My writing and other perversions
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
She smiled down at him. He looked up at her and attempted the same, but his dry lips wouldn't let him. He did the best thing he could and reached his withered hand to her face, laying it aside her cheek. She moaned lightly and a tear slipped down her face. She leaned down and kissed his forehead.
This was the last time she would ever see him. They'd spent the day together, just sitting in the sunshine beneath a nearby tree, well, mostly her talking while he gently attempted to nod. They hadn't been together for years, and she had forgotten how sweet it was.
She told him about being a surgeon, how she had met a man named Floyd, and about the kitten she hoped to get. He simply laid there, looking at her, drinking her image in. Though he didn't move much, she knew he was listening. His eyes, yellowed though they were, looked happy.
She told him how much she missed him. How much he'd missed out on, how much his life and memory had meant to her. She told him how difficult it was for her mother, at first, and how his brother, her uncle, still talked about him.
And now it was time to go. They both knew it. It hurt her, so much, to let him leave, but she knew it had to be. If she didn’t, well, she didn’t know what would happen. But she knew it would be bad.
Seeing him lying there broke her heart. But even worse was the idea that he'd never have known how she'd turned out. Now he’d know, he could leave her, content in the knowledge that she was happy and healthy, despite the fact that she missed him so much.
She kissed his lips one last time and said "Good night, dad."
He'd been dead for ten years. But before he passed, he promised her, "20 years darling, my sweet, beautiful daughter. 20 years, and when you're still as perfect then as you are now, come see me and tell me how you're doing. We'll spend the day together. Just remember, 20 years."
At 6 years old, she'd believed him with all her heart, and knew that he’d be here. She'd dedicated herself to making him happy, studying, working, being the best that she could. She decided to become a surgeon, to save people from what had ended his life. As she'd gotten older, she thought he'd been lying, she felt hurt, but to honor his memory, she'd kept on.
And here, 20 years later, she'd come to his grave, expecting to see nothing.
And there he'd sat. Worse for the wear, but, still her father. At first she thought it was a cruel joke, till he raised his head and looked at her.
It was her dad. And he had kept his promise.
She closes her eyes and gets up, trying not to look at him. She’s hoping to force the tears to stay in, but she’s not successful. As she turns to walk away, she imagines she can hear him say "Good night" to her.
But that could just be a fantasy.