Four Days Late.
This day came no customary call, four days late.
For as long as I could remember, sometime towards mid-afternoon, I, lost in the process of my own life, would stop, surprised that the landline was ringing. Then I’d be subtly reminded when I picked up the handset and spoke, just how much you loved my sister too.
Often, I’d try to explain to her that even though he had called me, it was her he was thinking of. In response, the shrew, who could never be tamed, would claw apart the well-meant intentions, denouncing them as nothing more than worthless.
‘But don’t you see, the fact it was your birthday he phoned on, meant that his muddled mind could still do the math, that he had two daughters, not one.’
‘Nope. No. It was you he had the relationship with. He never bothered with me.’
The image of her many carrier bags, filled with the junk of her young life, hanging from door handles, hiding in copious corners, dumped under the table he crafted himself, or halfway up the un-bannistered stairs, that reverberated with her stilettos stomping up to bed when the rest of the world was rising, told me different. I believe, until the skip finally comes to cart away the veiled secrets in the attic, they are still there, skulking.
Last year after you left and before she finally made it to your door, when I told her of your priceless collections, the screaming was worse.
‘It holds no value to me. He was never there. He just didn’t care.’
But, I knew that behind the bluff and bluster, how somewhere in the dark recesses of his fractured mind, the contents of a shuttered room, complete with unfinished projects, had made the message clear.
This year, I, sick in heart and lung slept the day away. Apart from a spambot selling fraud protection, the telephone stayed silent. Knowing the call, for both of us, would never come, I reached into the cloud, hoping to hear your voice once more, a compensation for four days late that would be forever.
Of course, I could not reach you. You were not there. Technology cares not for the needs of the human condition. Unlike; attics, carrier bags and the muddled mind, finally letting go with a call, four days late, with ‘This is goodbye.’
And, I guess Dad, there is no protection against emotions that make frauds of us all.
Copyright © Talia Hardy. 10.01.2012.