• R. E. Maynard

Paper Plane

Like an alarm sounded in his brain, he shot from his bed startled. Silence then captured his attention, as the proof of morning crept through the blinds in his bedroom. A week ago, this outgoing man might had planned to visit some sites around the city. A pandemic raged through the community and he for one was a germophobic man with no tolerance for such a widespread presence.

The same routine gave him a daily ritual to regiment, even though, he typically loved awakening to an early morning hike or something adventurous. The news channels reported daily instructions, however, as divided resources go—the contradictions caused him to leave the television off now. No recreational activities felt suitable after days of puzzles and reading books caused him to rethink such time spent.

The man lived on the eleventh floor of a tall apartment building. He took a stack of construction paper and began to write a meaningful statement on each colored piece. After the stack had a variety of expressions written on them, he folded the stack into paper airplane shapes. Opening his bedroom window, he now looked down upon a world of essential workers passing by on the sidewalks on their way to imperative jobs.

These people scurried about the streets, masked for protection, and distant from one another due to restrictions mandated by the Governor. Suddenly, the paper planes flew gracefully through the air with an attractive appeal to the dull morning commute. People raced to catch one of these paper planes and revealed a simple statement inside. Each reaction appeared exactly the same response, as the proof of smiles brightened the gloom of a once dreadful moment shared.

Each plane revealed the expression written in perfect cursive and they read, “I love you. Thank you.”

A delighted man released felt freed from the solitude as his last paper plane launched from the window into the sky. He walked into the living room and plopped down in his comfy recliner. Finally, he felt no need to entertain the television or and other activities for just a brief moment, while the few moments flurrying paper messages of hope now fulfilled the remainder of his day with a calming presence from within a grateful heart. He sat silent until he nodded into another nap.

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