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Yellow, Gold, and Grey

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Walking towards his car put a block of lead into my stomach, becoming heavier and heavier with each step. A steady breeze set in, whipping my hair in all directions. I shivered, chilled to the bone. The walk between two cars is a measly 15 feet. But knowing what is about to come, it feels like miles. It felt as if I was walking on a deserted, dead highway. Nothing moving, nothing making a sound but the soft crunch of gravel beneath my feet. A foreboding feeling in the air, like the calm before a storm.
“Hey!” a voice, a warm baritone said enthusiastically, ¨Are you excited? ¨
¨Yeah.” I said, nodding my head. I walked further towards him, trying to ignore the feeling of complete and utter dread, that steadily crept upon me. I reached his car, a green family vehicle of name and value I have no care to learn. I pulled open the passenger side door, and stumble my way into the seat with the grace like that of a baby giraffe just learning to walk. As I settled into the faux leather seat, I tried to ignore the incessant chatter coming from him.
“So, how’s your week been daughter o’ mine? Mine's been good; I’m still wiring that building in Mass. Did I tell you about this really good idea I had? Well, it’s going to bring in a lot of money if it works. So this is how it will work, I-” he kept talking, and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Not that I was trying. He talked, and talked, and talked oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t too interested, as I had heard the idea the last time I saw him.
Why am I even here? Oh, right, I promised I’d do these pictures with him. So he can fulfill his perfect family dream. Why do I do this to myself?
Lifting my cheek from the cool glass, I turned away from the flashes of red and orange outside my window to face the road ahead of me. The road, a twisting stretch of asphalt leading me to the lake, or rather the ocean as the natives have come to call it. It’s a bleak little area this time of year, the sky always gray, the spray of the water always cold. The wind, always biting with its great maw.
The reason they chose to have the pictures taken at the ocean, especially on a day like today is beyond me.
I sigh softly, going back to look at the flashes of yellows and golds.
The leaves in this area are quite beautiful, and not just this time of year either.
My mind drifted off, thinking about unimportant things, the color of the leaves, next week's weather, and so many other things just looping together like a never ending cassette tape ribbon, just going on and on, never stopping.
“Do you want to get something to eat? It’s almost noon; I think we’ll be passing by the General Store soon.” He said, waking me from my thoughts.
“Sure, I’m not overly hungry though,” I respond as I grab my phone from my bag. “What are you getting?”
“Probably a coffee, I finished mine about 10 minutes ago.”
That brings the number of coffees he has consumed today to 5. That’s ridiculous.
I nod and look down at my phone checking the time. A bright 10:30 flashes up at me. I internally groan and thump my head back on the car seat.
Only 7 hours to go.
*******************
It was dark by the time he and I left the Ocean. Sitting back in his car after hours of extremely awkward and tense interactions that he was utterly oblivious of was a relief. That is if the ride doesn’t go as it sometimes does. There are times when the ride back ends in tears, yelling, and dead silence among other things. The best I could possibly have is one-sided tension.
I can’t wait to get home. It was nice to spend some time with him but one day is about as much as I can take.
The light from my phone splashed along the walls of the car as I played a random puzzle game I had downloaded earlier.
“So,” He said as he broke the peaceful silence “did you hear the new album that Weezer released? It’s great!”
“No, I didn’t know that they were still together.”
“Here,” He passed me his phone "play this song it’s so good.”
I looked at the title and internally fumed.
Forgive Your Foolish Father. Dad, are you trying to tell me something? Our messed up relationship is all on you. Just tell me if you have something to say. It’s hard enough talking to you in a typical situation.
I press play to amuse him, the opening notes and lyrics sounding like a song written by My Chemical Romance, not a song by Weezer. After a few seconds, I turn the song off.
“It’s good.” I said tightly. I put his phone in one of the cup holders and looked out the windshield. It’s dark outside, no cars other than the one I am sitting in on the road.
The stretch of road had a lack of houses, only darkness and the shadowy figures of trees in the distance.
“What are your plans for next week?” I ask trying to find a way to break the silence.
“Well, I was assigned to a new building in Mass. I start next week.”
“That’s cool.” Our short conversation lulls into silence. Having no need to continue paying attention to anything in particular, I start to drift off in thought. Thinking about unimportant things. The darkness of the night, plans for vacation, the homework I have to do. Thinking deeply on important things.
How is it that things have turned out so bad? Knowing what I know of your past and mine, it shouldn’t be surprising. As much as I realize that I will never have the relationship I want with you all I can help but think is- Why did it have to be this way?






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