I stormed out furiously out of my best friend, Maya's house and kicked the tiny pebbles on the pavement. We had just bickered harshly about our parents' divorcing. Maya's mother had divorced last year and mine, just last month. Maya told me that 'she had more experience in divorce and she knew better which made me feel downright mad. Who was she to step right into my life?
I vehemently kicked a snow bank and I felt something metal tingle across the pavements coated with leaves. Something glinted marvelously over the shine of the dusky sun as I cocked my head to the side in puzzlement and picked up a silver, shining pen.
I glimpsed vaguely at it, wondering why it seemed so familiar when I noticed a few words encrusted to a side in beautiful, swirly letters: Arnold Parker, my dad.
It had been a year when Dad had walked away from us. I still couldn't believe the fact that I hadn't seen him for over a year. I glanced at the pen. And then, the truth hit me like a thousand cannon balls. Dad must be living here. Of course, if he had walked here before, his pen was most likely to fall off. And why on earth would his pen be over here?
Hastily, I tucked the fountain pen in the brims of my jeans pocket and knocked anxiously on the door next to Maya's. A strange, petite Spanish woman arrived at the door. The television was blaring noisily and she had corkscrew curls flying everywhere. The woman had delicate, red polished fingers and her glasses were perched magnificently over the bridge of her ski slope nose. She was thin-lipped and puckered her lips indignantly. "What do you want?" she snapped, in a horrible accent.
"By any chance, do you know if a man named Arnold Parker lives around here? Where would I find him?" I asked cautiously, crossing my fingers tightly and hoping.
The woman raised her bushy, thick eyebrows and yet, took another sip of her coffee. "Sure I do know, he always comes walking 'round here. Sad little fella. He would be around that last house."
I nodded. "Thanks." I plastered on a smile and hastily picked up my pace to the last house.
I was surprised at the condition of it.
Bird droppings coated every single murky flower pot, brown and green grime blots stained the glass windows, the doorstep was coveted in thick dust, vines formed a twisted maze around the side of the house, the houses walls' showed black decay by neglect and there were overgrown pine bushes venturing into the porch.
I, however recognized the deep green Land Rover with headlights flickering and beaming at the bonnet of the jeep. A tall, lanky figure stepped out of the house and pressed a button on his car keys. Glancing at my shadow, he squinted and pressed his glasses further up his nose.
"Lilly? What are you doing here?" he hissed, hastily putting his car keys away and pulling me inside.
Dad fixed us green tea and a plate of cookies. "Why have you come? Anything wrong?" he asked, a note of anxiousness in his tired and exhausted voice.
My father was a man of thirty six. He had tiny specks of white hair between his brown and jet black hair. The wrinkles on his forehead had increased and he looked paler than ever.
"Why have you come Lilly?" he inquired again, sipping his tea slowly.
"Well, mainly - to give you this." I grasped the fountain pen up and lay it down on the table.
Dad glanced at it for a moment before continuing, "That is not an excuse Lilly! You know how furious Jean would be!" he said sharply, taking the pen and putting it back in his pocket
"I also came to ask you why you wanted to do that." I gulped, wishing I wasn't about to cry and instead, looked straight at Dad.
Dad glanced at his watch and then back outside. "We may talk for about twenty minutes. I have a client coming at three. Hurry up." he said quickly and bit into a cookie.
Dad sighed and pressed the lines on his forehead, like he used to do when he had a headache. "Honey, it was for the good. We kept on arguing for nonsense and some of the things never even made sense. I loved Jean. I never understood why she would want to make the divorce with me." he swallowed painfully and tried to avoid talking by sipping his tea again.
I stared. "You mean, Mum made the divorce? Not you?"
Dad shrugged limply. "I never made the decision honey."
My voice grew louder every minute, as fury bubbled savagely inside me. "Dad, did you ever think of my future? Would Mum be there when I need compassion? Would you be there when I need support?" I yelled, in between suppressed sobs.
Dad gulped. "I d-d-don't have that answer." he stammered dreadfully. He awkwardly arose and swiftly glided gracefully to the washroom.
I glared at the table top and punched my cookie. As he huddled out and took his place again, I sighed.
"Dad, I just need you to answer one question. Are you happy?" I gulped.
Dad eyed the floor guiltily and folded his arms gently. He crossed his legs. "Are you happy?"
"Well, I guess not."
I glowered in rage at Dad. "Then why aren't you both making amends?" I demanded furiously.
Dad stuttered nervously. "Hon, Jean made the divorce. I'm totally okay with our relationship. I'd be glad to get together once more. However, she's not deciding it. It's up to her." he finally replied, with a quiver in his voice.
I stood up, blazing in anger. "Well, Dad...it was nice meeting up again." I muttered, coldly and hugged him.
I walked back, thinking. Who else could solve my problem? Then, it hit me. Maya could! She had experience likewise too! But we had just bickered.
I sighed, and decided that I'll be the first to make amends. I sighed and stepped anxiously on her doorstep. Here I go! I rapped softly over the door and watched in anxiousness as the doorknob twisted and Maya's face appeared....
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Haha, you're absolutely right...I meant for the storm out first...wow, you sure are observant. yeahhh I'll make the changes..Thanks for pointing out! So grateful for the comment!!!!
Niveeidha, this is a neat short story. I think you nailed the emotions of the protagonist. It must be hard dealing with divorce. And to think it is spiralled on by a pen! It's interesting the things people find. I think the flow of action in your first sentence is a little off... Maybe she should first storm out of her friend's house then kick the pebbles on the pavement? And maybe revisit the answer the Spanish woman gives. She says 'Sure I do..' yet Lilly asked about her father. Perhaps that's how you meant for it to flow. Keep writing!
I like the voice's and characters captured in the story. I can tell the age of the protagonist without it actually being stated. Great job!
Thanks Chloe! It really means a lot to me :) <3
Nice descriptive write up
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback! 😅
WOW! You nailed it. This story was so straight-forward yet captivating! The emotions and actions were so precisely captured. I love how you can be so descriptive. I didn't understand one thing in the story. You said that her parents divorced last month but, when she spots the pen, why does she say that it has been over a year? Just a query that I want an answer for😅 Love Your Stories and Never stop writing! 😉
Hi Lavanya, thank you so much for pointing out my mistake, I'm sorry about that, I must have been forgetful, haha! Thank you for your motivational feedback!