A Beautiful Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A child tags along with his working father one morning. However, this child is somewhat troubled. I can't say any further :)

Once your done, it may be slightly disturbing. It's psychological. So, that's a warning.

Submitted: April 12, 2014

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Submitted: April 12, 2014

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A Beautiful Day

 

1

 

They stopped in front of the glass building together, holding hands: the father and the child.

The child was dressed differently than normal: his short brown hair, which was usually tousled and messy, was combed perfectly neat and rested immaculately on the left side of his forehead. He wore a nice, blue button-down, a yellow tie, and tan khakis. His black shoes, the shoes he seldom wore and reserved only for special occasions, shone brilliantly in the sun. In the hand that wasn’t grasping that of his father’s he held the string of a red balloon, which hovered a few feet above his head. Craning his head and peering up at his father, whose hand he held with fierce affection, he beamed proudly; indeed, it was certainly going to be a special day for the child.

 

2

 

They approached the revolving door and parted hands.

They went one at a time, although for the child it was a frightening experience, as he didn’t like being away from his father in such a crowded and alien setting. For the brief amount of time that they were separated, the child, spinning around in the revolving door and then waiting desperately for his father to do the same, felt lost and alone. Hundreds of people were bustling here and there, although to the child it seemed as if not one of them would bother to stop and comfort him. Clutching the string so hard that his knuckles became white, the child had only the balloon as company. His solace.

He stood there, feet planted to the marble floor like roots, soaking in his anxiety and almost palpable fear for what seemed to him like an eternity; and then his father rounded the door, appeared at his side, and made everything better.

 

3

 

“Dad, can you pick me up?”

The next thing he knew, the child was in his father’s protecting arms. He rested his head against his father’s chest, put his arms around his father’s neck, and closed his eyes as tight as he could.

The first thing he saw when he closed his eyes was his mother.

 

Her long, brown hair.

Her round, brown, reassuring, caring, Mother’s eyes.

Her voice as she calmed him whenever he got sad (which was mainly whenever his father was away on a business trip).

The sound of her beating heart as he lay in between her and his father in bed at night.

He misses her so much, even though she’s only been gone for a day. She is in Venice with the other bridesmaids. Her best friend’s wedding, how could she not go? He can’t blame her for leaving, but that doesn’t stop his heart from hurting.

He loves her so much. Too much. It’s become a problem. When he’s with his father, he misses his mother. And when he’s with his mother, he misses his father.

If told to choose between one of them, who would he choose?

When will she come back?

She said in a few days.

Yes, but when?

Soon.

When?

I don’t know.

 

The child opened his eyes.

People going about their lives. Men in fancy suits preparing for important meetings or leaving from important meetings. Briefcases. But all he could pay attention to was the cloth of his father’s jacket and the beating of his heart.

 

4

 

“Dad.”

The child spoke into the cloth of his father’s jacket.

“Yes?”

“When will she be back?”

“Soon. She said she’ll be back in a few days, remember?”

“Yes.”

“Close your eyes again, we’ll be at the elevator soon. I have a quick meeting, and then we can leave this glass prison and go have some fun in the city. How’s that sound?”

“That sounds great.”

“Good.”

“Dad, there’s something else.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“I’m feeling sad again. I miss mom really bad. I think my sadness problem is coming back.”

His father stopped walking.

He turned his head towards his son in order to get closer to him, and put his mouth right up against his ear.

He whispered, “That may be so. But we’re going to fix that problem, just like we fix everything.” He punched his son in the arm playfully. “Right, buddy?”

The child looked up and made eye contact with his father. He smiled. “Right.”

That made the father laugh. “Great.”

His father began moving towards the elevator again, relieved that he had been able to comfort his son like he always does.

 

Yet, as they gradually neared the elevator, the knuckles of the hand that held the red balloon were as white as snow.

 

5

 

The elevator ride was fine, because his father was with him the whole time. He spent the entire ride staring at the shapes on the little screen go from L to 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 go 5 to 6 to 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 all the way up to 20.

They stepped out of the elevator and proceeded down the hall, the child now walking on his own. They walked and chatted and chatted and walked until they reached a tall, white door on the right side. His father turned to face the child.

“Ok. This is an important meeting I have to go to. I know I brought you here to have fun, but I just need to get through this first. So, I’m going to take you into the conference room, and there will be a bunch of other men in suits sitting around a big brown table. They’ll be sitting in those big spinny chairs that you love, but they won’t be spinning in them because they are here on serious business. I will introduce you to them and then I will find a place for you to sit in the corner of the room.”

“Can I listen to your music while I wait?”

“Of course you can. Did you bring your device?”

“I always have my IPod with me.” The child’s IPod is another one of his solaces, like his balloon.

“Great.” His father took a deep breath, and let it out heavily yet determinedly. “Let’s go.”

His father grasped the handle with the hand that wasn’t holding his son’s, and went through the door.

 

6

 

The meeting was boring to the child. He spent the first two minutes trying to understand what was going on, and then gave up. He felt alone again. His father was in the same room as him, but he still felt like he was in his own little world. No one was paying any attention to him, and nobody in the conference room seemed to acknowledge his existence, including his father. The child held on to his balloon and listened to music.

It was over before he knew it.

Reunited again with his father. They walked out of the conference room together and stood in the hallway.

“Well, son, my meeting’s over. I’m all yours for the rest of the day. What do you want to do?”

The child closed his eyes.

 

Oh, what to do? There are so many things. Go to the park and feed the pigeons. Go to the deli and get some lunch. Go to the movies. Go to the baseball game. Go to the market. Go to another building. Go with the flow. Go anywhere. Be with you.

He opened his eyes. “I need to go to the bathroom.”

His father looked surprised for a second at that answer, and then burst into laughter.

“Ok then, I guess I could use a bathroom break as well! Let’s go, and then we’ll decide what to do next.”

 

Tiles. As he stood in front of the urinal, holding his balloon, all he saw were tiles everywhere. On the ceiling, on the floor, on the walls. Why so many small square tiles? Why not just one giant tile for the ceiling and one giant tile for the floor? He was separated from his father again. As the child relieved himself, he shut his eyes.

 

I miss you, mom.

I’ll see you when you get back.

I hope you have a great time at the wedding.

I’m thinking of you all the time, even when I’m with dad.

I miss you.

I love you.

 

The child opened his eyes, washed his hands, reunited with his father, and left the bathroom.

 

7

 

They stood together, hand in hand, looking out of a window at the glorious city below. Taxis going from here to there, people walking up and down the blocks, other glass buildings shining with the bright reflection of the sun. The clouds, white and enchanting, were plentiful, and the sky peeking out between them was a majestic shade of royal blue.

“Wow.”

His father, although still looking out of the window, directed all of his attention towards his son standing beneath him and to his left.

“Yes, it’s a wonderful day, isn’t it?”

“It’s a beautiful day.”

“Let’s stand here for another minute or two and just look out this window.”

“There isn’t anything else I’d rather do, as long as it’s with you, dad.”

His father squeezed his hand and smiled proudly.

 

They stood and watched. They watched the brilliant sky, the wonderful traffic, the otherworldly shine of the buildings.

 

They held hands, looking out at the world, for a lifetime.

 

8

 

Ten minutes had passed, not a single word had passed between them, and they were still looking.

The father’s phone rang. He looked at the caller ID, and saw that it was his wife, the child’s mother.

“Son, let me take this. It’s mom.”

“Ok, but don’t let go of my hand.”

“Ok, I won’t.”

He answered the phone.

“Hello? Yes, we’re fine. We’re having a fine time. I just got out of my meeting—

“Dad, look at that plane! It’s awesome!”

“Not now, son. What? Oh, yeah, he just wants me to look at something. Yeah. I know. I know—

“Dad, look! It’s amazing!”

“Shhhh. Yeah, that thing he wants me to look at. No, I’ll look at it when I hang up with you. What? No, it really is fine. My meeting was fine. No. No. Well, I’m sorry. No, I can’t fix that, it’s in the past. Well, I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about it, ok? Why are you yelling at me?

“Dad! Look!”

His father yanked his hand out of his son’s. “Son, I can’t right now!” He walked briskly about fifteen feet to the right, away from his son and the window that they were sharing. The child could still hear what he was saying into the phone to his mother. “Yes, it’s that thing! No! What?! Listen, I. Can’t. Fix. It! Oh just shut up! I can’t do this anymo

The child, scared and once again alone, reached quickly into his pocket and stuffed the plugs into his ears. He made sure not to let go of the balloon. He scrolled through his songs and chose one of his favorites. Time of Your Life by Green Day.

He blocked everything out, yet he still yelled to his father.

“Dad! The plane! Look at it!”

His father didn’t seem to hear. Or maybe he just didn’t listen. He was shouting into his phone now. But to the child all that came out of his mouth was silence. 

The child shut his eyes.

 

Mom.

What is he saying?

What are you arguing about?

I’ve never felt so alone.

Please help me.

What is he saying?

 

Look at that plane.

 

He opened his eyes.

It burst into the glass. It burst into the building. It burst into the child’s life.

Shards everywhere. Where’s dad?

What’s happening?

Green Day burst into his ears. I hope you had the time of your life.

 

As the people floated down, the embers and ash soared up.

 

People screamed, but Oskar heard nothing.

 

He floated down and down and down. Where’s dad?

 

The child closed his eyes.

 

What’s going on?

 

His father was gone.

 

His IPod with his music was gone.

 

And, as he floated down and down, he looked up briefly and saw his red balloon soaring up and up, out of his reach and into the great wilderness beyond. His knuckles relaxed. His face relaxed.

 

The child closed his eyes.

 

Mom.

Dad.

I love you both.

 

The child never opened his eyes again.

 

 

 

 


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