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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2202540
For my dear Carol, the carrot soup has grown cold since you left.
For my Dear Carol,
If you could see yourself the way I see you, you'd find it hard to believe, how much I love you, how much you mean to me.
I think of the first time I saw you, the first time I held you in my arms. Your warmth kept me calm on so many cold nights. I would rock you to sleep, until the thunder outside would stop to rumble. Some night you would cry endlessly. And I would sometimes wonder, If you cried because you knew, of the world that awaited you.

At 10 months, you were already walking, baby steps yes. But sometimes i would take my eyes off of you for one second, and you'd dissapear. I would freak out for a second, only to find you sitting behind the counter, playing with your blue whale. I'd make your favorite carrot soup, you always loved that, I believe you still do.
Sometimes things were hard,when I held you as you slept, my back against the corner of the kitchen, pointing my shotgun at the locked front door , I would hear the noises outside, and yet they never came in.

By the time you were five, you were running around the house, I'd gotten you a little airplane as a gift, one that I had kept stored just for that moment. You loved it, you would run in the backyard, jumping up and down and played with it until you were exhausted and would crawl back into my arms. I really cherished those moments.

At six, you loved to play hide and seek. You were really good at it too. But It wasn't just a game, I taught you the best techniques, the best hidding places, and what to do if you were found. Some days, I would look for you for hours, but I couldn't find you, only when I'd knock on the floor three times, did you come out. It always amazed me how you were able too keep still for so long.
You told me that you would move around, never stayed in the same spot.
Clever, I thought.

On the sunny days, I would take you outside with me to the garden, I taught you how to plant your own seeds and grow them, and by end ofthe year, you were so excited to harvest them, they would tun out amazingly, and I always rewarded you with some well deserved carrot soup from your own harvest.

By age 10, I taught you the world, the animals the plants, the earth, the universe, what you could see and what you couldn't see. I taught you about the human body, how you could repair it, and how you could kill it.

After a long day, you would rest your head on my lap and fall asleep almost instantly, I would caress your head as you slept, wrap you in a blanket and give you your goodnight kiss.
Then I would grab my shotgun and stand by the door until the early hours of morning.

I remember your 13th birthday, that was the day I gifted you the knife, a sleek black hunting knife, you absolutely loved it. The time that wasn't spent practicing throwing knife, you would use it to make little wood culptures of all the animals that I had taught you, the whale was your masterpiece, I still have it, over the fireplace.
And by the end of the month you were a skilled knife thrower, you could practically do it with your eyes closed. of course, you practiced everyday. I was so proud.

On your 14th birthday I gave you a pair of boots, I didnt know if they, would fit you, but they fit me when I was your age. You tried them on, they looked amazing, they were a bit worn down, but that beautiful shade of blue was still worth looking at.

On your 15th birthday I gave you a backpack, full of anything you could possibly need. I packed you seeds, and canned food, clothes and utilities, and on the little pocket to the right, was your favorite soup's recipe. I decided to spent the rest of the year focused only on you. I made taught you how to make delicious carrot cake, I taught you to sing and cook, to paint and to write, to write your stories.

One night you asked me whether I was coming with you. I told you I couldn't, that I would only drag you down. You said that you would do your best and I felt calm, because I knew you would. I gave you a ring that night, a promise that I would always love you.
One month before your 16th birthday I gave you a gun. I taught you how to use it. I told you to be careful, because once you use it, you won't be able to take it back. You nodded, I knew you understood, because you were amazing, smart gentle,loving, brave, and strong. And I know that no matter what happens, you will always be those things.

I made you carrot soup on your 16th birthday. I smiled on the outside, but you will never know how sad I felt. The utter despair I felt, the want I had of just keeping you with me forever, but I knew, that you had more of a chance at survival out there, than with me. But for 16 years you were the only thing in my life, and I will always be thankful that I had you, that you filled this house with so much love, that you kept me warm even in the coldest nights.
I gave you one last gift, your little toy whale, from when you were a baby. So that no matter how bad things were you would remember just how much I love you.

I said goodbye to you with a kiss on the forehead, a big hug and a little puppy so that you would always have a source of happiness and company. You looked so excited, so detemined to discover the world for yourself.

"Remember how to play hide and seek?" I asked. You nodded.
"What do you do if they find you?"
"Shoot them between the eyes."

I opened the front door, and led you by the hand into the outside wasteland. You smiled, gave me a kiss on the cheek, whispered some words into my ear, and left.
You best believe I cried as I saw you go, with your four legged companion barking along.

For my dear Carol, the carrot soup has grown cold since you left.

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