Location: Somewhere in the Planet
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It had been a mistake to come back to the river house; he realized that the moment he pulled into the drive. What had he been thinking when he agreed with his children when they suggested he make the trip, find some closure and come back to them to start anew? Clearly, he hadn’t been thinking at all.
After getting out of his car he walked right past the house towards the river itself. Autumn was well and truly here so the hive of activity that normally surrounded their cabin at the height of summer; from tourists and locals alike; was now reduced to the odd call of a passing galah or a couple of stray dogs chasing something unseen up the shore.
There was a chill to the air but no breeze to speak of which meant that the normally visible currents of the water were working below the surface undetected, making the river look almost serene; barely a ripple broke the surface allowing for a near perfect mirror reflection of the native flora that lined the banks.
The river might have looked at peace but the man himself was not. He hadn’t been since that day four months ago when the love of his life passed away. She had been sick for so long he had convinced himself he would be ok when she was gone; he knew what was coming and felt he had prepared himself enough to cope with her eventual loss. Clearly he had been fooling himself.
With four wonderful children; aged between 10 and 23; he hadn’t had the time to sit and worry about his own grief, caring more that each of his blessings were ok, being strong for them when he knew they couldn’t be for themselves. Aside from the night his beloved had passed he had kept his grief to himself, telling everyone he would be ok and grieve in his own time and way. As yet he hadn’t been able to let out his grief.
And then he saw the swing.
Forgetting the lake he turned and headed towards the tree, each step he made bringing with it the threat of tears. He had been coming to the lake with his family since he was four and the rope swing had been a part of the tree even back then, although the rope that tethered it to the tree now appeared to be newer. Odd that even to this day it was tied up so that the left side lifted higher than the right.
This had been the very same swing where he had first met his beloved back when they were ten. The tom-boyish girl had been trying for five minutes to get onto the swing, only to have some older boys tease her and keep her at arm’s length. Those boys were his friends but he didn’t like what they were doing so he made to walk over and tell them to stop.
Before he could reach them the girl had managed to pull the leg of the boy on the seat so hard that he fell off with a loud thud that had his friends laugh. What he heard her then say to them made him smile as he recalled the look on the faces of his mates. They left and she sat on the seat but he still walked over, wanting to congratulate her on not giving up. They became fast friends.
Over the ensuing summers they always met up on the first day, at the swing, and spent most of their time there together. It was where they had shared their first kiss at eleven, carved their initials into the tree when they were fifteen and where he brought her so he could propose on the night she turned 18. He was also pretty sure it was where their first and third child had been conceived.
As he rubbed a rugged finger over the initials that had been carved there so many years ago and yet were still clear enough to read, the tears finally started to fall unhindered. Stopping short of taking a seat on the swing, her swing, he sunk to his knees and just let his grief pour from him in a river of its own.
Tears, obscenities, anger at whoever ‘upstairs’ thought it was a good idea to take her too soon and even something akin to a howl escaped his lips and he found he couldn’t stop; he had four months of hurt to unleash and once the cork was out the bottle there was no putting it back in.
It wasn’t until the shadows falling across the river became longer and the air became even cooler that he found himself sitting there, slumped against the tree and completely spent. He had a headache that was close to blinding and he even felt completely worn out but in an odd way, he also felt a little more at peace.
He was never going to be completely ok with the loss of his one true love and he would mourn her always but in this moment, he felt perhaps the kids had been right – coming here had been a good thing and although he wasn’t sure it was closure he now he had, perhaps he could move on and in time even bring back the family and their families to make memories of their own. His heart’s desire would have loved that.
Last edited by HeavenLea27, 5/9/18, 21:59
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."
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