“Name three things you are good at,” Scott asks as he squeezes the black cloth he is holding.
“Um, three things?” Vera looked at her brother as she hangs her sundress with a hanger.
“Alright then,” Scott said, seeing the doubt in her face, “How about above average?”
“Okay,” Vera’s face lights up, “I can do above average.” She gets a pair of jeans, her brother’s, and puts them up in another hanger.
Silence follows the two siblings as they continue to do their laundry. Scott looking at Vera, and her thinking about what those three strengths could possible be.
“Wait, I change my mind.” Scott gets another piece of clothing to squeeze on.
Vera looks at her brother.
“I want it to be three things you are good at.”
Vera groans as she stops hanging the clothes to look at her brother.
“What?” Scott asks as Vera gives him a pointed look.
“Am I even good at anything?” Vera’s voice wobbles at the thought of not thinking she’s good at anything.
Sure, she can do all kinds of things. The company she works in constantly calls her for odd jobs, jobs she can learn quickly and excel gracefully. But can she really say she is good at doing these things?
The silence of the moments seems to stretch. Vera continues to stay quiet, methodical in getting a piece of cloth, getting a hanger, and hanging them dry. Scott lets Vera ponder for a few moments until the silence became unbearable for him.
“So,” Scott’s voice strained as he struggled to be patient with his sister. “Three things you’re good at?”
“Well,” Vera paused to get the words out of her system. “I don’t know if I’m good at them.”
“Sure, you are! Just name one.”
“Well, I guess,” Vera speaks softly, making Scott scoot nearer to hear what she’s saying, “I’m good in singing?”
“Wait,” Scott pauses and doesn’t squeeze the cloth he’s holding. “You guess you’re good at singing?”
Vera nods shyly.
“You’re great at singing! You’ve got a great voice!”
“No, I don’t.” Vera brushes away her brother’s compliment. Scott shakes his head as he points to his sister.
“You are a good singer. You just don’t see it because we’re a family of musicians.”
Vera doesn’t answer and only gets another cloth.
“Okay, two more things.” Scott gets a pair of pajamas and squeezes out the soap. “And don’t doubt.”
“Alright!” Vera laughs as her brother gives her a pointed look, one that screams, “I’m seriously serious,” but only causes her to laugh.
“I’m good at editing videos?” Vera says.
“Is that a doubt I’m hearing?” Scott asks.
“Well, I’m not sure if I’m good at editing videos. I know I’m above average. But I don’t know if I’m good.” Vera answers.
“You are good. Why do you keep doubting yourself?” Scott asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Sis, listen.” Scott stops squeezing the cloth he is holding and looks at his sister. “You were hired in one of the top video-editing countries in the country. You are good.”
“Well, I mean there are a lot more people who are better than-“
“I’m not asking what you’re the best at. I’m just asking what you know you’re good at.”
Silence follows their conversation.
“You don’t give yourself enough credit,” Scott says.
“Oh, and you do?” Vera retorts as she hangs the piece of cloth.
“Then how about you name three things you’re good at?”
Scott looks at Vera, his expression smug.
Crap. Wrong move.
“Scott stretches his hands and looks squarely at his sibling. “I’m good at math. I can organize things in a specific, effective, and efficient manner. I’m good at physics.”
“Smart-ass,” Vera mumbles as his brother gives him a victorious look, with his eyebrows raised and his mouth in a wide grin. His eyes twinkled with laughter at his win against his sister.
“So, give yourself some credit. You should try that sometime.”
“Haha,” Vera laughs sarcastically at her brother.
“So, what’s that one thing?”
“Well, it’s not dancing, since I stopped already.”
“How about writing?”
Vera pauses. He doesn’t know yet.
“I don’t think I’m good at it.”
“I think you’re getting there.”
Vera looks at his brother.
“What?” Scott doesn’t pause as his sister stares at her. “You write every night despite having a day job, and you take these online courses about writing, so you must be getting better.”
Vera doesn’t move as she only stares at her brother.
Scott notices Vera’s still body and looks up at her.
Vera whispers, her voice barely audible as he murmurs to the wind, “I stopped writing a year ago.”
“I’m sorry what was that?” Scott leaned his body closer to hear what Vera just said.
“I haven’t written in a year.” Vera blurted.
Scott looked at her with shock, his mouth hanging open in the air, “What?”
“I stopped writing a year ago.”
“A year? That was when-“ Scott looks at her with realization. “Oh.”
“Yeah.” Vera nods at his brother, confirming what was in his mind.
“He would have wanted you to keep writing, you know.”
“So, why don’t you?” Scott asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I think you should. I think you know you should. Don’t you?”
Vera sighs. “I do.”
“And that’s the last of them!” Vera hangs the last piece of cloth. Scott and Vera continue to clean up the laundry place as they pack away, Scott humming while Vera is still deep in thought.
One hour later, she opens the laptop. Files filled with videos and to-do lists and deadlines flood her skin. But one item pops up the most.
She hovers the screen on the word document, takes a deep breath, and opens the word.
She types the first words she has written in a long time.
“It’s been a year since I last wrote a story. I still miss you. This one is for you.
I love you, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day.
It was a day of opposites. What started as a celebration turned into mourning. What began as laughter, ended up sobbing. But this is still a story painstakingly worth telling.”
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Hi, I was sent to review this. Quite eerily, as it hits home for me because I lost my Dad nine months ago, and it's driven me to focus on my writing too. A very touching story. Thank you for sharing. Please continue writing and good luck with your submissions :)
Sending my condolences. 😔 Thank you so much for appreciating it! God bless to you also! ☺️