At dinner with the Life

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write a story where a meal or dinner goes horribly wrong.... view prompt

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Fiction Drama Sad

Medea breaks her hands, her trembling hands, which she feels cold, although sweaty. She was pacing in front of the restaurant where she’s invited Sonia’s father. She is not sure that she will come and thinks with horror what she will tell the girl if he does not appear at the dinner.

Sonia is a teen who passed all her life under state authority. Her mother passed away at her birth and her father never shown a minimum curiosity to meet his daughter.

Sonia lived all the years of her existence with a dream: to meet her father. One day she came into her counselor’s office with tears in her eyes. She had impressed so much Medeea by asking for help to do something for her father to find her. The girl never accepted the idea that her father didn’t want to see her. She argued he couldn’t find her, because she was all the time under the state authority, in its social care. Medeea has read the girl’s file, and she was aware of the cruel truth. No, the man didn’t have any intention to connect with his daughter.

“This girl was a mistake, madam, like my marriage with her mother. I never saw this child, and even her mother left her alone in this life. Why should I be a father if her mother didn’t want the baby? She preferred to pass away and let this kid to me! Why? I don’t need her. ”

Medeea was shocked. She couldn’t understand this type of reasoning. What kind of heart could have a man speaking like this about a being with his own blood? No heart at all!–she thought.

Sonia appears from around the corner. She looks like floating. Hope and joy are bright halos around her head that reflect their sparks in the girl’s wide-open eyes. Medeea’s heart is breaking. “What shall I say to him, Lord?” I hadn’t to organize this dinner. He will not come! But what about if he comes? She realizes in an instant that this could be even worse.

“Hi, Madam counselor! Sonia’s eyes are bright and her face radiates huge happiness.

“I have not words to thank you, madam, for helping my father to find me. I am so sure he tried to do this, but it was so difficult. ”

The counselor can’t understand why Sonia refuses to see the other side of the Moon. She noticed that never ever the girl saw the issue from a negative side of her father’s attitude. In her mind, he always was a hero who couldn’t fulfill his role because of the social institutions.

Hi, Sonia. I’m glad you came.” The young woman’s voice is trembling like something strangles her through. “Let’s go inside!”

The restaurant has large windows towards the entrance and Medeea chooses a table where she can have a good perspective on the front door. Sonia, a thirteen years girl raised since she was a month old through orphanages, entered for her first time into a restaurant. One more reason for being exciting, but she realizes this only when she has sat on the chair looking around with curiosity. These several minutes of scrutinizing the new environment are a treasure for Medeea’s state of spirit. It’s like a brake for her nerves when Sonia seems to forget a little about her father. The young woman is looking outside over the girl’s head and she is feeling inside her stomach a kind o a sharp pain that climbs until her dry throat. Contrary emotions try her. On the one hand, she is aware of the tremendous pain the absence of Sonia’s father would cause, but for a few minutes now she can’t stop thinking about his negative reaction if he comes. All the time, she has expected that when he would see Sonia, who looks like him strikingly, he would give up on his rejection. But now she is not sure that she correctly estimated Sonia’s father’s probable reaction. Medeea knows that it would be a genuine catastrophe for Sonia’s soul, the continuation of the attitude shown before by the man.

Sonia is looking around and the atmosphere, unusual for her, helped a lot to decrease the excitement that engulfed her when she came thinking only of her father. Now, the novelty of the experience slowed down the intensity of her emotions. Her hot cheeks, and with a kind of bright red color when she entered, slowly turn into their usual pink, highlighted by a more intense pink color of the lips.

She’s so beautiful- reflects Medeea. Why, for God’s sake, a man could refuse to have a daughter like her? And she is so clever and cute! But he doesn’t know this. He never talked to her. He knew nothing about her excellent results at school for almost all these years. Almost, because Sonia’s school performance has registered a dramatic decline, in the last two months. Her obsessive preoccupation with meeting her father has left its mark. This is, in fact, the main reason for Medeea’s decision to get involved. It would have been a shame for the girl to crash on the threshold of entering high school.

Sonia looks at Medeea with bright eyes.

“My father has chosen this beautiful place?”

It sounded more like a statement than a question. In Sonia’s mind, a perfect father can’t choose something else than a perfect place.

Medeea tries to find a diplomatic answer. But suddenly she understands that it’s unnecessary. Nothing could change Sonia’s mind. On the sky of her hopes, the Father was the genuine perfection, the Goodness in a pure state, a poor man who was the victim of a two bureaucratic system that always has been an obstacle in the way of him to find his beloved girl.

One day, several years ago a cousin of her mother came to see her. Sonia never asked herself how was possible for that young woman to arrive at the door of the orphanage. That meeting has confirmed the girl’s image and hopes regarding her father. When she, the little girl at the time, entered the office of the orphanage’s principal, that cousin of her mother covered her mouth with the right hand and exclaimed:

 “How much you look like your father! You are beautiful as he is. Cursed be he! That’s why he took the mind off poor Dina.”

“My mom was Dina! How do you know her?”

“She was my cousin, girl!”

“Do you know my father?”

“Yes, but I’m not excited about this…”

Sonia didn’t notice that the principal stopped the intention of undesired revelations the woman was ready to do for. The only important thing for her was the idea that his father is a beautiful man who was loved by her mother. She never thought about her mother. She was dead after all, and the possibility of meeting her was null. Her childish selfishness made her mind turn this way, only towards the live parent.

The big front window trembles. The image of a tall, slim man, with an elegant walking style, casually dressed, appeared in front of Medeea’s eyes. It is a handsome man. She didn’t notice this when she met him in front of his house. At first, he was so surprised and then afraid to be seen by his wife! He has thrown the unforgettable words and disappeared. Later, on the phone when he finally accepted to meet his daughter he repeated the same ideas and stressed his rejection. That why probably Medeea didn’t notice how handsome he is.

The man enters the restaurant, looking around to find them. Medeea turns to be seen. What she notices is the visible astonishment of the man. His eyes stop on the face of the girl standing with her back against the window. Medea sees when one looks at the other and the resemblance amazes her.

Sonia, first, doesn’t understand the counselor’s abrupt silence, and then she sees herself, like in a mirror, on the man’s face, the man who just entered. Like a spring, the emotion lifts her from her chair, but something undefined stops her. Maybe the man’s icy eyes? Or maybe his palm raised with the meaning of standing still, of stopping her?

She lefts down softly in the chair.

The man comes to their table. He looks critically at Medeea and addresses her in a low but voice:

“Well, are you happy now? I am here!”

Then, he looks to his daughter...

“Yeah, I am your father”

Something seems to soften his anger for a moment. But the balance between the past, present, and future increases his fear.

“Look girl, it is obvious you are my daughter. But I never wanted to meet you. You are a mistake in my life....”

Medeea can’t believe that this handsome man can be so harsh to repeat the words he said to her; not in face of the child who looks like him so visible.

No, it is not harshness, but cowardice. Cowardice was from the first moment he left her. Now he feels fears about what this girl’s entry into the consciousness of her new family might mean.

Fear causes him to choose between hurting only her or upsetting those at home, his wife and the other two children.

The man refuses to sit down, turns his back but not before he says:

“Never, you understand? Never again don’t try to contact me! This is my last word!”

And he leaves the restaurant under the eyes flooded by tears of an only thirteen years old girl.

Medeea tries to understand what is to be done further. She realizes hoping for an enjoyed dinner together with Sonia is too much. But maybe, after enough long quietness, she could have a talk to this girl turned into a mature human being, taught by a life experience. They could have something to eat or maybe only to talk. Sometimes the appropriate words can nourish food for a wounded soul.

July 01, 2021 20:12

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