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back. For listening to my seven yellow cars and wrenching himself back into the world of yelling fathers and hugging mothers and cars that kill little boys. And even if he doesn’t want to come back to where people don’t care, he’ll come anyways to keep me company. He wouldn’t let me face it all alone. Charlie would never do that. So I won’t let him face death alone. I’ll find him and I’ll bring him back and neither of us will have to be alone anymore. ∗∗∗ Four yellow cars. Before, that would have been enough for Charlie to hand over his bag of sweets and for me to gloat mercilessly. But now it’s not enough. Not nearly enough. Just three more yellow cars. Please. Let seven little men climb into seven little yellow cars and all go to the same place at the same time. Please. If only seven yellow cars would drive by. But what then? Do I wish that Charlie would come back to life? That he never died at all? What if it’s one of those things where you have to exchange something? What if Charlie comes back but then I go home to find my family gone? Would it be selfish of me to not bring Charlie back if I knew that in doing so I would die? What if Charlie doesn’t want to come back? Maybe he’s in heaven having the time of his life. His death, I mean. What would Charlie do, if I was gone and he was still here? He’d probably wait for seven yellow cars to wish me back too. That’s why I have to do it. Because Charlie would’ve done it for me. And because, even though I know it won’t happen, something deep down in my bones believes that those seven yellow cars can bring back Charlie. ∗∗∗ The traffic shoots by, a million faceless people cocooned in their massive metal shells, oblivious to everything but their soulless selves. None of them matter. If the world can go on living without Charlie, acting like he never even existed, then it can certainly go on without them. Little insects barreling between their gray cubicles and families of littler insects. Buzzing along, monotonous drone workers. No one would even notice if they were gone. It’d be better if they were gone. Then they won’t be able to get so caught up in their little useless lives that they would get so careless and accidentally destroy something that does matter. Something like Charlie. So caught up mulligan 85

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Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

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