No Easy Day (Challenge Repost)

Paul squinted at a sky made hazy with humidity, just a hint of blue. The day was not going to go easy on him. He picked at his shirt, clingy with sweat, as he picked his way around the goats and their droppings.

“Particular as always,” his grandpappy called playfully from the porch.

“I know,” he sighed, shoulders drooping, “Too particular to come by more often, to fix those shingles, to plant those greens for ya. Hell, too particular to do a lot of things, and for that I’m sorry.”

The old man eyed his grandson carefully, taking in the lean body standing there in worn corduroy and a white shirt that long ago ceased being truly white, “Boy, you’s awfully serious today.”

“Some days are like that, ain’t they?”

“S’pose so, but not without a reason mostly.”

“Sho ‘nuff, grandpappy. Sho ’nuff. I, um, I gots to get goin, and I just wanted…wanted to say I’m sorry for not doing more.”

The old man let the boy go without a word, watched him make his way down the dirt road, to fade into the muggy afternoon.

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