Joined: Apr 4, 2007
Quickly put this one together; hope you like it.
Raindrops bead down the glossed finish of the tombstone. Still, he wipes it clean for just a second, running his fingers over the engraved letters, reading it like brail; he's seen it many times before. Kneeling down, he then rustles his fingers through the grass, cold and thick. It is with those hands he can grasp reality; his heart finds it more difficult.
With a rub of an eye and a long yawn, he stands up not so quickly, not so eager. He turns away from the grave and heads back to the car, watching each step that he takes. He says to himself, 'every step closer is just one farther.'
A few minutes from home, he drives toward the local elementary school.
"Hi, daddy," his daughter gleefully exclaims.
"Hey, honey," he begins as soon as she seated herself in the car. "Now, I'd like to know how my little scholar did today."
"I got a B plus!"
He answered with wide, yet bagged eyes: "A B plus, huh? That's really great!"
She says through a toothless smile, "Thanks for helping me with the project."
"It was no problem, sweetie." A small glance to her and back gave him a crooked smile, while the conversation left a good taste in his mouth.
He returns to their home, ushering his daughter towards her room to play; she gladly accepts. He leads back toward the living room, seats himself on their large couch, and reaches for a remote. Before grabbing the remote, he stares at his reflection in the blackness, running his eyes along the contours of his face, then trails his sight downwards until he reached the carpet. He quickly recovers and turns on both the television and the DVD player.
Being the time he's watched this has reached triple digits, he oddly decides to skip several minutes into the video. He stops to a portion featuring himself and his best man panicing to tie their knots and straighten their blazers. Finished, they toss casual conversations back and forth in a small, white room - one of the rooms used for the morning classes at the church.
His cousin, operating the camera, begins: "So, man, how're you feeling? Is that tie too tight or are you just that nervous?"
"Right now, I'd say it's a little bit of both." He slips the words through a smirk.
The camera man continues, "What's running through your mind? Huh, what's the lucky guy thinking about on his big day?"
"I'm thinking about my soon-to-be wife." He gives in and opens a big smile, adding on: "Gorgeous, perfect wife."
The video quickly switches to his wife speaking franticly into the camera. "Hi, babe. I know you probably won't see this 'til after we're married, but I'd just like to say I love you and...well, I'll see you soon! But like they say, 'Distance makes the heart grow fonder'."
The television shuts off.
He rises out of his couch and walks down the hallway, towards his daughter's room. Peeking around the door, he watches her flip page by page, reading a book for school so innocently, so delicately. He finally breaks the silence. "Whatcha reading?"
There was a long pause until she spoke again. This time, though, she sprang up from her small chair, shoving a piece of paper into the air for her father to see. He asks, "What's this?"
"I drew a picture. There's you with the red hat, me with the tiara, and mommy with the dress."
He stood motionless and bleak, scanning over the sketch more and more times in his head. Each time, the pictures become increasingly familiar and, yet, more so difficult for him to see. As the numerous other drawings hang over her walls, so do the memories of every one in his head. For everyday, a tear rolls down a closed, stretched smile. For everyday, he sees memories being as vivid as reality itself.
He runs his fingers along the contours of her shape, eventually keeping his hands still then glances away. As always, his daughter draws her so angelic, so perfect. And as always, draws her a beautiful dress. She colors it purple.