This Child is not allowed Happiness
The realization of what the future was going to bring, all started to develop in front of Kyle one Saturday morning many years ago. He was excited this morning to get to his girlfriend’s house. He was about forty-five minutes into his journey when he passed the house that he had spent his high school years in. What memories were in that house, the memories of a young family trying to make it in this crazy world. It would become a shame that the new memories that would fill this country home would be memories of a family self-destructing.
His family had vacated the home a few months earlier due to his parents not getting along, putting it lightly. It was a mother of three who wanted her freedom after twenty years of raising the boys and now felt the need to spread her wings and taste the elusive freedom. A father who was buried in depression going back to his childhood. A man who was blessed with talents of an artist but could not pursue them due to having to make a living, a situation so many other family men found themselves in. Kyle could remember seeing his father sitting in front of an aisle with his oil paints in front of him and the beginning of a colorful picture emerging. His dad’s ability to create something beautiful starting with a blank canvass. What talent to possess, and Kyle was extremely impressed.
The boys knew that something was wrong between their parents as they continued to hear the fighting escalate. It became obvious to them that a train wreck was going to happen between a depressed father and a mother demanding her freedom with the kids caught in the middle.
As Kyle walked past the side yard facing the road, his thumb out, hoping to get lucky being there was never a car on this dirt country road, and he did not want to miss one, nor did he want to walk all the way there. He had reached the driveway of the empty, cold house, and an eerie feeling came over him, drawing his being to the haunting house. It was like an energy force that was extraordinarily strong, making Kyle to take a second look after not wanting to leave the road, so he decided to go with the feeling. It seemed as if he was being pulled or called to the garage attached to the house. As he approached the dwelling and looked inside the house, there was not anything in sight that looked suspicious until he glanced over to the kitchen where the garage door was. It seemed as if the door was swinging open and then close, open, and then close. Kyle looked harder to see if there was something he was missing, a draft somewhere that would move the door to the garage back and forth, but the house was all locked up, making what he was seeing impossible. He tried the front door, shaking it to see if he could open it and find out what the hell was going on inside the house, he grew up in. About that time his friends were calling to see if he needed a ride.
“Hey, Kyle, Kyle!” Steve yelled out of his car window, trying to get his attention.
“Steve, what’s up? What brings you out this way?”
“Get in, ’I’m heading to the beach for the surfing competition.”
“Man, that is what I was wanting to do, but listen, there is something weird going on inside my old house. Come on over here and help me find out what is happening in there.”
Steve parked his car in the driveway and walked over to the front porch where Kyle was still messing with the door.
“Kyle, did you hear that noise coming out of the garage? I noticed it after turning off my engine and getting out of the car. I am not sure what it is, but we should see if we can get in.”
Kyle and Steve started to walk around the front porch to where Steve parked his car. They both stood there, trying to make sense of what they were hearing, and it was coming from the garage as Steve had said. The large garage door was locked as they tried to pull it open, and they both saw the side window and decided to try it, hoping it would have not been locked. As they reached the side of the garage, they moved the boards with long rusty nails to the ground, out of the way, so that they could get to the window. As Steve reached for the last board, a rat ran out from under it and scared the hell of out of the both of them. After they regained their composure, Kyle tried to slide the window open, but it was also locked.
Steve said, “Damn it, I was hoping it would be open.”
Kyle said, “This is crazy. Can you smell something strange, or is it just me?”
“Now that you have said something, I am picking up something that smells rotten to me, and I mean that in the sense of the word.”
They both smashed their faces to the window as their eyes went back and forth, trying to see something.
“Okay, Steve, before you got here, I could swear I saw the door from the kitchen to the garage swinging open and then close over and over again, and now you say you can smell something rotten. This is getting pretty weird.”
Steve looked at Kyle. “Can you get ahold of your mom to let us in?”
Kyle, still looking in the garage through the window, said, “No, she is sleeping after working late last night, and I don’t dare wake her. Plus, we are selling the house, and I don’t know if she still has a key.” Kyle stepped away from the window and looked out toward the mountains in a blank stare.
“Okay, let us break the glass to get in. I can’t take it any longer.” Reaching down where the lumber was, Kyle picked up a rock and smashed it into the glass, making a loud sound as the glass fell to the ground. As soon as he did that, both were overwhelmed with the smell emanating from inside as the sound they heard of a car running now became much louder. Kyle picked up one of the boards and used it to clean the glass away from the sides of the window and had Steve lift him up so that he could crawl over the glass to the inside of the garage. He could see the reason for the foul smell. A dead black cat lay on the cement in a frozen pose. Kyle then helped Steve get in as they plugged their nose and ran to unlock the garage door to open it and let the fresh air in. Opening the door, Kyle looked over at the truck that was running. With a weird look on his face, he went to open the truck door to turn off the engine. As he grabbed the handle and pulled the driver side door open, he gasped with horror.
Steve said, “What is the matter? What are you seeing?”
Kyle said, “My dad’s wallet and money clip are on the seat, but no sign of him.”
They looked in the back seat of the truck, but it was also empty. The boys just looked at each other in bewilderment, not knowing what was going on. Meanwhile, a car pulled up in the driveway, and the realtor got out and walked to the back of the truck.
“Hey, guys, what is going on? I saw the garage door open and wondered if there was a break-in.”
Steve said, “Yes, there was a break-in. It was us.”
Kyle explained what had taken place and why they broke the window to get in. The realtor said that he would get the window fixed, and they closed the garage door and locked it and then went on with their day.
Kyle was now back on his way to his girlfriend’s, leaving those eerie feelings behind. What they did not know was that in that vacant family house, a man lay dying underneath the truck-bed cover, one place they did not look, reaching out to Kyle for the last time, that overcast cold Saturday morning.
“Miss you, Dad, so much.” Kyle, with tears in his eyes, wiped them away, now realizing he was the dad, and he better get tough because the going was getting tougher, and he had to do all he could do to protect his wife and children. He pulled into his driveway as the rain came down hard, parked the car and sat there with his head on the steering wheel. Kyle had blocked all what had happened with his Dad, and now by remembering it had opened old wounds that had disappeared years ago. Two emotions came to surface, two memories that he had put in the safe, well they were now out.