The alarm clock buzzes. Marvin turns it off. Another working day. He’s not sure which day and he doesn’t care. It’s Wednesday, he realizes. “What difference does it make?” he thinks. Every day feels the same, these days, even the weekends. The alarm doesn’t wake his wife. Things haven’t been too rosy between them lately and he doesn’t know why. Then there’s his job. He’d rather not think about that. He lies in bed for a while. “It’s been so long since I’ve been happy. So long since I’ve had even one happy day,” he thinks. He visualizes his childhood, the long carefree days of sun and play. That usually makes him feel better, but not today. “Why did those days end?” he thinks.
He gets out of bed, feeling old and tired, but he’s not that old. He’s middle aged. His toes, ankles and knees crack as he makes his way to the bathroom. He looks into the mirror and notices a few more grey hairs. His eyelids are itchy and his eyes are a little red. Another day. Part of him wishes it was his last. He thinks of what it might be like if he got really old and the thought depresses him more. He uses the toilet, showers, brushes his teeth and shaves, moving slowly the whole time.
He enters his daughter’s room. It’s half dark. Light seeps in around the window shade. The four-year-old is asleep, completely still and quiet. He looks at her for a while. She’s so perfect, delicate and innocent. He wants to protect her, love her and care for her. He bends down very quietly and kisses her lightly on her cheek. “I love you,” he whispers.
He looks up at the small picture of Mary on the wall. She’s pointing to her heart. Oddly, the heart seems radiant and glowing, its colours vibrant. He blinks hard, but the image doesn’t change. Mary looks at him with tender compassion. She seems to understand. He looks at the strange image for a while and wonders if he’s dreaming. He’s sure he’s not, as new hope rises within him.