I watched a bird upon a fragile stem;
It seemed it would surely break with him;
He did not seem to worry or to mind,
For all his swaying in the wind.
He sat erect & sang his lilting song
He felt so very sure, so very strong.
FOR HE HAD WINGS!
(“Oldie goldie” poem I came accross. Don’t know the author.)
Ted looked down at the paper, small, white and official it delineated his worst nightmare. He was tired and redundant.
He’d seen it coming of course, read the writing on the wall, they needed new, young blood in the executive pool. So what now? At least there was a hefty severance payment involved.
He looked around at the immaculate walls and fancy décor. If only Ellen hadn’t induced him to buy this place (or the hundred other things) he’d be sitting pretty, could have gone into early retirement. She had not taken it well, demanding he find another job and fast, but that wouldn’t be easy at his age…
He looked out through the French windows eyes drifting over the landscaped garden, picturing only the bills yet to be paid for its contours. Then his eyes lit on a bird, a robin, seeking worms in the newly mowed lawn. He envied its freedom, no house, no mortgage and no grasping wife.
He sat pondering as it hopped to and fro. Suppose he was that free what would he do? He’d sell this place for starters. He’d never wanted it in the first place. He’d buy a small cottage outright and live on his severance pay for awhile, maybe he’d take that early retirement they’d offered and enjoy what years he had left far from office politicking… or maybe he’d freelance a bit…
The more he thought the more the obnoxious paper transformed. It had become his ticket to freedom! Ellen could come along for the trip if she wanted or she could go stay with those rich relatives she was always on about and see how long that lasted. He loved her, but he’d had enough, was her attachment to him or his ability to supply those things she lusted after. Time would tell. Looking out at the robin he smiled as he sipped his coffee, he felt oddly free!