Written for OLWG# 276
“You missed her by a couple of days, Dad,” Carmen said. She smiled sadly, leaned forward to put her arm around my waist and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
I handed her the rosebud I was holding, “I’ll give this to you then.”
I saw Luke come into the room behind her. He raised his hand in greeting but said nothing as he retreated, leaving Carmen and me standing awkwardly together at the front door.
“Afternoon, Lucas,” I spoke to his back, but he didn’t respond, just faded into the gloom of the darkened hallway.
“I tried to get here sooner, Carmen, but…”
“I know Dad, it’s always something, huh? Mother was expecting you. She’s been saying for the last two weeks that you were coming.”
I turned on the stoop and pushed my worn tweed cap back on my head. I studied the road and tried to tamp my need to move on.
Carmen, “You know, she never quit loving you.”
“You’re not gonna let this be easy, are you, girl?”
“Stay, Dad. Why don’t you stay a while? Stay for dinner. Stay for the night?”
I turned and looked at my little girl, so grown up now. So much the same as I always remembered.
“It was peaceful for her, Dad. She passed in her sleep.”
I reached out my arms, and she fell into them, just like she used to do. “I’ll see you around sometime, girl.” I sniffed and pushed her back so I got a good look at her. Her eyes were beginning to brim with tears,
“I’m no good, you know,” I said as I backed down the steps and across the lawn. I waved, pulled the brim of my cap down low, turned, and walked toward the sun. At the corner, of Elm Street, I glanced over my shoulder. Carmen had moved down to the pavement, and she was watching me leave.
That’s all I ever gave to her. That’s all I’d ever given to her. Goodbyes and lots of words, always left unsaid.
This week’s prompts were:
- a single flower
- Mother was expecting you