Who's That Girl?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story written for the 'Photo Fun' competition.

Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Who’s That Girl?

 

My father had never been one to talk about the past. I had met his parents, my grandparents, a long time ago. I was too young to go prying much then, and once I was old enough to be interested, they were dead and buried. My father’s past was to remain pretty much a closed book, a mystery that I would never solve.

 

My mother was an orphan. She had never met her parents, or if she had she seemed to not remember them. She did not know if she had any siblings; brothers or sisters that perhaps were my aunts or uncles. It seemed that we were a very small family unit in a very big world.

 

Then one day my father asked for my help in locating some old papers of his. He had an old-fashioned study, with a big oak desk and walls lined with shelves of books. Many of these books looked old enough to be real collector’s items, so while he tackled the desk drawers I carefully searched in and among the books.

 

There is no smell quite like that of old paper. Some of the pages felt almost brittle to the touch, so fragile that I was afraid my fingers might tear the sheets just by making contact with them. I was careful, gentle, took my time. And it was from one of these volumes, a book of poetry, that something fluttered from, to land at my feet.

 

It looked like it was a photo. It had landed upside down on the floor in front of me, so carefully placing the book down, I bent to retrieve it. It was indeed a photo, an old one, and unless I was mistaken the man shown in it was my father.

 

The same eyes, same nose, same chin stared up at me. Of course his hair was totally different and he’s much more wrinkled. No, I had no doubt that it was him, but who was the woman beside him? Certainly not my mother; there was no similarity between them at all.

 

I looked at my father’s back as he continued to rummage through the drawers of his desk, completely oblivious to what I had found. I should show him, ask him about it, find out who she is. But he is so secretive about his past I’m worried about how he could react.

 

Just as I’m about to question him, he triumphantly waves some papers in the air. Thinking quickly, I slip the photograph back between the pages of the book. I will not say a word but I will leave the book out on the table with the picture inside. He’ll know that I’ve seen it and if he decides to tell me who she is, he will in his own time.

 

Until then, she will remain a mystery to me.

 

(480 words.)


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