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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Family · #311350
a boy resorts to suicide after blaming himself for his father's death
         Thick black clouds covered the sky, heavy with threatening rain. In one
house, a dog reared up on its hind legs and began barking at a squirrel
munching a nut on the lawn. Thunder crackled, shouting its fury for all to
hear. In one of the many huge homes on this particular street, a boy sat on
his bed looking through the window, his eyes unseeing, and his mind in a
far-off place. He was lost within his memories.
         He recalled another stormy day, much like this one, when he had sat on this
same bed, nearly a year ago. He had not been staring at nothing then,
though. That day he had been engrossed in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship
of the Ring. Anyone looking at him might have thought him dead if it hadn’t
been for his hand turning page after page after page. And they might have
been right; his mind had fled to the dreamscape of the story.
         He didn’t look up as his father came into the room. The exclamation that
of “I’m going to the store,” said louder than it should have been, fell upon
deaf ears. The only acknowledgement of someone addressing him was a
murmured, “OK.” The door slammed, but the boy never noticed. His mind
never wandered from Tolkien’s fantasy world until hours later, when he had
reached the end of the book.
         Stretching legs that moved painfully after having been sat on for so long,
he rose, wondering absently where his father was. Then he remembered the
slamming door, his own noncommittal “OK.” How long ago had that been?
         A year later, a single hot tear flowed down the boy’s cheek. It had taken
him two hours more to realize a simple fact. His father wasn’t coming home.
His mother told him the whole story later. His father had had a hard night
at work the night before, and had come home drunk. That had been the cause
of the slamming door, the seemingly pointless anger. And it had been the
cause of his death.
         The child’s mind fast-forwarded to the funeral. He had been uncomfortable
in his stifling black suit. He had been uncomfortable hugging people of
whom he had no recollection. But most of all, he had been uncomfortable
standing so close to the closed casket that contained the body.
         The graveyard. As the pastor murmured the potent prayers that would assist
his father to Heaven and the casket was lowered into the ground,
heart-wrenching sobs escaped the boy, and he did not try to hide nor wipe
his tear-stained eyes.
         A year later, remembering all this, sobs equal to the ones he had cried
that horrible morning shook his body once again. Before his finger pulled
the trigger of the gun aimed steadily at his own head, he murmured three
words: “I’m sorry, Dad.”
© Copyright 2001 Gatita (Kat) (katthemage at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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