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A Parent’s Wish

My wooden rocking chair creeps with each movement, whilst everything around me is quiet. The sound of the wood creaking against the floor boards is deafening in the silence. I turn slowly, knowing that time is all I have. I turn to the window sill and see the frost slowly form and crisp. There are leaves outside that fall from a tree. There is static from the T.V. The house smells like ash and smoke. I hate the smell.

I reach for the pack of cigarettes next to me and pull out a single. It bends slightly as I struggle with it. I pull a lighter from my pocket and watch the fire for a while before I put a flame to my toxic companion. I pull and cough. Violently first and then lesser so.  I switch lighter for a napkin and bring it to my mouth. Red, and I put the cigarette in my mouth again.

The static is now unbearable and I look around to find the remote. A Futile action, I would have been angry about that in the past. I can feel that old anger ache dully in my chest. I force it away with another pull from the cigarette. I get up and old pain seizes my legs. I could just turn off the T.V but I simply leave the room. I go upstairs, the wood still creaking as I take each step. I step into her old room. Everything is old in this accursed place.

Her room doesn’t smell bad. It smells of something untouched, something left to rot but has denied nature that pleasure. Her posters, though dusty, still radiate with all the love she had for them. Her paintings, canvases that were resting against the wall in the left corner of the room below the window. They gleamed as light bounced off the snow outside and through the glass onto them. Her paintings are so detailed, filled with slight strokes and lines that show her mastery. Colours that screamed out emotions and passion. There was love, and hate, and memories that she tried her best to forget.

Burning ash falls and touches my feet. It hurts but I am so deep in thought that I barely flinch. It reminds me to smoke. I lift it up once more and stop. I stare at the flame eating away at the tobacco. Bright orange, followed by black. I drop it and stomp it out. I open up the window and feel the cold in my bones. I breathe out a single cold breath. I can see it. The tree outside is still losing its leaves. With each minute It decays, losing to the power of time. I feel hot tears start to stream down my face. My lip quivering and finger starting to chill. My throat chokes up.

She is grown up now. She is no longer my own, she probably never was. Every parent dreams of getting to see their child grow. What they don’t realize is that what they really want, what they will eventually want, is for them to stay. But they will leave, especially if you push them away with expectations. Especially if you make them bottle up their dreams, like her paintings which remain in this room.

I close the window. I go downstairs to sit back by the fire. The T.V is working now and the news channel is on.

“And coming up next we have…”

I hear her name and it sounds like fresh dew drops on trees in the spring. It feels like seeing her for the first time all over again. I can hear the cries she made in the hospital and I feel her whole little hand wrapped around my finger. She is so beautiful now and she was beautiful then. She will always be beautiful and I will always be proud.