Image from the Past – TLWM 10C

She squinted, focused on the object — a picture, no, a drawing. A cartoon, a caricature. Of Gary, his girth absurdly exaggerated, holding a tennis racket, a ball bouncing behind him. Drawn by . . .

She remembered the caricature, from a Crasob Engineering company picnic, several summers ago, before the move into the new building. They had hired a cartoonist. Gary was one of her last subjects, and even the cartoonist wasn’t happy with the result. Jane asked for the easel and ink, said she wanted to see if she remembered anything from her art classes in college. Five minutes later, she showed her work to Gary, who howled in appreciation.

Jane hadn’t known Gary had framed it, hung it on his dining room wall. His caricature — drawn by her.

Or at least, the her she used to be, before she had wakened that Monday morning nearly a month ago. A woman who, according to the claims of Gary and her mother and all her friends in whom she’d confided, had been an adept CAD operator, had been perfectly comfortable with the telecommunication technology she now found so alien, had owned the car she now didn’t recognize. A woman who also had yet to experience so many life-changing events — her father’s sickness, meeting Brad, the murder of Wings’ brother. Jane studied the caricature again, and wondered if the person she was now could honestly take credit for the work of her younger self.

A ball of light shown on the upper corner of the picture glass, grew larger, then disappeared. The sound of tires on pavement — Jane saw Gary turn from Wings, head towards the front door — “That must be Arjie.”

Hilda had finished her conversation with Dr. Patel by the time Gary arrived back in the dining room, followed by Arjie. Not for the first time, Jane noticed the contrast in body size between short, rotund Gary and tall, thin Arjie. Gary rushed over to the snack-laden table at the side of the room, commanded everyone to please, eat!


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