By Lorry Myers
I don’t know his name, I don’t know anything about him but, for three weeks, I have been following him. It started when school started; every morning on my short morning commute, this young boy has been walking to school. His head is down and his dark curls are always hidden under a hoodie. From the car I can see ear buds running down to the phone crammed in his pocket with a look on his face that tells me that walking to school is not his idea.
I can relate to that.
I imagine that his parents are up and out early each morning to get to work, and this young boy has no other option but to walk. He is a teenager without wheels, a boy on foot while the world drives by him.
So, I wave.
After all, he walks down my street and I pass him each day and I think that must mean something. Some mornings, the boy is farther along his route than he was the day before, sometimes he is slower. Some mornings, the lone walker is nowhere to be found and I wonder where he is. Is he sick, did he oversleep, is he skipping school?
I miss him when he is gone.
Then one morning, it was pouring down rain, the sky was dark and the road had turned into a river. I thought surely, surely that boy will wait and walk after the rain stops. Surely that boy caught a ride this morning. Surely that boy will choose this day to stay home.
But there he was, the hood covering his head offering him little shelter. The bottom of his jeans were soaked and I was quite certain, his shoes and socks were too. There were no earbuds on this stormy morning, the thunder was too loud to be ignored. I go by this boy every morning, and now, my motherly instincts kick in. This kid is blocks from school and dripping wet.
Today he needs a ride.
When I was a kid, I, too, walked to school in every kind of weather. My mother prepared me with boots and hat and gloves, but still, when it was cold, it was cold and when it was rainy, it was rainy and I still I had to walk. Back in those days, if someone pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride instead of walking in the rain, I would climb right in and they would take me home.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.