”Hi buddy. And happy birthday! 

Don't worry about the fact that I'm sitting in the grass, this is your day and we can do what we want. It's just the two of us and that is all that matters. I know that it's been a long time since I came to visit you. I know that. And I'm sorry. You see…your mother and I have…we've had some problems and…it was better for her if I stayed away for a while. It shouldn't have affected you and our time together. I feel bad about that. Truth be told; I was scared - even dads get scared sometimes.”

”It is a beautiful day today. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. I bet you the water is perfect for swimming and no wind is gonna cool us down afterwards. Would you like to go swimming? We could do anything you'd like. What would you like to do? You know, my father never taught me how to swim. I didn't learn until I was eighteen and that was on my own. My mother wouldn't allow me in the water unless I stayed close to the beach; she was afraid you see. And my father never contradicted her. ”He could drown Bill!,” she used to shout, if he happened to throw the ball too far so that I had to wade after it. He used to roll his eyes, but we would both return to shore as soon as she called. A quiet agreement.”

”What else could we do? Play football? Make a paper airplane and see how far it will go? There are some duck in the pond not far from here. We could feed them. They will eat from your hand if you stay perfectly still. Would you like that? Or maybe, we could sit down on a park bench somewhere and you could just talk to your dad about anything? Anything at all.

I'm sorry buddy, I really don't know much about this stuff. How to be a dad I mean. My father and I never did stuff really. Sure, he'd look after me, when my mother needed some time off; but he never seemed that into it. He was there in the room with me, in the woods or on the beach like that day; but he almost never talked to me. I promised myself I would do better. I guess I failed huh?”

”My father had three sons. I am the youngest. You are an only child so you have always been very special and loved. But I think that maybe the whole thing gets tired after awhile, I mean they had already been through it twice before; my father was in his forties when they had me, almost fifty. He didn't have the energy anymore, and my mother treated me more like a fine piece of china than a boy. Perhaps that is why I turned out so weak. Maybe that's why I have been so disappointing.”

”I can't believe it's been three years already; three years since you were born!  It feels like just yesterday when we got the news.

I have never loved your mother more than at that moment.

I wish you could have seen her - her eyes - the tone of her voice - everything changed that day. She was so happy and she loved you from the first moment. You were so tiny in that first picture - but to us you were the biggest thing ever.”

”I want you to know, that even if your mother and I aren't together right now, that I have never admired anyone as much as I admired her on the day you came. She was so strong. So brave. And I had never felt more useless. There were many in the room who knew exactly what to do - but I did nothing. Not at all the support I wanted to be - not the one she could depend on or turn to.

I think she knew how I felt, but other things were more important. And we have never talked about it. 

Maybe I told myself her silence meant it was ok, that she was; and that if we pretended everything was fine, maybe some day it would be. I got angry when she cornered me with questions about late hours at work, late nights with the guys; why I wasn't there. But instead of listening, I complained. She didn't deserve that - and I didn't deserve her. The truth is I was terrified, and too ashamed to admit it”

”I wish I had done more. It was my job. But instead I chose to escape. I will never understand the strength that was needed, and I will always feel guilty that I didn't even try. All the things I told myself back then, all those reasons I had for not being there - most of them I don't even remember now. 

I don't know when I first started to hide. Maybe that morning when she woke up and couldn't stop crying? That quiet moment at the doctors office after he told us? I still can't recall the car ride home, what was said, what we did. But the feeling is still there - pressing, suffocating - and I carry it around everyday - that void - in my chest where I want to catch my breath my can't.

Right there she needed me first, and maybe that is when I first betrayed her.”

”I lost a part of myself when I first saw you. Your hand; so tiny, so fragile…How I'd longed for you to grab my finger and squeeze it - but how you didn't. Your first scream that never came. How peaceful you looked in your mothers arms before they took you away.

That part I will never get back. And I am as empty now as I was.

I feel you everyday even though we never got to know each other. You never got to meet me…but you will always be a part of me.

And this is your day.

So…happy birthday my son.

I love you.


August 18, 2020 23:10

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Lori Colt
01:07 Aug 27, 2020

Wow. This is a beautiful story, all the pain of what could have been. You did a wonderful job. Please keep writing!


Jesper Jee
15:43 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you very much! I have noticed some sloppy mistakes. Hopefully you missed them! Thanks again!


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Keerththan 😀
15:44 Aug 24, 2020

Touching ending. Wonderful story, Jesper. Waiting for more of yours... Would you mind reading my new story "Secrets don't remain buried?"


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00:49 Aug 19, 2020

Wow, great story


Jesper Jee
10:55 Aug 19, 2020

Thank you so much!


12:33 Aug 19, 2020

No problem. P. S. I just posted a new story; would you mind checking it out? Thanks!


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