I was getting ready for my Sunday routine. I carefully tucked in my pale yellow t-shirt in my faded jeans. I picked out my favorite olive sweater and looked at the mirror. For an old man, I looked clean. I thought to myself. The weather was gloomy but I wasn't. I didn't care what the weather was, I've always loved Sundays ever since I came here.
"Mr. Charles, are you ready?", a voice came from the door. It was Charlie. He took care of me.
I nodded and left the room. It was Sunday, everyone looked happy. I made my way to the cafeteria and took a tray. Everything smelled good. The waffles, blueberries, pancakes, baked potatoes. On Sundays, the usually dull cafe turns into a food galore. After filling up the tray, I sat at my usual table with Frank and Patrick. Frank was half deaf while Patrick was not much of a speaker. The conversation between these two were always funny. I was reading the newspaper until I saw her.. The woman that made me come and stay here. She looked cautious with her surrounding and she was wearing her favorite blue sweater that has little flowers embroidered at the sleeves.
I excused myself from the table and made my way to her table.
"May I sit here, ma'am?", I smiled.
"How's your Sunday going?"
"Quite lovely. Are you going to read me a book today?", she asked.
"Of course, it's Sunday, isn't it?", I smiled.
"Mr. Charles, it's 4PM. Your favorite part of Sunday", Charlie said to me.
"I'm ready, son. Just give me five minutes, I need to find the book"
"Your kids called, they say they'll be here soon"
"I will be at my usual spot", I replied.
Once I found the book, I made my way to the garden and on my way there, I was greeted by my friends. They knew where I was heading but most of them just gave me an apologetic smile but I didn't care. I was anticipating to see her. The thought of her smiling when I read made me walk a little faster.
As soon as I exited the front door, I saw her. She was still wearing the same clothes but she carefully pulled her hair into a loose bun. In her hands, there were two lilies. I reckoned she must have gotten it from the doctor that she had an appointment earlier.
"Hello ma'am, did I make you wait?", I asked.
"No, no. I just got here, the doctor gave me lilies. My favorite flower.", she replied.
"I know. I got a new book"
"What is it about?"
"Don't worry, it's not a sad story. I promise this time, the story will have a happy ending"
"I like your sweater. It looks very nice"
"Thank you, ma'am. My wife gave it to me. Can I start reading the story?"
"Oh yes please. Go on"
She was anxious, I could tell. She loved Sundays as much as I did. I loved reading to her because she was a cautious listener. She would listen to every word that I say and she would ask for me to repeat it until she gets it. Her reaction at certain parts of the story made me smile. Made me love her even more.
In the midst of reading, someone lightly tapped my shoulder. I turned around and see Charlie.
"I'm sorry for interrupting, Mr. Charles but your children are here. They said they couldn't be long", Charlie said.
I looked at her and before I could say anything, she said, "It's okay. You've read a lot today, Mr. Charles. Thank you and I'm looking forward for the next reading"
I kissed her cheeks and said goodbye. I could see my children from far and I could see the same apologetic look on their faces. Once she left, they came and sat next to me.
"How are you, dad?", my eldest son asked.
"It's Sunday, of course I am feeling good, son", I replied.
My daughter did not look happy.
"Dad, you gotta come home. Please?", she begged.
I shook my head, "No, Penny. I made my decision to come here and look out for her."
"But mum doesn't even remember you, dad."