Niemi – Hockey Skates

Outside the kitchen window, snow swirled in large looping loop de loops carried on by strong gusts of wind the activity mimicking the mind of Detective Niemi. The pen in his right hand tapped on a pad of paper where he had jotted notes about the case. Progress on the case had been slow, too slow. He tossed the pen onto the table. It bounced, flew off the edge and rolled under the kitchen counter.

Pushing his chair back, he stood up and strode to the spice cabinet. He opened the door, examining the upper hinge. One screw was missing and the other loose. He shut the door carefully, walked to the basement door, opened it and clicked on the light switch. As he trudged down the narrow stairway, stale, dusty air filled his lungs. Even though there was a three and a half inch clearance, he ducked on the bottom step to avoid bumping his head. He walked across the cement floor towards the cluttered work bench.

As he looked for a small Philips head screwdriver and burrowed through a mound of assorted nails and screws, he thought, “One of these days I got to organize this mess.”   Finding what he wanted, he turned and froze. David’s hockey equipment hung against the wall where his son, David, had last hung it to dry out. Niemi looked at a pair of Bauers, which he had bought for David two falls ago and David only had had the chance to wear four or five times. He paused, told him myself, “It’s time.” He carefully unhooked the skates and walked upstairs.

Sitting at the kitchen table, he used a soft damp cloth to gingerly clean the accumulation of two years of dust off the skates. The rust spotted blades would look like new with a good sharpening. He placed the clean skates on the table and then started fixing the cabinet door.

Happy with the work on the door, Niemi returned the Philips screwdriver to the workbench. Coming up the basement stairs, he heard Mrs. Niemi come into the house.  She yelled cheerfully, “I’m home.”  She walked into the kitchen and placed some bags of groceries on the kitchen table. She looked at the skates, slowly turned and asked in a dull tone, “What are you doing with David’s skates?”

It took several seconds for Niemi to respond, “I was thinking that Hanka kid could use them. He needs some new skates and it’s not like his parents can afford to buy them, so I thought we could give them to him.” He looked at his wife. “Is that ok with you?”

She walked over, gave her husband a hug, “Yes, it’s ok.”

(What feelings or emotions does this short scene generate?)

 

 

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