This is the first story my new typewriter told to me as I sat before it. Please be advised this story may evoke an emotional reaction.
He sat staring at the sunshine through the large pane of glass, her last words echoing through his mind. She had only looked back once as the cab drove her away to start her new life in a new city. City, that word still felt foreign to him. “Don’t worry dad, it’s not for long, I’ll be back on break before you know it.” He turned from the window, silently wishing those words were true and mouthing the word ‘city’.
He sat in his old wingback chair, the chair he used to sit in as he bounced her on his knee. He knew that he should not be wallowing in his sadness, but he couldn’t bear to sit through another one of Henry’s stories. Sure, he knew Henry was only trying to cheer him up, but he only had three stories to tell and, honestly speaking, none of them were really any good. No, today he needed to spend a little time in the past.
Too often we are taught as men to avoid our feelings, yet as any old guy will tell you, the only way to truly live life is to feel it. You turn yourself off, you die. Not all at once, but slowly and by yourself.
“City”, when he said the word aloud it seemed to bounce dully off the walls to fall flat on the floor. The last time the word city was bantered about was when he had to take his lovely Annie to the cancer doctor. Deep down, he knew that it was not the doctor's fault, nor was it the fault of the city. Life had taken Annie away from him and he was desperately trying to hold on to the last vestiges of her memory through Alice. He knew she needed to move on with her life, she couldn’t put her future on hold just to keep her old man happy.
He got up and made his way over to the curio cabinet and picked up the last photo ever taken of his wife. She always carried herself with such grace and dignity, traits that Alice had thankfully picked up from her. It was her strength and grace that he drew from when he waved his little girl off to the new adventure of college. Some day another man would take his place, he could only hope that she would keep him in mind and not forget to visit him once in a while back in the small town which she once called home.
Travis J. Croken