Move your mouse over here!
Previous page

From Father To Son

The room was smaller and stuffier than I'd initially imagined. Dad was already stationed over on the opposite side, gazing listlessly into a mirror attached to the wardrobe. There was a haunting, searching look in his eyes – as though he were seeing a twisted reflection somewhere deep within it.

"Is that really me?" he asked, his brow furrowing.

"Of course," I replied, "you've seen yourself before, Dad."

"That's really me…" he murmured, seemingly to no one in particular.

I walked over to him and kneeled down to the level of his wheelchair. When he didn't immediately turn to look at me, I took his hand gently in mine and rubbed it softly. His skin had grown so calloused and coarse – like the bark of a weatherworn tree.

"That's really me."

"It's really you, Dad."

A moment passed before his eyes finally pulled away from the mirror to meet my gaze. "So this is it, then?"

"Do you like it?" I asked, trying hard to hide the fear in my voice.

"Why now?"

"Because they can look after you better here, it'll only be for a while."

"I said the same thing to my mother…"

Why did he have to go and drag up that dreg from the past?

"That was different, Dad," I ventured, "she wasn't well..."

There was a moment of silence as Dad pulled his hand away from mine and went back to observing himself in the mirror. A second later, I inched closer and looked along with him.

"Just remember this sight," he whispered softly in my ear, "when it's you sitting in this seat..."

Story by:

Laurence Sullivan

1 December 2016