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An ocean of time stands staring into full legnth pane of silver glass, looking at a bright eyed boy. He is smiling toothily, laughing as he pushes untidy brown hair out of his eyes. Water falls off the child in rivulets as he pulls himself out of the pond, holding up a newly caught fish.
'Dad, dad, look! I finally caught one!'
The boy morphs into an almost man, standing with a rigid spine and quivering eyes. A uniform hangs over his gangly limbs. It reveals just enough of his hands that he can see them shake as he stares backward, at his family disappearing with the nearest turn.
'Please, let me make it back here.'
Years spiral forward. The almost man becomes fully grown: more scars on his body, more clouds in his mind. Instead of a uniform, he stands in somber black garb; instead of a gun, he holds his father's cold hand.
'Dad. . .'
He watches himself step away, into another church. He knits his fingers nervously, feeling like a jittery schoolboy as a figure in white. He has imagined this event since he met her, but still almost can't beleive she is really here, this is really happening to him. His heart is like the northern lights as he says
He blinks, and now instead of a ring, a tiny baby girl rests in his hands. He loves her already, even before she opens he mother's blue eyes and gives him his own impish smile.
'Welcome to the world, little bundle of trouble.'
She screams, cries, laughs, dances and infuriates and learns her way from a devious cherub into a grown woman trying on her mother's wedding dress, brings over his first grandson. She brings the light into his life until the day she is suddenly a thousand miles away.
'Don't worry, dad, I won't forget you.'
But she does, until the day she rushes into the hospital, into the green and death white room where he stands by his wife’s bed, breaking to pieces when he sees that feeble green line become flat.
‘Dad, is she. . .’
‘Oh. . . oh god, mom. . .’
He turns away from his memories for a moment, then back into the mirror, to the face those years have given him.
It is wrinkled, paler than that of the bright eyed boy. Thin white tufts of hair stand on his head, so different from that of the man who’s stood in the back of that church, staring anticipantly down the aisle.
He smiles at his reflection, satisfied with what he sees, slips on a coat, and walks out the door.
Somehow, there is still so much left to do.