Gift: Chester

It turns out that Charlie's name is actually Chester (oops).

I arrived home late last night to find Chester in his wheelchair in the hallway of our condo building. Frightened, he told me of three men who had brought him back from a hospital and ‘drugged the two children’ sleeping in the bedroom. The elderly are vulnerable; who was I not to believe him?

I took a deep breath and walked in to find only an immaculate, sparsely appointed apartment. When I broke it to him that no one was there, he reacted in horror, jaw dropping, raising both hands to cup his cheeks. Eyes watering, ‘The poor children!’

We sat together in the middle of the night, looking west, repeating the same conversation over and over, his memory constantly lapsing (his family assured us everyone was fine). This man's independence looked an awful lot like loneliness.

His daughter called me his guardian angel - untrue. But even though his name is Chester, I suspect I wouldn't mind being, as Yee put it, ‘Charlie's Angel.’