Lucius Haggard

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story wrote itself.

Submitted: August 10, 2016

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Submitted: August 10, 2016

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Lucius Haggard

By Donald Fransu

 

 

“There’s a reason for everything.” So they say. In many instances, however, the reason is unknown. For example, the family of this story had the name of February. The reason was unknown. But we know that there was a good reason for it; otherwise, it would not have happened.

Mr. February was the head of the household. The other members of the household were his wife, Mrs. February, and their eighteen-year-old daughter, Kate.

Mr. February was addicted to politics. Most of his conversations were about politics. Unfortunately, there was no one that he could have political arguments with. His wife and daughter did not care about politics. So they listened to him in silence.

One evening, as they were seated at their supper table, Mr. February asked, “I really need a friend who’s just as addicted to politics as I am. So do any of you know someone that I can have political arguments with?”

Both Mrs. February and Kate replied in the negative, although Kate’s answer was a lie. She knew a person who was addicted to politics, but for reasons of her own, she had lied about it.

One fine morning, Mr. and Mrs. February decided to go for a coffee.  As they were enjoying their drinks, Mrs. February observed a young gentleman sitting all by himself at their nearest table. The young man had a cane on his lap, which suggested that he was blind. So she told her husband to look at the young gentleman.

They felt interested in him. So they took their cups and moved to the table where the young man was sitting at. They introduced themselves to him, and he told them that his name was Lucius.

“So are you interested in Roman history?” asked Mr. February. “You’ve got a Roman name, you know.”

“Not just Roman history. I am interested in ancient and medieval history,” answered Lucius.

“You know, history and politics are sisters,” commented Mr. February.

“True. I’m also addicted to politics,” was the response.

To cut the story short, Mr. and Mrs. February decided to invite Lucius to their home. They were both charmed by his knowledge. On the other hand, they observed that his face looked haggard, as if he had gone through a great suffering.

Mr. February had found a mutual friend in Lucius at last. Mr. February held Liberal views, while Lucius held Conservative ones. So they knew that they were going to have lots of fun arguing about politics. Nevertheless, they had also agreed that the arguments would be friendly. Neither of them would use bad language. Since this is to be a short story, there is not enough space to transcribe their discussions.

When Kate came home later that same morning, she was surprised to see Lucius there. Nevertheless, she controlled her emotions and greeted him calmly. At the sound of her voice, Lucius was literally electrified.

“You know each other?” Mr. February was astonished.

“Yes-we went to the same high school,” replied Kate with a blush.

Lucius became a frequent visitor at the February house. He and Mr. February were becoming fast friends. Even Mrs. February felt kindly toward him. Kate, however, remained in her room most of the time that he was in the house.

They often asked him about his sadness or whatever it was; but he refused to explain it to them. “It’s hopeless. I don’t want you to be sad on my account,” he would say.

“Don’t lose hope, son,” Mr. February would comment in a kind voice.

“I didn’t lose hope. Hope lost me,” Lucius would respond.

As the political discussions went on, Mr. February was constantly being astonished by Lucius’s answers. He knew exactly how to destroy every argument that Mr. February brought up. Even Mrs. February was becoming interested in politics.

As Mrs. February and her daughter were preparing lunch one afternoon, Kate asked, “Does Lucius ever mention me?”

“No. Why?” answered her mother.

“Just wondering. We went to the same high school, you know.”

Suddenly, Mrs. February became excited. So she asked Kate, “Was he looking depressed when you were in high school with him?”

“Yes he was,” said Kate.

“Do you know the reason?” was the next question from her mother.

“Nope,” lied Kate.

Finally, there came a time when Lucius stopped visiting Mr. February’s home. He would always say that he wasn’t feeling well. Mr. February would give him a call from time to time. Nevertheless, he seemed to be getting worse and worse.

One cloudy morning, the local newspaper reported that Lucius Haggard, 20, had died of a heart attack. The article also mentioned that he had been going through an unendurable pain in the last three years of his life.

At last, Kate explained to her parents that Lucius had fallen in love with her while they were at high school. But she had rejected him. Lucius had promised that he would love her and remain single the rest of his life. That’s when the pain began.

Mr. and Mrs. February attended Lucius’s funeral and mourned for him for a long time. Kate, however, neither wept, nor attended the funeral. She said that it was his fault he had died.


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