Sign And Date

My entry in the Angry Hourglass Flash Frenzy Round 23. The story needed to be inspired from the photo below and the word count max was 360. If you enjoy writing flash, clink on the link above and check the site out. You’ll find a community of kind, engaging and talented writers.

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They say time heals all wounds. And it does for the most part. Time can soften the serrated edges of a ruptured heart, it can round-off those needles of regret that puncture your mind.

Spring becomes summer, autumn becomes ten years later. Time moves on and we did too. But some memories, some decisions, refuse to be erased by the hands of a clock. They linger, they point an accusing finger, they convict.

I wonder what she looks like now. Maybe she has her mom’s thick mahogany curls and her aquiline nose. Maybe she has my large forehead and narrow chin.

She would be in the fifth grade by now. What is she learning? Is she a prodigy at math like her mom or does she have a passion for history like me? We don’t know.

My wife likes to imagine her taking art classes, learning to draw landscapes or a vase of tulips. A talent that runs thru the family for generations. I can picture her having tea parties with her friends, cups with princesses imprinted on them pouring invisible liquids.

Maybe someday she’ll have a Facebook page. We can watch from afar as she grows into her teen years, when Barbie dolls are replaced by shifty boys. Maybe her first heartbreak will become a status update and we can grieve for her through the glow of a soulless machine.

We signed the papers a decade ago but I can still see my trembling hand clutching that cheap plastic pen and my illegible scrawl at the bottom in blue ink. Young, broke and still wanting our freedom, we kissed her on the cheek and handed her over to a couple from Cincinnati. They fawned over the child as we sought an exit.

Time can be a fraudster, a mountebank. It moves forward whether you’re ready or not. It tells you that your pain will be assuaged if you can hang on. If you endure the cataclysmic beginning then, eventually, you’ll be able to forget. That’s the greatest con of time, the forgetting part. You don’t. We didn’t.

Sometimes we call her Lily. Or Jennifer. Maybe today she’ll be Abigail.

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