Gravitas

Avatar Author: lastsyllable Who wants to be a writer? I do! Read Bio

My father sent me a postcard of the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. On the back, he wrote:

“Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow
Speak gently, she can hear
the daisies grow.”

Oscar Wilde’s lines, but I knew “she” meant my mother. We both still ached from her death a year ago, though he had divorced her a decade earlier and I was a grown man myself. Then as now, he had no words for me that had not first passed through another’s lips.

I arranged to visit him while on a business trip in France. We met at a café near the airport, surrounded by other men eager to be elsewhere. Both of us ordered espresso, black, no sugar. His face was a softer, thicker version of the one I saw in the mirror each morning.

I laid the postcard on the table between us like a peace offering. “I think we should no longer be strangers,” I said softly.

He lowered his eyes, looked away. “I’m sorry, but it’s just… My brother lived with us, before you were born. I know there are… tests…”

That was the last time I saw Paris.

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Comments (2 so far!)

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  1. Avatar N. Robertson

    Hey, this story needs some attention. I like it. It packs a lot of time into the limited space. The transitions between times are smooth. The ending is painful and well done (sounds strange, but that’s how it goes).

  2. Avatar lastsyllable

    Thanks for the comments. It is the way of Ficly that sometimes things go gentle into that good night, but I’m glad you found it.