REUNION BEFORE SEPARATION
Mother always told us the story of how her and Dad met. It was a beautiful story and her eyes lit up whenever she talked about their encounter. Dad always used to tease her for the insolent attitude she had shown him when he first asked her out. We were all extremely jubilant, once upon a time, before the incident.
I remember it clear as day, it was a Friday, and the sun was at its peak. Mom had just completed her shift at the hospital. My younger sister, Kylie, and I had just gotten home from school and had lunch with Mom. It was a special day as Dad, who was a sales manager and travelled frequently, would come home for the week. Kylie and I got dressed at 4 o’clock for the dinner we always had at Willy’s Diner whenever he returned and waited for his arrival. Within a couple of minutes, the doorbell rang, and we rushed to open the door. We opened the door to see the blonde haired and blue-eyed man we most adored standing right in front of us with his usual boxy smile.
He picked us both up and circled us around as laughter filled every nuke and corner of the house. Mom came rushing down to see what all the tumult was about and when she saw his face, her own softened. Father gently let us down as he went and placed a soft kiss onto Mom’s lips. Their love always gave me a clear idea of what I wanted for myself one day.
After a laughter filled feast, we all headed back home. When we got home, my sister and I had our evening bath and sat on our beds waiting for father to come and kiss us goodnight. After what felt like an eternity, he finally arrived. I began to inquire of his travels because I did not want to sleep yet, but he clearly caught on to my delaying tactics as he shut them down too quick for my liking. I unwillingly let him tuck me into bed after he did the same to my sister. He kissed us goodnight and exited, closing the door on his way out.
I blankly looked up at the ceiling trying to fall asleep. I looked over to my sister as she too laid there staring at the ceiling as if it held some untold story that only she could see. Twenty minutes later, I heard the clicking of the front door being opened and a banging sound signalling its shutting. A deep and gruff voice could be heard, and its volume gesticulated that its owner was furious. Next was Dad’s voice, which was lower but surprisingly shaky. The shattering of a glass object almost made us jump out of our very beds. We stared at each other as fear cunningly crept into the room, embalming the two of us in its overwhelming aura.
The crack of what we were to momentarily discover to be a fired bullet did nothing to ease the fear etched into our hearts, but it awakened a strange feeling, a feeling of curiosity if I may say. A deafening silence came next, and we decided to investigate the cause of the suddenly quiet ambiance. We left our room and saw the hallway light shining. Mom had probably been woken up by the noise as well, I thought to myself. As we made our way downstairs and into the living room, a metallic scent hit our noses and as we moved further, it became even stronger. Mom was kneeling, her shoulders hunched. Kylie tried to move forward, only to bump into the nest of tables that stood there, alerting mom of our presence.