“It’s winter now. The first snow is falling and here I sit”
A glass of bourbon is placed on the recessed windowsill. John looks out longingly through the snow, past the expanse of the park, beyond the ocean on the horizon.
“Times were simpler then. You see hate had all but disappeared in the world. Nothing was really left in humanities way. Borders had little more than symbolic markers. The world was one. It is hard to believe how nice it was then,” his pause giving way to a sip. “There was an understanding. Humans were just that and nothing more or less.”
“The world hasn’t always been this way?” Simoana asks taking a seat where the glass had.
“It was long ago, before the war. So many died for the masses to realize what was happening,” bourbon passes his lips once more before setting the glass next to his granddaughter. “’The Final War’ as we called it put life in perspective. Governments around the world toppled. And in their hollowed halls a new world was formed. For the benefit of all people. Sadly it seems that people have forgotten, that differences are purely conceived in the mind. Whether ideological, political, national, racial, shit even sexual the only difference is in someone’s mind. People don’t have to agree. As far I always saw it no one, myself included was more right than someone else. Except in science and math. People no matter how crazy you believed their way of life to be was no more wrong than you,” John says poking his finger into her shoulder, before finishing his drink.
Simoana looks at him curiously. John stare returned to the horizon. She watches the snow full gently.
“Why did they forget?” he refocuses on her eyes “The charities were closed because they weren’t needed. Life was good,” John examines the empty glass for another drop, “Will you stay tonight? Your room is ready,” looking back to her.
“I will…” Simoana sniffles, wipes her nose, and continues, “Let’s get you to bed.” Removing the glass from his hand and placing it next to the empty bottle on the sill.
She wheels him to his bed, pulls back the covers, and helps the old man to bed.
“You know I love you, right Simoana?”
She kisses his forehead, “I do, and I love you too,” tucking him in, “now you sleep tight.”
“I have no choice with the way you tuck me in,” John chuckles, which leads to a short cough.
“Well I can’t have you running off in the night,” Simoana says with a half-smile, “Good night old man, I love you.”
“Good night my dear. Be better than them.”
Simoana clears her throat. “My grandfather’s last words to me were, ‘Be better than them.’ You see my grandfather believed a past had gone by that never had. He would tell me of a time when the world was equal, all people were free, and hatred did not exist. He, He would tell me about how people once knew how to take care of each other. A time when no one went hungry, everyone had an education, no person was better than another. My entire family knew he had lost it a while ago. He, he may not have remembered the world the way it was. But he hated it for what it is. He had replaced his past with what he wanted it to be, his loving family in a world that made sense. His life was simple. But his heart was big. He wanted people to love people, for nothing more than the fact that they were people. No one was right. Everyone was wrong, in someone’s eyes. But, ‘Why should that matter?’ he would ask. ‘You could only be right in science or math,’ he told me. Though this world would have us believe otherwise I began to believe him. ‘No one is better than you, and you are better than no one.’ I wish more people thought that way. I know if they did we’d all be a lot better off. I always will. Thank you Grandpa. I love you.” She steps down from the pulpit, places a rose on his casket, and sits down beside her sobbing mother.