Title: The Boy
This story is part of the Glimpses of Ben Series.
The old woman watched out the window, her arms wrapped about her body. Her gray hair was pulled back severely. In her hand she held an envelope with an official seal across the flap. She watched the path that led to the house as memories drifted through her thoughts.
He'd been so small and alone, his dark curly head held tightly to his Father's chest. His little hands clamped on the belt of his father's uniform as his father tried to place his sleeping form on the bed. He had been so young when he came to them she thought. She remembered his first days with them as he cried and slept and wouldn't talk. He'd been so stubborn, so lost. They had not been able to console him. His tears finally faded away to be replaced by a stoic little look. His shinning little eyes were so dull for a while.
She remembered his disgust at being kept home and in bed the first few days after the otter incident. But he'd never said a word about who had flung the dead otter. She smiled at the sense of justice he had had for such young boy.
Remembering all the hours she had stood here waiting for the boy to return from another trek into the woods alone, she grew anxious for it wasn't that long ago that he'd been beaten by the seal poachers. She hated when he was gone longer than he had planned.
Twelve years of memories of his little face growing into a young man's ever increasingly serious personality. Twelve years of preparing him for a life on his own. Twelve years of preparing herself for this day.
The boy entered the clearing that surround the cabin his grandparents lived in with a soft smile. He 'd been on a two-day trip. He knew was a few hours late and that for all her pretense at scolding him his grandmother would be pleased to see him safely home.
He saw her as he approached the cabin. She waved an envelope towards him. Rushing up he took her in his young arms and hugged her before taking the envelope into his own hands. His hands shook as he opened the letter and scanned its contents.
He whooped and grabbing her into bone-rattling hug before dancing around the room with her. Setting her down he gave her a kiss and thrust the letter into her hands. "I've got to call my dad," he whispered and ran out the door heading for the phone in the village.
She read the letter and wept. She knew she would always call him the boy. But, boy he was no longer he was leaving home. Soon the cabin would be filled with the silence of his absence. Her smile became a frown.