No Longer Alive – Part 1

The Last Dad-Day.

The blue light from the TV lit up the room in a series of soft and silent explosions. Jack had muted the movie when Amy had fallen asleep. She lay curled into a small and fragile ball of young teenage heartache at the end of the couch. She was fifteen years old and had been unaware of the dangers of love. A lesson she had learned today, and painfully, as her boyfriend had dumped her for one of Amy’s classmates. In Amy’s mind that boy had been the one. The first serious love, as she called it, and the only one. How could she ever love again? She had cried into her father’s ear earlier today as he had comforted. Jack had smiled and hugged his daughter, replying that of course she would, in time.

   They had promptly had a dad-day, which was what Jack called those deeply mysterious days that out-of-the-blue Amy wanted to spend doing everything with her dad. He usually never understood what brought these days on but today he did. And he was glad to spend it with his daughter. Seeing her coping with her first heartache reminded him of his. A young girl named Sarah. Jack didn’t remember her much anymore, just her long dark hair smelling softly of spring flowers. Funny the things that linger in our precarious memory banks, usually the brain is such a neat and effective machine, but with memories it seems so random. It’s like a wind blowing through your mind and only bits and pieces manage to hold on and stay behind. Most of Jacks old girlfriends had faded away with that wind when he had met Amy’s mother. Since her death four years ago he hadn’t even entertained the thought of finding another. The memory of her stood strong, her memory unvarnished by the savage storm that is time. His love for her still grew.

   Amy had so much of her mother in her and it made Jack glad. People said that Amy was so much like her father, but it was in the details that Jack found Amy’s mother, and in the quirky manners. They spoke in the same way, moved in the same way. He was both glad and saddened over the pangs of pain that came over him as he watched his daughter grow up and wishing that her mom could have been here to see Amy become a fine young woman, intelligent and beautiful. There was going to be lots of boys in Amy’s life if she wanted it to. She was going to be alright.

   Meanwhile the silent movie still sent out soft blue pulses into the living room trying to shake Jack from his thoughts and draw him into the story. They had been watching some corny comedy about love, Amy had insisted despite Jacks best efforts to persuade her to go for an action movie in the name of forgetting about love for a moment, and the images on the TV didn’t make any sense without the audio. Still jack sat there watching with his daughter sleeping beside him on the couch. He really didn’t want the dad-day to end. But it would, like all of them do. She would be alright thou. Time heals.

   Jack didn’t know then, but this was the last dad-day in a good long while. He did right in treasuring this silent blue moment, for as he sat there watching the ending of a corny love comedy the dead woke sluggishly from their shallow slumber. And they were inevitable. Like a dark and consuming plague they rose. But right at that moment Jack didn’t know. Life was still good.

To be continued.

© Hugo Oddlane, 2014

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