Summary: A policeman have to take an old lady to her house with a police car because she forgets her way home, but they end up going somewhere far.
Gregory Wayland parked his police car near the gate of a school. He would be patrolling this neighborhood today. The road was pleasantly uncrowded, and so was the sky. Another calm morning, he thought. He found his job as a Police Community Support Officer dull—he hardly found any interesting case here in Adel, a North Leeds suburb.
Greg was listening to the radio as somebody knocked the window. He stepped out of his car, and was greeted by a young boy with an old lady standing beside him.
The boy said that she found her at the corner of the street, looking bewildered. She wanted to go home, but apparently she did not even remember the way. So, Greg agreed to take the lady home. It was his duty, anyway.
“People call me Mrs Finn,” she said with a smile as Greg helped her sit in the passenger seat. “Oh, and this is my first time riding a panda car, you know.”
“Oh, I’m sure everybody doesn’t even want to ride this even for the first time, ma’am. I usually take criminals. And I’m Officer Greg, by the way,” replied the bearded fifty-year-old man. He liked Mrs Finn; she dressed neatly and she smelled nice. She brought nothing but a small handbag. She was also looked like a woman of wit and intelligence. But well, even smart people could be forgetful as they grew older.
Greg asked Mrs Finn’s address, but she ended up talking about other things. So Greg drove his car around with no clue but “mulberry” because Mrs Finn mentioned it frequently. He took her to the Mulberry Avenue, terraced housings, but she said she did not live there. The houses were empty anyway.
He then drove the car farther to the countryside, following his instinct—or actually following Tile Lane that would brought them to the woods near the town. Greg made a triumphant smile when Mrs Finn suddenly got excited as they were passing the trees on both side along the road. He was not sure if they were still in the Tile Lane or had reached farther to Spring Hill, but he knew he was driving to the right way.
She then pointed her finger towards a big, lonely tree that stood sturdily in the middle of the field. She shouted, “There it is!”
Greg nodded and stopped the car. He walked Mrs Finn towards that old tree—a mulberry tree. Ha! Why did not he think of it? He should have had known what she meant.
“It’s the gate, Officer Greg.” Said her.
What gate? Greg looked around and saw no house nearby; only a barn, and he knew she would not live there. “Uh, but I see no door, Mrs Finn. Or is there any secret passageway that leads into somewhere like, your house, maybe?”
“Who said I’m going home? Here is fine, Officer Greg.” Mrs Finn caressed its trunk, and then sat on the ground.
Okay. She was going senile. Greg moved one, two steps behind.
“Where are you going, my dear? Sit. You look like you just saw a ghost.”
Greg gave her a weird look, but he eventually sat on the grass. He liked the cool air here, though. It was refreshing. He could made this place his sanctum.
“You know,” started Mrs Finn, “Chinese people believe that mulberry tree is the link between Earth and Eastern Heaven. It is the gate, you see? Whenever I missed my late daughter, I always go here. My son-in-law used to take me here but since he works out of town, I rarely come.” She sighed, “But, you know, my grandchild always scold me if I stayed here too long. She said there’s no use in mourning the dead. ‘Leave her be, Gran-gran!’ But I’m not mourning. I just missed my daughter… But then I realized my grandchild was mad because she was the one who missed her mother. Oh, she needs company. She needs me. Since then, I realized that we should cherish those who live—the ones we have left.”
So, this is it. Greg nodded sagely. “Do not pity the dead,” he said.
“But pity the living.” Mrs Finn finished his line, and then they both smiled.
A while later, Mrs Finn’s son arrived with his truck. He had been looking for her for hours, he said. He thanked Greg for accompanying his adventurous mother. Mrs Finn only bawled to him for being so mean; apparently he wanted her to go to nursing homes but she refused, so she ran away.
“That would be the last place I’m going to visit! The food is awful, I heard, and I hate those fake-smiled nurses. I know they despise us—us, the old bats. I’d rather have you nursing me at home, William, no matter how mean you are because I know you actually love me. Right, my dear?”
Greg laughed, Mrs Finn winked at him and said, “You know, mulberries don’t bud until all danger of frost is past, and when they do produce buds, it happens so quickly they bloom beautifully. We should be like them!”
With that, she waved goodbye.
Greg went home alone, still thinking what Mrs Finn’s last words meant. He might not have something to do with it, but the words were stuck on his head.
And then a word popped in his mind.
“Oh, right…” He suddenly stopped his car and grabbed his mobile.
“Hello, Moorfield House Nursing Homes? I’d like to speak with, uh, Mrs Wayland. Yes. Mother, it’s me. How are you? Do they treat you well? No? Ah, I knew it. Mum, let’s live together. Yeah, I was the one who sent you there. I’m sorry, Mother. I-I missed you. Should’ve not left you there. Yes, I said that I don’t know how I should take care of you—but now I do: I have to be patient, like the mulberries.”
Thanks to Dika Satya Kameswara for proofreading, correcting my grammar, and giving ideas for the title, and to Rizki Puji Gustian, Adetya Sarah, and Shifa Amali Firdaus for correcting my grammar.
– Google Map. Adel, North Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Adelfirstname.lastname@example.org,-1.5701866,14z)
– Wikipedia. “Law enforcement in the UK” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_Kingdom)
– eHow. “Mulberry tree symbolism” (http://www.ehow.com/about_6127710_mulberry-tree-symbolism.html)
– Yates, David (Dir.) 2011. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. United Kingdom: Warner Bros. Pictures.
Word count: (991)