Mr. Roe

“I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” the nurse chastised Mr. Roe. “Let’ go home.”

“No,” Mr. Roe refused. “I’m taking Peter home.”

“Who is Peter?” the nurse placed her hands to her hips when she became annoyed by him.

“Peter,” Mr. Roe pointed to the boy standing next to him. “He lives in the orphanage by the church and I’m going to take him there.”

“Don’t be absurd, Mr. Roe. The orphanage is on the other side of the city,” the nurse argued. “You’ll never get there walking.”

“I promised to take him home,” Mr. Roe became stubbor. “And that is what I will do.”

“Rubbish,” said the nurse. “Get in the car. We will take him home.”

With that said, Mr. Roe begrudgingly agreed. He and Peter piled in the back seat while the nurse sat in the passenger seat with the driver.

“Hallo, Mr. Roe,” the driver greeted him.

“Hallo, Honore,” Mr. Roe greeted back.

“Did ye get lost again?” the driver asked him.

Mr. Roe didn’t respond. He was rather upset the nurse had found him. “They always treat me like I’m an idiot,” he grumbled to Peter.

“They probably mean well,” Peter assured him.

“If they did, they wouldn’t treat me like a common fool. I know how to take care of myself.”

“Maybe they worry about you,” Peter said.

“They sure have a funny way of showing it.”

“Father Clery always said, people have strange way of showing their kindness.”

Mr. Roe preferred to assume otherwise. They reached the orphanage and Peter said goodbye to Mr. Roe. It was now time for Mr. Roe to go home. They pulled up at a large, white manor. There was a sign above the door that read, ‘Bedland Asylum.’ Mr. Roe became crestfallen.

“This couldn’t be,” Mr. Roe mumbled.

“We are here,” the driver said.

“Where?” Mr. Roe hoped they were mistaken.

“Home, of course,” replied the nurse.

“No,” fear gripped Mr. Roe’s chest.

The nurse guided him inside and as they walked in the foyer, he glanced at the mirror he always looked into when he walked out the door. His face was grief stricken. He clasped his top hat with one hand and gripped his cane with another as the driver and the nurse pulled him inside.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Mr. Roe asked his reflection as it stared back at him abashed. “You were supposed to be my friend. You told me it was temporary.”

“I couldn’t,” his friend said. “I didn’t want to upset you.”

“No,” begged Mr. Roe. “You lied to me. You lied.”

The driver leans toward the nurse and whispers, “Who’s he talking to?”

“I don’t know,” said the nurse.

On Talking Terms