A mother walks into her son’s room to find the toys and some old food all over the carpet. Her initial anger turning to resolve, she shakes her head and sighs. A teenaged girl sees the boy, one who never notices her even though she knows everything about him, walk past her in the hallway between classes, and she wistfully smiles the softest release of a breath. The salesman with a bad comb-over climbs back into his car after an unsuccessful meeting, filled with the fear of an upcoming mortgage payment, he lets out a low heave while clutching the steering wheel.
My thumb caresses his picture every night, and I whisper a prayer that only he will hear. My shoulders slump, I kiss the glass that protects the picture, and I sigh.