so much, you don’t know how much I appreciate the help.” She was off in a hurry and disappeared around the corner.
The couple watched her go and the little lady said, “I hope she finds what she is looking for, she is too pretty to be that upset.”
“I’m sure she will Momma, we did what we could.”
The girl found the man the couple had mentioned. “Excuse me sir, I am looking for the local park. Can you point me in right direction?”
The man looked at her, thinking hard, “Well, there are a couple of parks pretty close to here. Which one are looking for? Do you know what street?”
The girl looked at the man and sadly stated, “No sir, I don’t have any idea of streets or even maybe where it could be. We lived here years ago and my mom and I would walk there for lunch in the park.”
She thought about the walks as she turns away, “Wait, do you know the one with the big mushroom bird bath in a flower bed?” She turned back to the man.
He thought, “I don’t but here is a nostalgic map. It has old landmarks and pictures of places in the old neighborhood. Take a look and see if you can find anything familiar.”
She opens the map and looking hard, she sees a park about five blocks away. They have a picture of an archway leading into the park and to the right is a mushroom statue in the flowers.
“Oh my gosh,” she cries, “this is it. Oh thank you, thank you. You helped me find it.” She folds the map, hands it the gentleman, and with a brilliant smile takes off running down the street.
There is the park she has searched and searched for all morning. She missed it by a couple of blocks. She goes through the arch she looks to her right. There it is. The mushroom.
She kneels down in the garden at the base of the bird bath thinking, “It has to here. It must.” She starts to dig, knowing she is running out of time. The bus is coming and she has to be on it.
The older couple is still sitting on the patio enjoying the day and sees the girl hurrying up the sidewalk toward them. “Hey miss, did find what you were looking for?” The man asked.
With a huge smile the girl says, “I did. Thank you for your help. I wouldn’t have found it without you.”
She runs on by just in time to catch her bus home.
That evening, during the viewing, she stands by her momma. “Look what I found Momma. I went and I got it. You take it with you and always know how much I love you.”
In the girls’ hand is small tin box. Years before she and her momma had buried the box in the garden with a small black and white
photo of them both, that her dad had taken, and a locket with pictures of her and one of her mom and dad. She puts the small box
under her momma’s hands and places a light kiss on the cold forehead.
The girl had searched and found her last goodbye to her momma.
Word Count: 970
by: JA Sibley