Jaw chiseled and strong. Mouth wide open; a smile flashing blindingly white teeth. Eyes displaying chronicled accomplishment. Hair black and full. Tan skin conceals athletic muscles and bones. The A.C. pumping and humming as hard is it could, keeping him cool.
I step out of the car and into a new environment surrounded by popsicle sticks adorning backpacks. He looks at me, “Well, this is it. I’m always here for you. Good luck in college.”
He was never prying or probing. Always helping and holding.
He says, “I love you, Son.”
I wanted to tell him I loved him. I wanted to thank him for everything that he had done for me. I swallowed my words as I assured myself I could tell him that some other time.
I nodded and shut the door.
Jaw slacked. Mouth propped open. Blood stained teeth from dry lips. One eye shut. One half open. Grey, thinning hair wildly glued to his head. Low on platelets, the skin can barely hold the blood. The breathing apparatus pumping and whining as hard as it could, keeping him alive. Mechanical limbs extend themselves. Prying and probing. Helping and holding.
Popsicle sticks adorning white gowns hurriedly flood the room. Up, down. Up, down. Over and over again. Prying and probing. Helping and holding. Words from the doctor’s mouth. Words from my mother’s. White gowns exit and disperse.
Tears flow onto the frail form of my father. No more whining, no more pumping. No more prying, no more probing. No more helping. Just holding.
This is a creative non-fiction/flash fiction piece about a son having a difficult time expressing his feelings to his loving father. The son cannot overcome his own apprehension before time runs out on their relationship.