Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)
TITLE: At The Door
By Graham Insley
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"Go away! I'm not letting you in. Go away!"
"George. Come on. It's Dad, let me in."
"No way. I don't want to talk any more. I'm finished. Go away."
Ding-dong; "George, I just want a chance to reason with you. It wasn't me that hurt you, son. Let me in. Let's talk it over."
"I'm not kidding. There's no way you're stepping foot in here. Get lost!"
George's ear was pressed hard to the door. He could hear the deep sighs; almost sense the longing coming from the other side. His face scrunched into a tight mask. His fists were held clenched by his side.
He jumped a little at the sound of a light tapping on the door.
George leaned harder against the door. Inch by inch he slid down. Hunched at the base of the door his voice faltered; "You can ring. Y... you can knock. Do it all night if you want. You are not coming in."
"It's not me you're fighting, son. You know that."
"Then tell me who it is. I tried it your way years ago. When mum died, I trusted you. When I was left all alone I trusted you. Just hold on, you kept saying. Brighter days ahead, you said. You lied!"
The whispered answers seemed to be breathed under the door. "I didn't lie, George. You knew that if you kept drinking Sue would leave. You made your choice; she made hers. Come on son, let me in."
"Why? So we can travel round the mountain again. I'm finished. I've had enough. Leave me alone."
"Are you sure that's what you want me to do George? I know you're still there. Tell you what son, if you really want me to leave, you get up and walk away from the other side of this door. You do that and I'll leave."
George made a fist with his right hand. He pushed it into the palm of his left and started to rub it in circles. One knuckle kept scratching over his wedding band. His eyes tried to hold back tears. His shoulders gently shook.
"Just leave me alone, okay. It's bad enough without a reminder that I'm to blame."
"I'm not blaming you son. It's not about blame. You were abused. You became an abuser. You spent your childhood amongst alcoholics. You learnt to use booze as an escape. It's not about blame son; it's about choices and how to make better ones. And you could start by letting me in."
"Why should I? Where have you been for the last thirty years? You haven't said a word to me since I was twenty; why show up now?"
"It wasn't me that stopped talking son. I wasn't the one who drew away. And you called out to me tonight, remember?"
George opened his hands and looked at his palms. He eyes followed the creases as if tracing a road map. Was he really the one who called out first? Didn't the ding-dong of the door bell invade his privacy; an unwelcomed visitor at an unexpected hour?
Since Sue left everything was hard to follow. Pain, confusion, loneliness and heartache had swallowed him up. Maybe he had called out. It had been a long time since he'd cried out; "God, for Heaven's sake help me!"
He remembered calling it out now. He had called and here He was, ringing the bell.
Ding-dong; "Son, let Me in. Together we'll sort this mess out and get it all back on the straight and narrow."
George threw the door of his heart open wide. "Yes, Lord. Please. Help me."
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