The Father. | Teen Ink

The Father.

June 24, 2011
By Jillard BRONZE, Eveleth, Minnesota
Jillard BRONZE, Eveleth, Minnesota
3 articles 24 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life, when he has a raging desire to go and dig for hidden treasure." -Mark Twain.

He's nothing more than an exoskeleton; an empty shell of what once was.
He's standing, somehow, lighting a cigarette with quivering hands. It's a church, but no one says anything; afraid, I suppose.
He looks dead.
Died along with his son.

It's a closed casket. Few people remain, the ceremony over, talking quietly amongst themselves. They leave him alone. No expressed condolences; no sympathetic handshakes.

If someone touches me, I'll scream. He thinks. He digs his overgrown nails deep into his palms, close to drawing blood. If they talk to me, look at me, I'll scream, and I'll never stop.
It's a message portrayed loud and clear. They mingle, walk around, enjoy their complementary egg salad sandwiches and lemon bars, but they keep their distance. Away from the trembling man near the windows.

He hears them; hushed whispers and tight lips. Talking about his dead son.
“So young...a couple hours only.”
“Poor dear.”
“It didn't even have a chance...”
He throws the cigarette on the floor and swallows the tears burning in his throat, hot and acidic.
“Is the mother here?”
“No...she's in the hospital. In shock, I heard.”
Then the voices drop lower, paired with sideways glances. Uncomfortable hand motions toward the trembling man.
“She'd never let the father be here.”

And then the gossip. Eager ears, soaking up the words spewing from lipstick stained mouths like vomit. Unfaithful, they say. A high school dropout with a lack of morals. Wasn't even in their for its birth...
“What's he doing here then?”
“Probably guilty...after it's all said and done. Now he cares...”
“Maybe its a blessing in disguise; God knows he wouldn't have payed child support.”

His teeth are gritted so hard they may chip. The gossip lingers for a while, accompanied by snickers and small talk, but soon stops as he turns to look at them.
His eyes are wild. Teeth barred like a chimpanzee.

All is quiet as he makes his way to the casket. He looks them in the eyes as he caresses the woodwork with shaking hands; kisses the babies breath and carnations lying on the casket.
He whispers something, inaudible.
But it sounds like I love you.

With that, he exits the church through the side door, leaving the others to judge.
And they do.

The author's comments:
A short story about a criticized young father attending his dead son's funeral.

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This article has 8 comments.

on Jul. 9 2011 at 11:52 pm
happy2survive SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 8 comments
A very sweet story! 

reenay_95 GOLD said...
on Jul. 7 2011 at 10:50 pm
reenay_95 GOLD, West Lafayette, Indiana
16 articles 0 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
You can't see the stars if you are always looking down.

This is a perfect example of showing and not telling. It's always better to show than tell. Amazing work.

on Jul. 6 2011 at 3:30 pm
leaf44 PLATINUM, Rehoboth, Massachusetts
20 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense."
"Be careful, or you'll end up in my novel."

Really good, liked how you gave the reader a lot of information with dialog and actions rather then just telling it.

on Jul. 6 2011 at 11:32 am
just-another-url GOLD, Cannes, Other
16 articles 6 photos 151 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's a good thing to be strange. Normalness leads to sadness." -Philip Lester

ps : I tagged this as one of my favorites !

on Jul. 6 2011 at 11:31 am
just-another-url GOLD, Cannes, Other
16 articles 6 photos 151 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's a good thing to be strange. Normalness leads to sadness." -Philip Lester

This is beautiful in a sad way, I would have liked to know why he wasn't there when the mother gave birth. Good job, keep it up. :)

on Jul. 6 2011 at 7:52 am
flyingpinkgiraffes, Chardon, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 103 comments
that was so sweet and sad.  I loved it.

on Jul. 5 2011 at 8:49 pm
Krikette BRONZE, Sunnyvale, California
3 articles 0 photos 22 comments
Excellent job! The imagery was wonderful.

on Jul. 5 2011 at 6:39 pm
paigeforeman GOLD, Washington, District Of Columbia
18 articles 6 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible!"-Walt Disney
"It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."- Abraham Lincoln
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."-Gandhi
"The truth is out there."-The X-Files

Wow, this is so sad. I love how you show that people just want to tell good stories, even when it hurts someone. People suck! Great descriptions and overall awesome story!

Do you mind checking out and rating my song lyrics,"Lunar Eclipse?" It'll be greatly appreciated! Thanks and again, great story!