She was not feeling herself that night. The stars were looking beautiful that night, it always made Shanna feel better. She always looked up at the sky and would find the brightest star with her dad. He always told her that whenever she was feeling upset, she should look up at the sky and search for the brightest star. He also advised her to close her eyes take a deep breath and imagine something that made her happy. Shanna and her father bonded by telling each other their problems and always shared a laughter at the end no matter how bad there day was. She only had her father Jacob, Shanna’s mother left her when she was a little girl. Her mother ran away from the family when Shanna was 2 years old. Jacob did not like speaking about her. Jacob always felt anger and pain towards Shanna mother, Mary. Jacob’s attention was always on his daughter Shanna and that’s why he never remarried. As Shanna got older, she got busy with her life and did not spend as much time with her father; especially their weekly starry nights; they were gone. Jacob always hoped that Shanna would come lay down next to her on the rooftop so they can observe the stars. He hoped that she would come one day and talk to him about anything.

           He really missed Mary he wished that she did not leave both Shanna and him. They would have been a perfect family. Jacob always knew the day would come were Shanna would be busy with her own life. He was happy that she turned into a beautiful, fierce and independent woman just like her mother.

 She realized that she has been distant with her father. As Shanna got older, she wanted to know more about her mother. She never asked Jacob because she knew how much it hurts him. His response was always she left them and never came back to them. Jacob would always be feeling furious whenever Shanna brought up the topic of why Mary left.

           She went upstairs and saw the window was opened, and noticed her father was laying down on the rooftop on this beautiful starry night. She climbed out the window and lay down next to him and reached out for his hand. Jacob was startled and opened his eyes and turned around “Oh it’s you, Shanna you scared me.” “Sorry about that Dad, I just saw you here and wanted to lay down next to you.” Jacob smiled; he reached out for her hand again “I missed this; remember we use to do this every week. But now you don’t have time for your old man.” Shanna smirked “No, Dad its not that its… I do not how to say this, but I have been thinking a lot about Mom lately. I know how much pain it causes you. I have so many questions how she was, why she left us. They are constantly in my head.” Before answering this Jacob closed his eyes and took a deep breath “Yes, I have realized, Shanna I’ve held in the anger of why your mother left us for too long. I’ve actually been thinking about her a lot as well.”

           Jacob and Shanna had both tears in their eyes. “Today I will tell you why your mother left. Your mother was a beautiful, strong and independent woman just like you. You ask questions and argue just like her. There was no winning when you argued with her, she always got the last word. Just like you Shanna there is no winning with you.” Shanna laughed and noticed her Dad’s eyes filled with pain and happiness. Jacob broke down in tears “We were in love for 3 years, I took one glance at her and said this is the one I’ve always been looking for. We met at our old job at the factory; we became so close in such little time. I proposed to her the next year we met, and we quickly got married. Then, we got the most beautiful gift, which was you Shanna, we were happy. But, the year after things started falling apart in our marriage, we constantly had arguments, both were always upset, and I would always try to win back Mary with my love. It worked for a while, but it did not last long enough. She was my first love. But it turned out she was not happy with me and had an affair with another man. She found a new love, she always told me he was better looking and charismatic than me. Mary realized that she was not ready for motherhood. I pleaded her not to go.  I told Mary she can continue seeing that so-called man but to stay and be a mother to you…” Shanna had tears in her eyes and Jacob as well. “I asked her more time so she can stay not just for you but for me, I only had her.  I thought I could have won her back with my love and affection. But I became too boring. I think about that day often as if it were yesterday; and it angers me. I always thought if I was so boring then why did she marry me. The day she left I asked her that. She could not even answer it and she just left. I still remember that moment.” “She held my face in her hands kissed me and told me that she loved me and would never forget me. But I never made her genuinely happy she settled for me because I was a decent guy. But this new guy was everything that she wanted. This whole time I have been bitter about it, but now since I have been alone. I understand and I forgave her, and I hope she is happy. I just wish I can spend one last moment with her.” Jacob turned towards Shanna “She loved you Shanna she didn’t want to leave you she wanted to take you with her, but I insisted not to because I needed somebody, she agreed and she said she would visit you.” Shanna had tears in her eyes “Dad, how come you never told me any of this, I would have understood.” “I just thought you were too young and be angry of why I didn’t let you go with your mother.” “I’m happy I didn’t or else I wouldn’t have a great relationship with you, I wouldn’t have our starry nights which I always cherished. I love you; Dad I would never leave you.” On this beautiful starry night with the brightest stars in the sky Shanna and Jacob shared their deepest secrets which were bothering them, a shooting star appeared but both their wishes were fulfilled. Shanna finally got the answer to her question and Jacob let go of his piercing pain that always ached in his heart.

May 01, 2020 20:36

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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