A Father’s Legacy

“O dweller of the graves, peace be upon you. May Allah forgive us and you. You reached before us and we will follow behind you.”

This is what the young man prayed as he entered the graveyard. He reached the end of the rows of the graves and came to one simply marked with his father’s name and year of birth and death. He remembered that day 5 years ago as if it was yesterday.

He had finished his O’Level exams and felt a sense of relief. He had done quite well he thought. He was sure he would make his father proud. Maybe he would finally convince him to let him join the army. He never understood why being a Colonel in the Armored Corps himself, he was against his son following in his footsteps.

That afternoon instead of his father’s staff car bringing him home, an army jeep came to their house. A senior officer came to talk to his mother who soon broke down when she heard the news.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle had collided with his father’s car killing both him and his driver on the spot.

It was then that he understood why his father hadn’t wanted him to join the army. He was trying to protect his only son.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Traces

  1. Archive of Comments | Arlen Shahverdyan. Author’s Blog
  2. WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE: FADING TRACES AND OLD MEMORIES | SERENDIPITY
  3. Traces | Kansa Muse
  4. Breadcrumbs | Master Of Disaster
  5. The Art of War | K beezy is viral
  6. Wet cement | Margaret Rose Stringer
  7. She was a memory | thinkerscap
  8. Traces: DP Challenge | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  9. Arrogance Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  10. The Lavender Flowers | Stories From My Mind
  11. Trace | MindMeld
  12. Lavender and Rain | So This Is Writing?
  13. Like Flowers on a Grave | loveletterstoaghost
  14. Day Twenty-Four: Veteran At Death | Clearing My Voice
  15. it’s veterans day | Musings of a Random Mind
  16. Traces of You | UP! With Jesus
  17. Weekly Writing Challenge: Traces [Week 1] | Goss Family Blog
  18. DP Weekly Challenge/Traces: The Things He Left Behind | Between Madness & Euphoria
  19. Weekly Writing Challenge; Traces | terry1954
  20. Remembering You | Lucky Number Devin
  21. Lilac | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  22. My Life in Stuffing, Words, and Paint: Searching for an Identity | The Positivity Project
  23. 12/11 Weekly Writing Challenge: Traces | Family, Photos, Food & Craft
  24. Weekly Writing Challenge: Traces | imaginations
  25. Traces of my soul | મન ની વાત
  26. Gone fishin’ | Thin spiral notebook
  27. in the middle of | y
  28. Ode To Something Great | The Dread Pirate Buttercup

Alone in the playground

alone-on-the-playground

Maryam was excited. Today her father had promised to take her to the playground.  He was supposed to visit every Saturday but often he was too busy to come. He traveled a lot and was out of the country for many weeks at a time.

It was 6 months since her parents had divorced. Sometimes she would hear her mom crying in her bedroom. Maryam was still trying to understand what had happened. In all of her 8 years she had never seen her parents really happy together. It seemed they were only together for her sake. Her dad used to work late and during the week she hardly got to see him. He would come home after she had gone to sleep and leave for work before she got up.

But the weekends were special because she got to spend time with her dad. He would take her out to the playground near their house. Run with her while she rode her cycle. Her mom would make sandwiches for them and they would eat in the playground. She loved to ride the merry-go-round with the colorful animals and feel the wind on her face. Her dad had made up a story for each of the animals. The tiger who had a long neck because he liked to look over the hedge into his neighbor’s house,  the giraffe who always felt cold and wore a coat and the mutant turtle whose nose grew long like Pinocchio when he told lies.

Now she would long for the weekends even more. That time with her dad became even more special. But he would not always show up. She would dread the ringing of the telephone on Saturday morning because that would be her dad calling to say he couldn’t make it. But this Saturday, the phone didn’t ring. She waited for a while. Her mom had already started making the sandwiches to take with her. She looked out of the window. She could see the playground and the colorful merry-go-round beckoning her. But there was no sign of her dad. She told her mom that she would wait for him at the playground. She sat on the bench with her sandwiches and watched some children play. After a while the children went home and she was alone. She slowly took out one sandwich and started eating. She could see her mom watching her from their gate. She was hungry and she finished the sandwiches. Still there was no sign of her dad. Her mom had gone inside as well. Maybe she was trying to call him.

She got up and sat next to the mutant turtle on the merry-go-round. Why hadn’t he come? Was he doing something more important or had he just forgotten? Why had he told her he would come? Why had he kept her waiting? What excuse would he make? Would his nose become long like the mutant turtle’s? Was this the beginning of the end? Would he never be her dad again? She felt a lump in her throat but she stopped herself from crying. And there sat the little girl, alone in the playground.