An Early Summer Evening
By: Harry O'Brien
It's about 7:30pm and the sun is just starting to set. The remaining sunlight is a brilliant red orange and the dark is creeping over the sky towards the sun. In a minute, there will be a small sprinkle of rain and a real storm will begin.
I'm sitting on the back patio at my parents house with my father. We don't say much, just relaxing and listening to the cool wind play with the wind chimes. It's always been this way with the two of us. No conversation was needed, just content to be in each others company. In fact, I haven't really said much more than a few sentences to him in years. The rain is starting to splash on me so I decide to head in and see if dinner is ready. Mom's cooking away in the kitchen. The familiar smell of her cooking makes me feel like i'm a kid again. Drawing on the kitchen table, listening to her read from her recipe book.
I get up from the old padded rocking chair that I've been familiar with since a baby and head toward the screen door. My father reaches out and grabs my hand. For the first time in years he looks me in the eye and starts to speak. In his relaxed, deep and calming voice he says to me.
"You're turning 35 soon, you've graduated college, you've got a good job, married a beautiful wife, traveled the world and made yourself a home. You've done all that i've wanted for you and yet you still don't seem satisfied."
I never knew how he could do that. His ability to sense something was on my mind without even speaking a word to each other. In fact, there was something that I never accomplished. It's been on the back of my mind for over a decade now.
He saw my pensive glance into the distance and told me to speak. I knew I wouldn't have this opportunity again for a long time so I just started talking. I started telling how I live a happy life and couldn't ask for anything more, but there was one thing that I wish I could learn to do.
"Harry, i'm your father. We are of the same blood, you can tell me anything and I will never judge you." he whispered quietly.
I felt slightly embarrassed to tell him this secret of mine, especially since we haven't been open to each other in such a long time. I opened the screen door, took a step inside the house and closed it behind me. I turned around and whispered through the screen door with the feeling I was at confession.
"I've always wanted to learn how to vomit silently like Molly Becker" I told him.
He just sat there looking into the distance. I couldn't even tell if he heard me. I was too embarrassed and ashamed to repeat myself and turned around to walk into the kitchen. Right as turned, I heard him whisper under his breath.
"Me too Harry, me too..."