Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Title: Kind Words
Written By: Dizzy
Jerome huffed as he walked a little behind Saul. During summer and fall, the trail was wide enough for two people to walk next to each other. But in winter, a one person footpath was all that was trampled in the snow. Looking up, he decided that a half hour more was all that they had before new snow would fall.
As they rounded the curve in the path, Jerome gave a silent prayer of relief. A small log wasn't too far away. A good place to stop and catch their breath. He'd quit smoking twenty years ago, but the damage had already been done. Combine smoker's lungs with cold damp air and breathing became a struggle.
Listening to his boy mumble, Jerome just smiled. They'd been together for so long, that the term boy might seem odd to someone else, but it fit their relationship and what they meant to each other perfectly. Saul was his Brat, his boy. And right now, his boy needed. Needed to walk, needed to breathe the fresh air, needed to decompress.
"Saul," Jerome called out as they neared the log. "Let's sit for awhile. My legs aren't as young as they used to be."
Turning around, Saul scowled. "And your lungs aren't as healthy as they should be."
Nodding his head in consensus, Jerome allowed his boy the grouchy statement. Then he looked at Saul. Looked with a capital L. Jerome knew his message had been heard loud and clear when Saul dropped his eyes first.
Swiping his hand across the log, Jerome swept most of the snow off. Saul sat down a moment after he did. Jerome heard his deep sigh.
"You do such a good job with the seminars," Jerome said. "The men look up to you. Not because you lecture them. You do more than that. You care."
"I'm sorry," Saul whispered. "I don't know why I do this. The obsession before, the worry and the feeling of let down after. You'd think I'd get used to it."
"No, I don't think. I think if you do get used to it, then maybe you shouldn't do anymore seminars," Jerome argued. "I saw a quote the other day. Do you want to know what it was?"
Saul looked at him and then grinned. "You shouldn't ask a question if you only want one answer."
Laughing, Jerome said, "You'd think I'd have learned that after so many years with you. Let me rephrase that. I want to tell you a quote I saw the other day." He waited until Saul looked at him. "The quote said, 'one kind word can change someone's entire day'. Saul, you change people's entire lives with your words. Your kind and thoughtful words in the seminars. In your classes. In your day to day interactions. Take pride in that. And if you can't take pride in that, then let me take pride in it for you."
Jerome watched as Saul swallowed hard. He knew that Saul was swallowing the tears that threatened to come. Jerome had pushed hard enough for tonight. They would head back to the cabin, drink a hot cup of cocoa, and make love in front of a roaring fire. And Jerome would shower Saul with kind words. His boy deserved them, because about thirty years ago, Saul had said one kind word to him, and changed his entire life.
Leaning over, Jerome kissed Saul on top of his head. He whispered his plan to him and then took his hand. "Come on, Brat. Let's go back to the cabin."