A car comes to a full stop, the sound of the engine becomes silent. A man with a scruffy beard and dark messy auburn hair, turns behind his seat where a little blue-eyed girl looks intently back at him. Her face remains still, blank like a white canvas. The man gives a grin to the little girl and then opens the car door gradually. The young girl observes the man walking over to her door to open it. She undoes her seatbelt and scatters across the seats where she climbs out the car. Father and daughter look upon a huge lodge in front of them. The walls are damp from the snow but remain a nice wood colour. The windows is a mucky brown from all the dust and mud, cobwebs are hidden in the corners of the frames. Snow laid on the roof like a comfy blanket. The father takes of hold his daughter hand as they approach the front door. He places a golden key into the key hole, the daughter imagines it as a treasure chest key that you would see a pirate with. The door gently opens, showing a dark and discreet room. The air is thick, and it felt like no one had been inside for years. But it’s only been months since they last stepped foot in the lodge.
As they make their way inside, the little girl searches her surrounds, they are so familiar, but she senses something different about it. And she knew why, something or someone is missing. And with that thought her eyes trails over to a picture frame. Her eyes focus on the photograph in front of her. It is a picture of the daughter and her beloved mother holding each other like they were never apart from one another. Her mother wore an enchanting snow-white dress that contrasted with her blue caerulean eyes. Her calm posture that wrapped around her child made it seem like you can feel the love through the photograph. The young girl eyes start to become heavy with tears, it streams down her rosy cheeks. She bites her lips to prevent crying out loud even though deep down she wanted to scream. A hand grabs the photograph out of the little girl’s palms and places it back in its original position on the cabinet. The daughter turns her head gradually to be met by her father’s chest. He holds her securely, stroking her back tenderly. The father kneels to face his daughter and moves his head closer to kiss her head. She intertwines her fingers with her fathers, and with that the father stands up, guiding her over to the lounge.
They enter, switching the lights on revealing a Christmas tree that was decorated exquisitely. A present, a small box with a tartan pattern wrapping paper, rests under the Christmas tree. The young girl gazes it from afar before glancing to her father who has a heart-warming smile on his face. He nods his head as she proceeds to go over to the gift. She picks the box up, staring at it intensely before tearing the wrapping paper off. She holds a navy velvet box, which she opens and her mother’s necklace rests inside. It is a beautiful, silver, chained necklace with a diamond snowflake, a handcrafted piece that her mother wore all the time. She takes the necklace and wraps it around her neck. Her father comes over and assists her putting it on. The diamond snowflake lays against her chest, it all most felt to her that her mother is right there with her. The father catches his eye on an envelope that is laying on the floor by the Christmas tree, he picks it up cautiously. He takes a seat on the leather couch and unseals the envelope. Inside is a letter which the father opens to read. He stares at the letter for a while, he has a bare expression on his face. The daughter looks at him curiously, sitting beside him to glance over to the letter. He knew exactly what it was, disappointed that he be unable to recall that the letter even existed. A hand-written love letter, of the father asking his wife hand in marriage. He was a very shy and timid man, and he remembers struggling to get his words out to ask her to marry him. And he recalls that he took a napkin from the dinner table and wrote the words that were trapped in his throat. He glimpses at the bottom of the letter, where his wife had written something that he hasn’t spotted before.
‘My love, I lived an unhappy life until I met you and I wanted to give our daughter a life that I always dreamed of when I was young. But I knew that my troubles from the past would catch up to me eventually. Please protect our daughter, Katelyn, from this horrible world, and I want you to know that I love you so much. I’m so sorry that I was selfish enough to leave you and our daughter behind, but I could never be able to continue with my life knowing that I was miserable. You are forever in my heart – Alessia’ The young girl didn’t understand what she is reading but she did understand the emotions on her father’s face. His eyes fills with water, they are red and sore as he is holding back the tears. He didn’t want his daughter to see him crying. But she didn’t think much about it and instinctively places her head on his shoulder. His mind fills with memories with the woman he loved, he thought to himself.
‘I just wished she held on a little bit longer for a goodbye that I never got to say.’ Is his body cold from all these feelings or was it the lodge? The only thing that is warm is his daughters’ body, he then relaxes and cuddles close with his child. The room is filled with silence but the only the heart beats of the two can be heard. It’s calming to their ears as their eyes drift off into a deep sleep. A sleep they haven’t had since the passing of their beloved mother and wife. Finally, they felt the grief that overwhelmed them disappear and they both knew they could move on without guilt. Alessia would want them to move on and not live their lives in such misery. She knew deep down that her daughter will live a life where she is happy, and that made her feel delighted knowing that. And with that the daughter and father together, can overcome anything in their way.
Short Story, 15/01/09