Huddled on a hard wooden park bench in an old faded black suit and tattered pair of Velcro sneaker, John Addey tried to wring out the warmth from the blanket that once had belonged to his wife. The cold autumn air in London engulfed him just as her passing did years before.
His once full scalp of golden hair had turned into a retreating hair line and balding patch which contributed to his dishevelled appearance. The lines that circled his eyes stood out as a prominent feature on his aged face which emitted an air of hardship and pain.
Sinking deeper into the blanket, John supressed a groan of discontent that was bound to escape out of his lips. Autumn once had been his favourite season, with all its warm hues and the crunch of leaves underfoot which blanketed the London ground.
He and his wife Mary used to go for long walks through St James Park during the season and then buy coffee and a slice of chocolate cake – to share – at a nearby café.
Now however it was all different.
Ten autumns had passed and yet he had not had the courage to fix his life again. He was too proud a man to admit he was at fault. He went from being one of the richest men in London to a vagrant roaming around shelters.
This autumn was no different from any of the previous ones after his Mary’s passing. He remembered it as though it was yesterday; the day Mary had lost her battle to cancer. He sat with her day and night not leaving her side unless it was necessity. His world revolved around hers and he would have done anything and everything in his power to keep a smile on her angelic face.
She was the smile which graced his lips and the laugh that erupted out of his chest. Mary had been the only person to love him for his being and not his worldly possessions. She was the pure flower in his tainted and grotesque garden.
The day she died so did had spirit. The once dignified man became dependant on alcohol. Every night his presence would grace a different bar and his pounds the owner’s pockets.
There was nothing left for him.
With the shedding of leaves, his dignity floated to the floor as well, leaving him with the pains of autumn.