Walter waited in the back corner of the cafe. Although the constant staring and whispering from relative strangers had subsided, it was still simpler for him not to invite more attention by sitting out in the open.
It had been 6 months now since the Towers had crumbled and it was becoming easier to deal with the sadness that period brought him. He felt for those who died for him. And those who died for William Unston. He thought about Lucy a lot. Every day he remembered her in her brightest light. He had forgotten her imperfections, her missteps and ultimately her betrayal. She was the Lucy Blues he always wanted. The one girl he would always remember and she was gone.
The bell attached to the door of the cafe sung out and a man leaning heavily on a walking stick slowly entered. Nothing brought more sadness and guilt to Walter than the sight of Stevie. The man who sacrificed so much just for Walter’s wellbeing was left crippled and broken. Walter had spent the majority of those first three months waiting in the hospital for Stevie to wake up. He paid for all the medical expenses including the physiotherapy and the carers. He even spent a month caring for Stevie out of the hospital but it was agonising work.
The man had lost his hope in the world. He had learnt to walk again not through positive reinforcement and support, instead through embracing his anger to the world. More than once he had blamed Walter for everything that happened; asked him what it was all for. What good has come of it?
He would apologise afterwards, but he was right. What had Walter achieved? Why was he here?
Walter stood and smiled, shaking Stevie’s hand. Stevie looked warm and welcoming as he rested his walking stick beside the table. “Walter, what did I tell you about giving me that look?”
“Sorry,” Walter said, smiling. “How have you been?”
“Holding up. Every day is another day.” Stevie slowly lowered himself down to his seat. Walter made to support him but Stevie waved him away.”Yourself?”