Day 299 – The Way Home – Part 2

This is my 300th story.

Word count: 669

The kettle boiled as he spread the butter over the crisp warm toast, jam on the side this time. He stirred up a black coffee, two sugars in her favourite cup and saucer and placed it in the centre of the wooden tray.
It was early in the morning again, but he did not feel tired. The birds were singing their usual song, not a note out of place, as always. Sam, this time, was not filled with any comforting joy that spring was well on its way. It would never come. It would rain a little in the afternoon, the sunshine would poke through and the night would fall. Spring would never come. Summer would never come. Autumn would never come and Christmas would never happen. It was the curse.

Some days he could convince himself. Some days he went through it as if it were a normal day; an ordinary nine-til-five at the office, home for tea and a bedtime story with Maria. Some days he would just go out and sit in the garden and wait for it to happen. He had given up trying to stop it; it could not be stopped. This day would play over and play over again until he decided not to go back.

Sam took Natasha’s breakfast upstairs. She wasn’t awake yet, he was earlier than normal. He placed the tray by her bedside and kissed her on the cheek. She stirred unconsciously. His stomach turned. This today he could not face.
Sam went directly into Maria’s bedroom and scooped her up in his arms. She would be sleeping until the car, that’s how it was last time. He took her downstairs and carried her out the door. The morning light was grey and the wind was calm; the world was still. He opened up the car and laid her down inside. She began to wake, as promised.
“Ssh, Maria, go back to sleep,” he brushed his fingers across her eyelids, forcing them back closed.
Sam got in the driver’s seat and reversed out of the drive, looking back at the house before driving off down the road. He hated himself every time he did this, but there was no avoidance. It would always happen. He could either stay to see, or see her for a short while, knowing he would see her again soon.
Sam was heading towards the beach. He hoped the gentle tide would calm him. He would play sandcastles with his daughter until the sun came down; until the phone call came. It would be perfect: they would have sandwiches and slushies. He would let her bury him in the sand and he would chase her into the sea.
“Dad,” Maria groaned sleepily in the back. “Where are we going?”
“The beach!” he replied enthusiastically.
“But what about school?”
“No school today, sweetie.”
“Where’s mummy?”
Sam choked on his words. She would never come. He had tried to make her; tried to force her. It always happened in the end.
“She couldn’t come. She was too tired. She sends her love though,” tears were streaming down his cheeks. He could barely see where he was going.
Skidding all over the road, the lonely road kept him safe from any harm; he did not know why. Suddenly a red light appeared in his view. He screeched to a halt, inches away from figure that stood on the road.
The figure approached him. He would down the window.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see,” he said, eyes still watery.
“Maria?” a woman’s voice questioned.
“Miss Stephenson!”
“Maria, what are you doing here?”
“Don’t have time, sorry,” Sam sped off, leaving the woman to disappear into his exhaust fumes. He did not want anyone disrupting his time with his little girl.
“Who was that?” he asked Maria.
“My teacher, Miss Stephenson,” she replied.
“Oh okay. I’m sorry we couldn’t stay. Go back to sleep now. The beach is soon.
They drove for hours; time dripping from his hands like water.

~ by S.G. Mark on August 1, 2012.

One Response to “Day 299 – The Way Home – Part 2”

  1. 300th!
    Visually pleasant but disconnect is there…expressed well, in tenderness, his struggle to cope.

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