A Fathers Secret
I have trouble telling this one. I can’t exactly explain it or begin to understand it. Perhaps it hasn’t been long enough. There are plenty of other stories I could tell but this one just sticks out to me when it comes to an altered truth. You see I hadn’t seen my father in two year and the visit was quite unusual. I was told I was going to a funeral but I didn’t know it would be on these conditions. A lot of people were going to be there that day. I didn’t know anyone on my dad’s side of the family. I didn’t really know the deceased very well if not at all either. After all it had been a long time.
The ride seemed short but memorable. The funeral wasn’t too far away but there was almost too much time to think. Too much silence and time to myself. The figures of the land scape flew by like jets but stuck in your mind like framed pictures. Sometimes it’s the little things that stand out the most. My father said nothing the whole way there. A dead silence I was inclined to listen to.
When I pulled into the parking lot it was filled with cars and people from all over. I knew my father hadn’t seen any of them in a long time as I had not seen them at all. I was introduced to various family and friends while slowly made my way to a giant cabin looking house on the beach. It looked like some kind of community building. It was made of mostly pine with large wing like windows that spread out along the back. In the back was a large field with the beach stretched out at the end. There were gardens of flowers and trees amongst the sides accompanied by the dark forest. The sun was a pinkish orange like the blaze from a burning fire and illuminated the rest of the sky with its flamboyant colors. The mountains looked a metallic grey as if they were painted amongst the burning skyline. The water met the horizon adding a settle blue to the grand color scheme. It was a beautiful location but still to this day it is not what stood out to me the most.
What stood out to me the most was the mood. When I entered the large gathering of people things felt tense. It was like walking through quicksand with a weight tied to your back. It made you want to shake and quiver under the weight and thick atmosphere. Some had tears in their eyes while others were silent. Some laughed and tried to make light of the situation while others told of serious and meaningful stories. None of which I could relate to. Meanwhile my father listened impatiently for its end.
I felt out of place. Like all eyes were on me. All the conversations I had seemed slightly fake. Like altered versions of the truth. Each conversation had to be deliberately planned out to perfection. Any slip ups and we would all be scrambling to get back on our feet. After some time a man got on the stage. He introduced himself as Harold Bache. It was at that moment that I noticed the deceased had other children. They had to have been no younger than five. Close family I should have known. Their mother was nowhere to be found but their father was present as could be.
Harold started the ceremony by introducing the children. James, a five year old boy, and Anna, a six year old girl. Losing a father at that age is hard. It always feels like something is missing. Like a part of your child hood is nonexistent. There will always be something you feel like you’re searching for but just can’t find. You’ll try and dive deep to find it but it will only take you back to where you started. I could tell by the look on their face they didn’t know the deceased either.
The two children did not shed any tears. They stood there blank and confused. It was almost as if they didn’t know whose funeral they were attending. Or maybe their youth prevented them from fearing life and death like others did. Either way I wished more than anything to be them at that moment. For it was knowing that made the unknown that much worse.