A work of fiction in response to The Daily Post writing prompt, Longing.
One can only be rejected so much until one snaps. Why must that be? Is it the shame of being rejected? Or is it the constant sadness that comes after each rejection? He wonders about it growing up. First, he wonders aloud, and later he wonders it silently in the dimly lighted small room of his. He wonders in every word he types, in every bite of food, in every breath that he takes, and still he can’t figure out why.
He is staring at his reflection in his mirror, thinking it over and over again, if going to today’s lunch was a good idea. His twin sister said it might be a splendidly bad idea, but then again it’s free food. He had wished that he could be as nonchalant as his own sister. He thought of asking his sister for a ride to the lunch place, but thought better to come alone and possibly a bit fashionably late.
Apparently he was not as late as he would have wanted to. It was an awkward arrangement; there was a skinny and a gaunt old man, a plump woman with a very short hair, and of course the ideal couple, her sister and her girlfriend. He felt the skinny man’s eyes boring through the small package in his hands. He knew he should not have brought a gift. It was this man’s 68th birthday, what would an old man wants for a birthday? He was digging his own grave by bringing a gift.
“Oh sweetheart, look, Odell brought you a gift. Sit here, sweet pie. Show your father what you bought for him.”
“Oh it’s nothing special, it could wait until after lunch.”
“Oh nonsense, of course it’s special, it’s from a son to a father. Come, open it for your Father.”
At that moment, he thought of just leaving the restaurant. To hell with an explanation he eventually had to give his family days after his stupid disappearing act. He wondered what is wrong with him? How could he bought this as a gift to his father’s 68th birthday? Who does something like that? Apparently he did.
“Mother, let’s just eat. Dakota and I have to be somewhere else after this. I told you about that.”
Bless her sweet soul, he wanted to hug her sister. Maybe he could just enjoy the lunch while debating whether or not this was a good decision. He wondered while chewing his food, how many times has it been for her own sister to have had saved him from all the stupid things he’s done? Too many to count, but it’s not like he hadn’t done the same thing for her. Maybe, that’s what siblings are for, to take care of the other’s back. He wondered, again, how is it that he seems to be able to answer all his question, but never the question that involves his own Father. When did the questions involving his own Father starts?
Is it my hair?
Is it the way I wore my clothes?
Is it the way I talk?
What is it?
Why won’t he looked at me?
Is there something that Dana has that I don’t?
But we’re identical. I look like Dana, as much as Dana looks like me.
Dana even cuts her hair like mine, we’re indistinguishable.
“Sweet pie? Are you alright? You look pale. Is it the food? Are you not feeling well?”
“No, I’m alright. I’m just not getting enough rest. Just work related stuff.”
“You need to stop overworking yourself. You know Damon would love to spend time with you. A son needs his Father, Odell.”
What a load of joke, he thought to himself. The skinny gaunt man had the nerve to tell me what my son needs, he thought to himself. Where was he when I needed him the most? The same old questions he had grew up with starts flooding his train of thoughts. He was going to lose it, had it not for a gentle squeeze from his sister. He took a deep breath. He put the small package in front of his father.
“Happy birthday, Father. Don’t be intimidated by the packaging. Here, let me help you open the small box. Oh, look what do we have here? It’s an entrance ticket to the museum. The same museum I have begged you to take me since I was seven years old, and yet you never brought me to. Why, Father? What is it that I ever done to you that shamed you, that you won’t go out with me? Is it because I can’t walk? Was it my disability that threw you off? I’m taking Damon with me to the museum next weekend. Feel free to join us, if you won’t come for me, please come for Damon, at least. I may spend my whole teenage life wondering about what I did wrong to you that you pushed me out of my life, and I might spend the rest of life longing for a Father, but I’ll try not to. I have a son of my own now, I won’t make him long for me, I’ll always be there for him, however hard it is for me with my disability.”
He wonders again, was it a nice gesture to just suddenly threw a huge chunk of suppressed emotions on someone’s birthday? Maybe it wasn’t so nice, but it had to be done. He won’t wonder about anything involving his Father anymore. Wondering won’t really solve his problem.