Family Fiction posted October 6, 2021

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A Simple Jacket Shared By Our Family


by Brett Matthew West

Tyler fumbled through the closet in our old house. He found my letterman jacket. The one I once called mine not so long ago. I'd won the jacket playing quarterback for the Martinsville High School Ramblers football team. Ramblers, just like me and most of my friends turned out to be. He slipped the black leather on. The garment fit him well. My how our son has matured into a fine young man.

Curious, Tyler extracted a folded piece of paper from the jacket's pocket. Yellowed with time, I'd left the note in there all those years ago. Tyler smiled. He drew a deep breath then read the words you wrote. I knew exactly what the message was.

You see, Carol, I know the words by heart. The same lesson I'd raised Tyler on. He does possess an incredible recall. There was the line "this ain't easy." No, raising Tyler alone as a single parent hadn't been easy. The best things in life seldom are.

There's also the line "you'll get along just fine." I don't know about that. Every day has been an uphill battle. Now, with this carcinoma, I have endured even more complications.

My mind flashed back on scenes that played like home movies. You were my Homecoming Queen, and I? I was your knight in shining armor, or so you claimed.

Fifteen years later, those words you wrote way back when we first began, still cut me in two. But, the hardest line of all was the one you wrote that said, "you still cared but we were through."

Memories like these can play not so funny tricks on your mind. Tyler put the note away. He pictured your face. Well, at least, he tried to imagine what you might look like. He hadn't seen you since he was two months old. Still, he offered a silent toast to what can't be erased.

In anguish, Tyler said, "Maybe now, Dad, we can R.I.P!"

As i laid here in front of this marble tombstone staring up at the brown dirt that covered me, I heard the gunshot.

~ Family Story ~ (fiction) writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
*Read All Rules*
Write a FICTIONAL story that involves a family. The word length is 400 words or less. You may use 1 picture that has no words, animation, or music, one color font with one color background, dedication line (optional) which doesn't count in word length, and author notes that may include 1 video (may have sound/music).

Jaakuna, by cmpnaruto, selected to complement my story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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