Fingers Crossed by Mike Rymarz

Jim shivered as he walked through the door, the fear of this visit coursing through his veins. He would still keep coming though, no matter how much he didn’t want to. He had a duty. 

“Hey dad, how are you today?” As bubbly and lively as he could be, possibly trying to convince himself. 

He was hoping for one of the mundane comments. “I’ve been down to the library today,” his dad would often reply, or “steak for dinner tonight.” 

Jim didn’t mind those comments. Boring, yes. But truthful as well, that was the main thing. He couldn’t stand the lies, or rather fabrications. He needed to know there was some semblance of reality in what was going on. 

“What are the kids up to?” That would be ideal. He always felt there was still some hope left for them and every time he heard it he would give his dad a detailed response about his boys’ schoolwork, or music lessons, rambling on at length until he could see him finally getting tired. 

“How are you, Jim lad?” was his absolute favourite question. It took him back to life as a child, coming in from school and his dad putting everything down to spend time with him. It was a question he heard only too infrequently these days but one he longed for. 

He knew it was a lottery every time he asked his dad how he was. He mentally crossed his fingers for one of the boring comments, or better still a question about him or his family. Still smiling, his heart sank though as he heard the words that were all too familiar to him these days. 

“Don’t I know you from somewhere?”

Published in Issue #13

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