6 Months Later


Now that Lennie is out of the way, I guess that I can actually do something
with my life. But, It\'s been 6 months since leaving the farm and I still don\'t
have a job. Oh, here\'s a sign. A mentally handicapped hospital needs an
attendant. I can do that, and it pays well too. $150 a month. "At that rate,
I\'ll be able to get that land soon enough. Ain\'t that right," I asked Candy? "We
sure are," he replied with enthusiasm. As we stepped into the complex, the first
thing I saw was the reception desk with a young, pretty, receptionist sitting
behind the desk, polishing her nails. Lennie would have enjoyed watching her I
pondered. She asked us what we wanted, and I told her that we were just here to
find out \'bout the job. After getting a quick overview and job description, I
was ready to work right away. Candy was also lucky enough to get hired as a
nurse for $100 a month. I stepped into the bedroom and I saw about 25 kids
sitting around a middle-aged man, listening to a story. As I stepped in, the
story teller stepped over to me and told me what I had to do. Educate them and
talk to them. That was it. I was getting paid $150 just to teach a group of
handicapped kids. I sat down next to the story teller, Bob, and I looked around
and carefully observed them. As I did this, I could see Lennie\'s face flashing
in my mind. What was happening to me. Why couldn\'t he just leave me alone. I
survived through my first day of work, reluctantly. The hospital also provided
housing. That night, I had the most horrible dream of my life. I could see
Lennie petting hundreds of rabbits, one at a time. But he was crying and
screaming in rage. The rabbits were dying. "George, why do they die? Don\'t let
them die George, please. Can I still tend the rabbits? I know I done a bad
thing," exclaimed Lennie. I got up, screaming. "Lennie, please leave me alone,
please," I asked. It was silent. Nobody was awake. I looked like a complete
nut with all those kids, including Candy, staring at me. Candy just went back to
sleep. He was the only one that could understand the pain that I was going
through. This happened to me several nights after the first nightmare. Each one
would consist of rabbits, lots of them, and Lennie. After a while, they just
told me to leave because they thought that the kids were already tortured with
their own handicaps. Candy wanted to stay, so I told him that I would come back
for him when I gathered enough money. After one day alone, I had done a lot of
thinking. Mostly about Lennie and the others, but one thing I thought a lot
about was the things Lennie said. "I could go off to the mountains and find a
cave, you know. And I wouldn\'t eat any ketchup," he would say. Now that I think
about it and know what it feels like to be alone, I am glad that Lennie stayed
with me the whole time, till death had separated the two of us. I also realize
that he always obeyed me and tried really hard to help me. He tried so hard to
keep those pups alive, and yet they died. He was such a hard worker, worked
harder than any of us. I also realize that we couldn\'t do some of the things
that he could do. Such as understanding a person more deeply than any of us. He
knew more about myself than I did. And he always kept up to a task, like trying
to be able to remember. He could never do that. He would have taken good care of
those rabbits. If only he had a chance. He could prove to me, to everybody else,
and most importantly himself, that he was capable of doing something right. Sure
he killed Curly\'s wife, but she sure as hell was a bitch. She probably didn\'t
deserve to die, but Lennie didn\'t know any better? He probably thinks that she\'s
still alive, stupid boy. Wait a minute. I\'ll ask for one more chance at the
hospital, and then Candy and I could get ready to leave after just one month. I
guess I\'ll start to walk back the ten miles