January 15th, 1:00 PM
Harlem, Mr. Pierce’s TownhouseTheme
Time waits for no man.
An ironically timeless quote that could apply to any person on the planet. Virgil was no different. Time marched forward, and life moved on. Virgil toured Sharon all through New York; bought a few souvenirs. She made sure he saved her precious picture of him with the celeb on everything she could. Then, he dropped her off at the airport, just yesterday.
It was kinda nuts how, when you don’t see them in a long time, you could forget just how much someone could get on your nerves. It’s like when you’re separate, bad memories fade into the good ones instead. Just how much you miss them outweighs whatever beef may have been had in the past. Sharon was a prime example, fortunate and unfortunate.
Yet, that line of thinking made him think of something else that happened in the weeks passed. That feeling of familiarity, of missing something. Though, in this instance, it was like the pain hit dead even with the nostalgia. It kept him up at night, at war with himself. Which sucked, because if you fought yourself, who would win?
As smart as Virgil was, with this whole education-- looking at a degree in the not-so-distant future, he couldn’t figure it out. Of course, he couldn’t go to his dad who always seemed to have the answers to these types of things.
So, he went to the second smartest person he knew. He used to visit him all the time when he first got to the city that never slept. But, the high voltage hero distanced himself after a while without realizing. Despite whatever minor doubt he may have felt, here he was, standing in front of Mr. Pierce’s door.
Virgil glanced down at his red chuck taylor’s and took a breath. Four raps against the wooden prism and he waited. There was some silence that followed.
Did...did he even live here anymore? He was probably looking dumb, knocking on the door to this old house in between two storybook height apartment buildings. He raised his hand to knock again, but lowered it, turning back to walk down the ramp.
Before he could take a step though, he heard the doorknob unlock, and then turn. His eyes followed the door as it opened, with no one behind it. It just led to the somewhat dark inside, facing a hall and stairway. Virgil’s thoughts were first confused, but he consciously switched his senses off of autopilot. He immediately noticed a burst of energy that would be found more expectedly in Midtown. There was a jolt of hope.
“Well, I be damned…it’s been a while since the kid made an appearance ‘round these parts.
” The voice echoed from upstairs, followed by rolling noise.
There was a certain railing on each side of the steps, as one would imagine would be for old people who need special chairs to get up and down. Though, rolling down the stairway on those rails, was a wheelchair instead. Though, as if gravity bent to its will, it rolled slowly, controlled and deliberate.
Sitting in it, was none other than Mr. Jefferson Pierce himself. Of course, only few knew him as anything other than the former two-time Olympic gold medalist: Pierce Lightning. Though his afro had reduced to short grey hairs, they still stood firm on his head. Though his legs were numb, he appeared no less comfortable in his skin. No weaker in his stature.
Virgil couldn’t help but stare for a second at his childhood hero with some amazement. He caught himself though, as the man was reaching the bottom of the stairs.“Uh...Hey, Mr. Pierce.”
Virgil managed to get out.
“Now, what’d I tell you boy? ‘Mr. Pierce’ is my father. All that formality, does it look like I’m workin’?
” “What would you rather me call you? ‘Mistah J’?”
Virgil quipped, and they both laughed. Mr. Pierce magnetically unlatched his chair from the railing.
“Nah. It’s good to see you, Virgil. Come on in, don’t act like a stranger now. Catch me up with how things’ve been.
” He reaffirmed, rolling through an archway to the left that led to the family room.
Virgil smiled, now able to breathe much easier. He made his way in, wirelessly shutting the door behind him.
At least this hadn’t changed...