A Celebrated Man

May 4, 2009
More by this author
“Father, you are the best person in the world, please believe me!” exclaimed Eleanor with tearful eyes.

It all began in 1985, when Theodor Smith decided to undertake a big project in honor to his favorite writer, William Shakespeare, who had died in 1616. He wanted to celebrate the four hundredth, so he quit his job to dedicate a hundred per cent of his time to write the story he had been planning to do for such a long time.

The Smiths lived in a weather beaten old house; however, they used fine clothing and had great reputation. Elizabeth, Theodor’s wife, had a beautiful face, and Eleanor, their daughter, had soft pretty features. She was a sweet little girl.

Lamentably, a tragedy attacked the Smiths in 1996, when Elizabeth got really ill. She coughed so harshly, until the point she literally expectorated blood. They could try to cheat her death, but deep down inside, everybody knew it was inevitable.

Everyday, Theodor would open the huge oak door of his office and stare at his typewriter, while peering at the oil painting of his family, painfully. He would sit by it and think about many things, but after writing just a few pages, the “big masterpiece” always ended up turning into merely a short-lived story, no matter what subject he tried to write about. Batholomeo, the dog, noticed his melancholy and the lost hours by that stupid typewriter. It was definitely too late to give up now.
He toiled to complete it before, so he could do so now. At the end of a weary day, he felt completely wretched, cheerless and listless. He could squeeze his brain, but nothing would happen. It was completely barren.
When overcome by writer’s block, he often walked calmly along the nearby streets looking for inspiration but, what was supposed to be something enrapturing, appeared now very gloomy. Everything in that city seemed to be grey, lifeless, but opting out was not a choice.
“Nothing is impossible. To be or not to be? That’s the big question.” he wondered while looking at a broken glass on the floor. “Something in this world needs to be good to write about, but what?! What would Shakespeare think of? Oh, please, what am I saying?! Comparing this mediocre human being I am to somebody with his knowledge? This would be an act of ignominy! Come on Theodor, think! THINK!”
People who passed by the deranged man thought either he was mad or he was having a chat with that broken bottle. That lack of inspiration, that stern world was driving him insane.
As he arrived back home, Bartholomeo routinely jumped on him, but that provoked no reaction.
“Please, Bartholomeo, go back to your bed. Daddy is feeling exhausted. Please!” was the usual response.
On one night, he had a calm walk that didn’t last much. “BAAAM”! The huge oak door echoed through the large corridors of that magnificent house and after a loud noise, a cry. Almost a shriek.
“Dad?” Eleanor’s soft voice meddled that cry. “Can I come in?”
“Sure, my darling.”
“Is it mom or that story?”
There was no answer; however, both knew what it really was.
“I’m so sorry, dad,” she exclaimed while gently putting his head against her chest.” I know these past years have been very tough on you, I really do. Tomorrow you will go to the doctor to make sure this sadness isn’t affecting your health. I already lost my mom, but loosing you would be the end of the world to me.”

“Cancer? Dad, are you with cancer?” Eleanor interrogated with agony.
“Yes, daughter, I am. As you might know, this is an incurable ailment, so I think I won’t fulfill my dream, after all, it’s just a silly desire of mine.”
He locked himself in the room, that vast room with no archives and no more stories written anywhere. Despite a large cup of coffee near the typewriter, there was nothing in there. It seemed to reflect his poor vacant mind. “Come! Come and sit here in front me. You can try to do this story, but you will fail. You are a loser, Theodor. Can’t you see it”? That blank page seemed to taunt him; it was a discontented contentment. Where did his great writing ability go? He didn’t have much time or patience to wait for it forever.
It was a foggy, cold July’s day, the snow did not fall, but the winds strongly blew. Theodor left his story to take care of his health, which, at the moment, was quite fragile.
He was no longer strong enough to get up from bed alone anymore

“You!” he shouted to an employee who took care of the cleaning. “Please, call my daughter here!”

“Yes, sir.” he answered, very politely.

She arrived. Before a tear gently fell from those bright eyes, Theodor, with almost no strength left, exclaimed:

“Thank you, Eleanor.”

“Father,” she said with watery eyes. “You are the best person in the world, please, believe me!”

“You supported me when nobody believed me, but I failed!”

Before another word was spoken, Theodor took his last breath and closed his eyes forever. Meanwhile, Eleanor gazed at her dad’s body and mourned. She gave a kiss on his cheek and said, sobbing:

“I l-love you, d-dad. I love y-you.”

A day passed by. Eleanor, still not totally recovered from the pain, looked at old pictures when, suddenly, somebody knocked at the door.

“I came here to take the body, but, in order to take it, I need a signature from a family member who’s older than eighteen,” said the boy, with no emotion.

“I’m his daughter, and I’m twenty-eight years old.” She exclaimed, giggling at him.

She signed it and the deceased man was taken away. She observed the car where her dad was until it completely disappeared in that cold morning’s horizon. After, she entered the house to go change her clothes. But, there was something she wanted to see before. The story. “A Celebrated Man”, was its title.

“I’ll continue it.” she said to herself. “Instead of writing about Shakespeare, which I think was what he planned to do, I’m going to write about my father, a celebrated man.”

And she did. She fulfilled her dad’s dream.

“You’re welcome, dad.” she assured to herself while staring at the painting on the wall. “You’re welcome.”

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

ANONIMO said...
May 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm
thanks, dad!! I really appreciate you reading my story!!
Fernando said...
May 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm
Congratulations Debora. It is an exciting work. I am increasingly proud of you. Dad.
Anônimo said...
May 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm
thank you, Lima. But, being my friend, you shouldn't read my story without asking me first... ><
Gabriela L. said...
May 15, 2009 at 12:02 am
good work debora^^
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