I was the one who most often changed his diaper, wiped his butt, and powdered his balls when he was little. As he outgrew the diapers, he learned toilet habits from me, patiently explaining to him what to expect, how to tell when, and finally, accompanying me to the bathroom. If I was at home at his bedtime, I’d strip him and plop him in the tub for his bath. Will loved the water; he’d splash and play using a couple of measuring cups and an ice cream pail, pouring water from one to the other and back again; then empty them and start all over again. While he played, he would hum to himself, perhaps some song he’d heard on television or one I’d sing to him and, suddenly becoming aware of my presence, look up at me and smile that wonderful, innocent smile of his!
Pausing the tape, I leaned back, looked at my companion sitting across the desk from me in the den, and took another sip of my brandy. He was the only other person who knew of my role in this story, my almost failed attempt to return the kindness two dear friends showed me when they rescued me so many years before, and my relationship with the Cockaigne Agency. The many hours of tapes, given freely in hopes of encouraging others faced with dire circumstances, accused of the most heinous crimes, or seeing their life as without hope, not to despair but to believe everything will work out!
There is, I note, a value in believing love conquers all; the intense love of an older brother for a mentally challenged little brother and the willingness to do anything, even what might seem to be despicable to some, to provide for, care for, and ensure the future for him. If it meant the sacrifice of the most personal possession one has to offer to those unknown to him, then so be it! Doing so doesn’t diminish the value and meaning of your life, only enhances it because it is done out of love. The consequences of that sacrifice can and sometimes does backfire and have results unforeseen and unintended!
“This is a story I don’t believe I can do justice to by committing it to paper,” I concluded. “It involves more than just love; it involves secrets held and secrets kept and I don’t know if we should reveal them; even though he has no objection, I fail to see the value in doing so. We all have our secrets, don’t we? ”
“Why don’t we just listen to it instead and let them decide?” he proposed, nodding his head in agreement.
I rewound the tape, punched the “play” button, and leaned back in my chair, brandy in hand, to hear the story Jason called Where there’s Will, There’s a Way and extend an invitation to those who are interested in doing so to join us.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental or used in a fictional content.
The Literary works of Nicholas Hall are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America and are the property of the author.
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