With nobody else home, Todd figured he’d wander around his grandparents’ house to innocently rummage through all their rooms and closets filled with ancient odds and ends. His grandparents were tender folks, and they never disallowed him from exploring their home; nevertheless, as he found his way into his grandfather’s study room, he drifted around as gently and quietly as possible, feeling as if he shouldn’t even disturb the decades of stillness that had settled into everything within there. He permitted his gaze to waft over the trinkets and shelves and pictures, and he even met a few with his hands directly. Eventually, he couldn’t resist any longer moving over to the centre of the room and daring to open one of the drawers in the large wooden desk, which brought along a little fluttery feeling in his stomach. He knew his grandfather had been a novelist most of his life, so Todd wasn’t necessarily surprised to find the desk filled with various pages marked by lines and scribbles — all primarily fiction. His eyes were coaxed over to one page in particular. It was mostly dialogue, which made sense because conversations between people were always some of the most interesting things to pay attention to; and this one appeared to be the discussion between an old man and a young one. Knowing full well that there was nobody around he still quickly peaked up to be sure he was alone and sat on the floor to read the paragraph in his hands. He started here:

After their spell of silence, this said the elder man to the youth beside him: ‘Your despondency stands to reason; it is within our humanity to fall upon occasion.’

The younger man answered him, ‘I do not care to hear the reason for our errors or what I am to gain from them.’

‘Why we err,’ responded the old man, ‘is not equal in importance as to what we do and decide regardless of it. Fall we will, inevitably; the most important thing to accomplish is standing again afterwards. Never surrender yourself to a failure, son. Your very life depends upon your determination to never give up.’

‘Unto what end?’ said the other. ‘What difference would it finally entail if I spent the entirety of my existence falling and rising and falling again?’

Even more gently than before, the young man’s aged companion answered, saying, ‘I am confident you will find a much less-despairing end. As your time goes along, after you have stumbled but embraced your power of choice to persevere through shame to accept the grace to lift yourself again, you will discover presently that it becomes easier stand, and that the falls are much less frequent. It shall come to such a point that one day, you will stop for a moment to realise that you are standing, where previously you would have naturally fallen, all due to the fact that you hadn’t given up before but learned to lift yourself each time.’

Todd heard the front door un-close and close again, and he was yanked from his absorption. Feeling, however, that he had learned what he needed to learn from his exploration, he returned the pages to their tomb and shut the drawer. As quietly as he had entered, he exited the office and scampered into the kitchen to see if his grandmother required any help to bring in the groceries.