The Blue Bag

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
The loss of a father is unbearable and when your brother didn’t know he had a Father and when your mother got drunk every night, only made the tragedy worse. If you look back ten years ago when I was ten and my brother, Jack was eight. I remember recalling that my Father called us the toughest boys in the countryside. My Father’s death; I’m not sure what happened. I just know he was killed on my fifth birthday. As tragic as it sounds when my mother heard the news about Father, she stripped every memory of Father off the walls – off of the refrigerator, any where you can imagine and simply placed them in the fireplace where she noted I must never tell Jack of Richard.

One morning, my brother Jack and I had thought of a dare. A brilliant dare I thought, while my Mother was sleeping, I went into white bare room to get my blue bag my Father had given me for my fifth birthday. It had been sitting on the dresser and I picked it up. I hadn’t touched it since; this was my first time in five years…
Can I open? Open! Open! I asked excitedly as my Father handed me my last present from the coffee table. “Sure go ahead, there is no point in waiting. This one is from me.” As I opened the cardboard box, I was confused as I only saw a blue bag in it. “You can put all of your things in it,” I could tell my father was proud. “Happy fifth birthday son!” I didn’t open the bag to see if anything lay inside. I just sat there and smiled.

I stared in pure thought as I tried to think of what just happened; maybe I was just worried that Mother would let out the secret because of what happened the prior night. I brushed it off and ran to find Jack outside ready to head to the trains.

The train was black. Black as the night sky –I was amazed. Once we hopped on I noticed the dark red leather seats and a man. A man of the name Grandpa he had said. He was slim and tall and he had the most piercing pale blue eyes in the world. He reminded myself of my father. Jack and I both sat by him and shared stories.

“Where you boys from?” His voice, I recognized, but could not point it out.

“Uh – um,” I silently stuttered to myself. “Kansas.”

“And you boys on the train with no parents?”

“Not exactly.” I knew I had my father with me.

“Where you headed?” Jack and I both looked at each other.

“We just wanted to ride, that’s all.”

“Oh, I see now. You gotta get off somewhere though.”

“We’ll get off with you” I lied.

“If you boys are getting off with me, I bet you’re the toughest boys in the countryside. I’ve been on this train for more than four years!” A chuckle came out of him.
The conversation stopped suddenly. Not another word was made. It made me second-guess myself, but Mother said Father got killed; she wouldn’t lie, especially about this. Our plan was that we would jump off that night when Grandpa was sleeping. The plan had failed badly. We were too tired to jump or do anything that involved ourselves to move.

A few nights past, and with those nights – there were nothing, but storms. It was hard to tell what any of the noise was. One of those nights, Grandpa said he felt something strange. He kept telling us that he had a feeling of dread. That is when I picked up my blue bag. I felt the need to have it in my hands.

Can I open? Open! Open! I asked excitedly as my Father handed me my last present from the coffee table. “Sure go ahead, there is no point in waiting. This one is from me.” As I opened the cardboard box, I was confused as I only saw a blue bag in it “Something is wrong with me Marie” I overheard my father telling my mother. He looked back at me, with a smile. “You can put all of your things in it,” I could tell my father was proud. “Happy fifth birthday son!” I looked to my left where mother was holding three year old Jack. He was looking intently at my father. I didn’t open to see if anything was inside. I just sat there and smiled.

“We better hit the sack kids.”

“Alright.” We answered in unison.

The middle of night came and all I could hear was someone scream tornado, after the yell, I heard nothing beside me – I saw Jack’s mouth wide open and tears running down his face, but I heard nothing. The only thing I heard was the loud tornado coming toward us, about to suck us in, without saying goodbye to Mamma. What would she do with out us? How would she handle it? Would she handle us dead, like she is handling Father’s death, or would it be different? The questions lingered without any answers, all night in my head.

I looked over to Grandpa and with his hands motioning. I knew what he meant. Jack and I weren’t far away from him, but I must’ve got lost in all my thoughts, that I didn’t care if I died or not. Death would be the best of myself anyway, but when I thought about that, the questions were in my head again, but this time they were about Jack and Mother. Without thinking, I sprung over to into Grandpa’s arms, along with Jack. He then huddled over us…

I didn’t even realize the morning sun was here, until I actually woke up from a deep sleep. Grandpa still had his arms over us, but his positioning was weird. He was no longer huddled against us to keep us safe… He was no longer himself. His blue eyes, they were shut. His body was cold, his back bloody. The smell of the blood was horrid. Grandpa was no longer Grandpa and I was no longer Joe. I tried as hard as I could not to cry, I tried as hard as I could to be strong. I harshly failed. As Jack and I came out from under Grandpa arms, we noticed one more thing. One part of the train had been torn off.

“Jack, come on. We have to go!”

He struggled to get the words out. “But what about Grandpa? We can’t just leave him here,” Jack covered his face with his hands and wiped his nose with his arm. “We can’t. We can’t!”

“We can do nothing!” I was angered. I hated this decision as much as Jack, but I knew it had to be done. Why couldn’t Jack just understand death like I did?

I walked out into the world. One I hadn’t seen in at least two weeks. Jack would follow me, and we would be on our way home. We hurried down a trail we spotted half a mile away from the train. I held the blue bag tight in memory of Grandpa and our father.

“Something is wrong with me Marie” I overheard my father telling my mother. He looked back at me, with a smile. “You can put all of your things in it,” I could tell my father was proud. “Happy fifth birthday son!” I looked to my left where mother was holding three year old Jack. He was looking intently at my father. I didn’t open to see if anything was inside. I just sat there and smiled. “Why don’t we all go down to Oaky and play?” My Mother said and smiled. Jack and I both cheered in joy. My mother let Jack from her arms and onto the green grass. I noticed my Father running toward the trains and then I saw a figure jump up on something. My Father had run away from us forever.

We raced each other once we saw a chestnut –looking log cabin. I had won, like always. We got to the cabin and we soon knocked on the door for help. A kind woman answered and she invited us in. She had a nametag on that read Marie Rose, the exact name of my Mother. I looked passed her head and into what looked like the living room. I walked in further and saw a picture of what looked like father. Jack had seen it too.

“Is that Grandpa?” Jack exclaimed.

I stood in amazement. Why hadn’t I realized this before? Why hadn’t I recognized the man on the train? The pale blue eyes, strong arms, slim tall body?

“Mother?” She had noticed I recognized him.

I had the urge to open the bag, and so I did. A note lay inside.

Dear Joe,

I had a feeling you would get this late. I just want you to know that whatever happens, I will be with you. Remember you are one of the toughest boys in the countryside! Don’t forget that.

You’re Father,

Richard

I folded the letter back up and held it in my trembling hands. The picture that hung before me, I stood, crying and trembling. The man who took fourth and saved our lives, who didn’t take a second look when he heard our names or saw our faces had been my very own Father. The man my brother never knew.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback