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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jason begs his father to read him a bed time story leading to them reliving the past together.

Submitted: September 14, 2012

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Submitted: September 14, 2012



"Dad, can you tell me a bed time story?"

"Maybe another night, Jason. Daddy has work early tomorrow morning."

"Please, Daddy?"

I took my hand off of the door frame and walked over to his bed. I sat about half way down his bed, sinking two inches into the mattress. As I looked down at him our eyes met. His innocence and purity shined brighter than any other light in the house. He has those gentle, grey-blue eyes that have never wronged anyone.

"Pretty please with sugar on top?"

I couldn't say no to him. When he's all tucked in, and with his little red nose sticking out from under the covers. I don't think anyone can say no to him. After all, one story wouldn't kill me. He was bound to fall asleep soon anyway with all the Benadryl he took.

"Please? Can it be about Mommy? You never talk about Mommy."

That took me off guard. Usually he wants to hear stories about armored clad knights that valiantly save princesses and stories about talking animals. Especially fish. He loves the ocean more than anything else in this world. So vast and mysterious, yet strangely warm and inviting.

"Well…All right."A smile immediately appeared on his face as he perked up with his back resting against the pillow. I didn't even know where to start. Jason was way too young to remember her at all.

"What was she like? Did she love me?"

There was so much I could have possibly said to him at that moment. There was so much more to this woman than he knew. "Jason, you were her world. You were her everything. When you were just a little baby, she would read to you all day and all night. Sometimes when you would fall asleep, even after she would kiss you goodnight, she would stand by your bedside and watch you, just smiling. Always smiling. She loved bringing up how peaceful you looked while you slept. As if your dinosaur comforter shielded you from all the bad in this world. Here let me show you-" I darted out of the room in search of some photo albums. I looked at the book case and grabbed the two labeled 1994-1998 and 1998- in each hand and swiftly walked up the stairs, eager to show Jason.

As I entered the room I flipped on the light switch, sliding the dimmer up about half way. I reclaimed my seat from before right beside him and placed the '1994-1998' album on the comforter. I opened it up and flipped passed the first two pages of Melissa and me with the house before we bought it.

Jason reached for the book, "What are you doing? I want to see those!"

"Oh, sorry. I just figured you wanted to see more close up pictures."

I flipped back to the front page and saw that the first shot was a close up of me and her. The date wasn't on it but I could tell by the clothes that it was from the late 80s. I took the picture out and looked on the back. Smudged in pen read, April 11th, 1988. It was her hand writing. I stared at the picture of us two. Especially at our hair. Both of them were beyond ridiculous. I delicately held the corners of the photo with my finger tips making sure that I didn't damage it. I looked down at the picture, smiling.

"Daddy who's this?" Jason had a picture of Melissa and her mother together at our newly bought house.

I turned to my left and looked up at him."Oh, that's Grandma. You've only met her a couple of times when you were very young. She lives in Florida with Grandpa." He handed me the picture, of course covered in 5 year old finger prints.

I grabbed the album from the bed and rested it on my lap. My eyes scanned over every picture as I flipped the pages. Jason got out from the covers and sat on the edge of the bed next to me. "You and Mommy have a lot of pictures together!"

"I know Jason. I know. Here this one will have you in it." I flipped further through the album until we reached the photos in the hospital. "Look, Jason, that's you. With Mommy." I watched his eyes float over the picture. "Look how happy she is." She was in complete bliss. Her eyes were the same magnificent grey as Jason's. Everything she had ever wanted had come true at that one moment. The two ends of his mouth slowly rose until the dips in his cheeks became visible. "And look, this one has all three of us! You weren't even a day old." There were tons of pictures of all of us together. The three of us, a family. Gleaming with happiness.

We flipped through to the last page of the album. It was filled with pictures of only me and Jason together. He looked up at me, "Daddy why do you look so sad here?"

"Daddy was… going through a rough time is all." I glanced down at the page. Every picture looked as if I was staring into an abyss. Nothingness. Jason's smile was painted on him in every picture. Untouched by the world around him.

"Well, are you okay now, Daddy?"

I put my arm around him and rested my hand on his shoulder and hesitantly said "Yeah. Daddy's fine now. Why don't we look at the other album?" I took the later dated book and laid it on my lap and tossed the other one back on the bed. I slowly peeled the hard cover back revealing the first set of pictures.

Still only shots of me and Jason together. "Daddy, you look really upset in these." I didn't respond. I didn't know what to say. I just flipped to the next page. With every following picture, my eyes grew lackluster. My smile faded. Jason's stood strong. I flipped a couple of pages in, "Why are you so skinny here?" My body looked like a plant, withering away due to the harsh forces of nature that pummel it every day. It looked as if I was made completely of ash. It looked as if any sort of sudden movement could bring me to the ground in seconds. The fire had been long smoldered.

Jason watched as a small drop of water landed on the plastic covering in the album after leaking down from my face. I couldn't speak. I couldn't even look at him. I couldn't do anything except grip the spinosaurus on the bed with my right hand and run my left hand through my hair. "Daddy what's wrong?"

I tried not to cry. I tried my hardest, especially in front of him. "Please Daddy. What's wrong?"

"Daddy just misses Mommy is all…" My head pivoted and we faced each other. His serene blue eyes comforted me. It felt like I was staring into the ocean, bold but comforting at the same time. "Daddy misses Mommy a lot."

He looked up. For the first time, his smile had been broken. "You really loved her a lot didn't you?"

My arm hooked around him and brought him close to my side. We both stared blankly at the navy blue area rug. "More than the world Jason. More than the world."

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