The Longest Walk

Metro Creative

The day and time were a long way from our living in Valencia but I remember it as if it were yesterday: The Texas sky seemed particularly low that morning.

I had the feeling I could raise my arms and push it higher.

It was a flat, gray, lifeless sky, perfectly suited for this day-a day I had not been looking forward to.

We stood on either side of him.  I held his right arm while Mary held the other.

I looked across at Mary’s grim face and wondered if she was feeling the same things I was suffering.

I told myself that it was just something that had to be done no matter how I felt.

Our trio moved slowly…not quite in unison.  Mary and I had to urge him forward as his steps began to falter.  I couldn’t bring myself to look directly at his face but a sideward glance assured me that he was near collapse. Except for an occasional deep sigh, he was silent.

Slowly, with what seemed great effort, we moved down the hall.  The expanse of the hall was only forty feet but it seemed like forever.

Now and then I heard a slight whimper.  He began to shuffle rather than walk and we were forced to drag him forward.   He relaxed, collapsed as if unconscious, but he was not unconscious.  It was passive resistance and I understood.

I understood that he knew we were approaching the door at the end of the hall and he knew what was behind that door.

We were getting close.  His body quivered now and then but we moved forward.  He suddenly jerked his arm and I looked down into eyes that seemed to be saying, “Don’t do this, please–don’t do this!”

I quickly looked away and gazed at Mary.  She was ashen white and I noticed that although the hall was cool, she was sweating.

The door was now upon us and as it opened we saw the chair.  He let out a gasp and began to wiggle and he tried in vain to pull his arms away as we lifted him into the chair.

It was rather simple now.  Just a few straps and some adjustments.

He stopped pulling and squirming and seemed to relax.  Tears ran down his cheeks and his eyes peered upward and then closed.

It was over rather quickly but to me it seemed agonizingly slow.

I held Mary’s hand and knew that she was as glad as I that it was over–Sebastian finally had his first haircut.






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