Sunday, August 29, 2010

If Only

The child was sitting at the dining table doing homework. The father cleaning up the dinner dishes. A gentle breeze helped itself through the house. Music was playing through the speakers in the outside courtyard. The evening was balmy yet cool.
“Father? Do you see Mother in your dreams?
“Sometimes I do.”
The father continues working. When he has finished he sits next to his daughter and watches her work.

“Mother comes to see me a lot you know. We sit and talk.”
The father smiles. “How is your homework coming along?
“Why do I have to study so hard?”
“It is what your mother would have wanted!”
“How would you know? You only met her once.”
The child regrets saying it as soon as it comes out of her mouth.
“I’m sorry father, I shouldn’t have said that.” She looks at her father and sees his eyes well up with tears.

“It’s Ok love.” He tells her as he gets up and pours himself a drink.
“I’ll just sit outside for a while. You finish up your work Ok.”
“I am sorry father; Mother did love you so very much. She told me all the time.”
“Homework first eh. Then we can chat about your mother.”

He heads off outside and sits in his usual chair. Light up a smoke he looks around the courtyard. The ferns and water feature look soothing in the fading sunlight. The whole area relaxes the mind and somehow sooths the soul. It is solitude for troubled minds.
“All finished Father, May I get a drink and sit with you for a while? I have some questions.”
Her father nods his approval.
She heads back inside and returns with two drinks one for him and one for herself.
He looks somewhat surprised. She never really liked him having a drink. Although he had cut back a lot from before he brought her here, it still seemed strange.
She takes a deep breath. “Mother told me all about you. That is before she passed away.”
“She spoke very highly of you. We would laugh together at some of the things she told me. You know the things you two talked about and how you behaved.”
He listens to her speak.
“Why didn’t you come and take her away with you? She really wanted that. Did you know that?”
Her father looks at his daughter lovingly.
“Circumstances were difficult back then. It was just the way things were. When it came time to …..” He sighs “To visit her it was too late.”
The girl looks at her father and smiles. “I hope when I fall in love it will be the same kind of love you and mother had.”
“Without all the heartache.” Her father adds.
“She always knew you loved her. She told me everyday.” The child mentions cheerfully.
“I saw her crying sometimes when she read your letters.”
“Did she make you promise to look after me?” She inquires taking a sip of her drink.
“She asked me to take care of you.”
“You promised her didn’t you?”
“Yes I did.”
“It is nice out here isn’t it? I think mother would have been very happy here. She talks with some authority.
Her father remains silent. A smile comes to his weary brow. He nods his head.
“Mother wanted me to give you something. I wasn’t sure when to give it to you. She said I would know when the time was right. I think now the time is right.”
Taking another sip of her drink she places it back on the table and runs to her room.
Upon returning she hands her father a book.
“It’s mother diary! She wanted me to give it to you.”

“She made me promise.” Her face lights up as if she had done a wonderful deed.
He takes the book from her and holds it in his now trembling hands.
“Thank you.”
“Mother said you would understand things better.”
“Wise woman your mother.” He places the book on the table as he gets up and stretches.
The girl gets up from her seat and wraps herself around her father.
“I love you.” She looks up at his face.
He picks her up and hugs her.
She wraps her arms around his neck. “I love you too.” His voice trembles.
“It’s Ok father. We have each other now and mother is in both of us.”
He kisses her head.
“Time you headed off to bed.” Her father quietly says.
He puts her down and she scarpers off to go get washed and ready for bed.
“Don’t forget you teeth.” He calls out after her.
Clearing up everything he checks on his daughter. She is in bed waiting for her good night kiss.
He tucks her in and bids her goodnight.
Just as he is about to close the door she tells him.
“I know I am adopted. Mother told me she adopted me when I was a baby. I kind of made up for you two not being together.”
He stands at her bedroom door. Words fail him.
Yes he knew she was adopted.
“I am really lucky because I had a mother who loves me and a father who loves me too. Even if I am not really theirs.”
“You trying to bring on the water works?” He tells her.
She giggles. “Goodnight Father I love you.”
"Love you too.” His face lights up.
The door closes and the child falls asleep dreaming of her mother.
Sitting outside he picks up the Diary and opens it and read the first line.
If only things could be different…………

Whitesnakes do it better .............Or do they?


KB said...

Birngs tears to the lamps. Beautiful babe xxxx

Anonymous said...

Gently and lovingly written and drawn. And yes, it does bring on some tears and sighs. Both good things, I might add. Wonderful response to the prompt,


Anonymous said...

It is very touching...thank for sharing your words

Marja said...

Very touching story Steve you should
write more Have you written something like this before?

Anonymous said...

So touching. I love 'A gentle breeze helped itself through the house.'

Anonymous said...

This is turning into a teary sort of day. Beautiflly written, and I'm glad you didn't dot all the ts and cross all the is. What could have been just a sentimental bit of schmaltz was, instead, a beautiful story. You got it just right!

Wayne Pitchko said...

certainly said lots...and lots well said Steve....enjoyed your words.....thanks for sharing

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

What a heartfelt story. You couldn't help but be moved by it all.

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