Chapter 2 – Bad Memory Lane

Time in Willow Creek: 2 weeks, 1 day

The second day of Harold’s retirement was a tad bit more successful. Harriett thought dragging him to the museum would prove to be more favorable than the park. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the art gallery and sat. She wanted to feel him out first.

“See! This isn’t so bad, right? I bet you don’t see things like this on the TV.”

He grunted. “I can see things like this anytime I want on the public TV channels. I hope you didn’t pay money to bring me here.”

“Harold! You’re not gonna spend the rest of your life in front of that wretched tube! We are going to find something you enjoy if it’s the last thing I do!”

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“Good luck with that.” Something beyond his gaze caught his eye. “Hey now…” He rose from the bench slowly and walked over to a portrait. There was a girl in front of it painting on an easel. He stood behind her and gazed at the beauty which stole his attention. Harriett followed him to see what had captured him so.

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“Now, there’s something worth looking at,” Harold said approvingly.

He had seen that piece a thousand times over. It was that famous portrait of a man playing a piano. Everyone had it in their childhood home, and he was no different. That same portrait stood proudly for many years in the home where his children grew up. He and his wife took separate trips down memory lane as they gazed upon the work of art. And, for a split second, Harold was happy. He even flashed a smile.

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“Oh, Harold,” Harriett said sweetly. “Remember when you used to play?”

He grunted and quickly peddled back to where he left grumpy old Harold. “I don’t play no more!”

“I just don’t know why you sto–”

“You know exactly why I stopped!”

She cupped her mouth in her hands as if she was trying to prevent herself from crying. “It’s been 32 years, Harold. You need to move on.”

“I still blame you.”

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