Vincent walked on. The streets were never like this. The awareness kills him. Why did he not acknowledge her? Surely what they shared for two years meant something? But circumstances forebade. He needed her to let him go. They were not meant to have met. If he had in someway stepped forward, Mindy would be hurt all over again. Love is blind? Love unkind. Beauty is skin deep. Keep it at bay.

Marcia is the true love of his life. Every breath he took, he did it for her. He could not bear seeing her so frail on her final lap. Vincent never expected to be counted among the unfaithful. It just happened. Mindy was a sweet, thoughtful girl and everything one would hope for in a daughter. Such a bigot he was! Gone was his inflated ego and his mindless comments on the man-next-door or so-and-so's missus. Sudden fleeting images of Mindy resting her head on his shoulders. He floated in and out of his consciousness. Mostly enveloped in joyful images of Marcia. And at times flashes of total confusion. Mindy smiled and waved..or was it Marcia? Plough on, he muttered breathlessly. He recoiled when the date on the calendar reminded him it was Marcia's fourtieth day on the respirator. Her eyes were still closed. Good thing was, she looked so at ease. Comforting. Vincent swept his guilt aside this once. He needed to focus. Pray, Vincent! Pray.

Vincent was careful in his dressing, not loud nor flaunting. He glanced at the other in the mirror. Not bad for a guy your age, he scuffles gleefully. Without a day missed, he took the usual path. Another day. He trundled along the pebbled pathway dreamily. His memory skipped. He could not recall what he had planned to do. But all was good. No call meant another day of blessing. When would Tina arrive to see her ailing mother? The plane from San Jose was not due till 5 p.m. Vincent decided to take a detour to the community library for a cuppa. He loved the scones and donuts. Armed with his read for the day, he awaited the return of his only child. Hurry, Baby. Daddy is here, waiting.

Why does life need to be so complicated?
Everyone deserves a break sometimes. Vincent turned. A child was creating quite a ruckus by the far side of the cafe. Dumbass! He noticed a woman staring into space by a perambulator. No one seemed perturbed except he. What to do? Vincent winced. Was she in some kind of trance? Just as he was about to lend a hand, a gentleman in a taupe suit approached the distraught woman. A regular crazy day, thought Vincent to himself. It was not before long his timer set off that he came to realize he had been there longer than he ought. He had better get going if he wanted to meet Tina.

The scent of adventure was all he caught. Throngs of teenagers dressed like Korean pop stars loitered the departure hall. Youths! Tina, bright-eyed and sexy, waved frantically with both arms as she spotted Vincent. Tears welled up when they embraced. Exchanges were made quite ruefully. In no time, both father and daughter were on their way to the hospital.

The tubes. The smell. It was all he could take. Marcia his love was reduced to just this. Tina held her mother's hand and sang. Vincent felt dizzy for a while. He grabbed the bedrail for support. The doctors were less than hopeful at this point and he felt numb to it all.

It is evening once again, Love. Vincent was sure Marcia heard. She smiled when he kissed her on her cheek. Just like old times, they walked to watch the sunset together.