The waitress sat two cups of steaming coffee on the rough wood table, leaving father and son to talk quietly, never touching the black liquid.
“Dad…” the young man whispered quietly, unable to finish his sentence.
The busy noise of the pier filtered into the quaint café as the door opened and closed. His father let out a huge breath, knowing what his son wanted to say.
“I know, son. It won’t be easy.” His gentle, loving words washed over the small table.
He looked to the crowds outside the café hurrying along, lugging heavy baggage and dodging sputtering trucks with their horns ablaze.
He slowly closed his eyes bringing his gaze back to his son, searching with caring eyes his son’s head, which was bowed low over his small cup of coffee.
He searched like he could see inside.
“You will not go alone,” the father said strongly. He reached out and placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. The son looked up, light reflecting off the tears in his eyes.
“I will be with you,” his father continued. “I will be here,” he said touching his son’s chest, “until you return.”
“Yes, Dad. I know,” the son said just as strongly. His heartbeat quickened at the touch of his father.
Strength radiated throughout his body as he looked out the window to the pier. Hundreds of travelers bustled to the ship preparing to embark. The thick black steam caught his eye as it blasted from the silos and mixed with the moaning of the ship’s engines.
He looked again to the crowd of travelers, each with a destination in mind, but each so lost it broke his heart. Understanding washed over his mind, understanding and love.
He looked again to his father, whose eyes and mind were also on the travelers. Love pierced through the glass that separated him from them, and the corners of his mouth turned up while tears formed in his eyes.
Their eyes met.
“It is for love,” the father said.
The son nodded, “yes.”
The desire to carry out his father’s business was never quite so strong. He knew what was being asked of him, but his heart couldn’t justify his life for the lives of others.
He knew his father’s desire.
The two stood, the son lifting his bag onto his shoulder. His father walked him to the door and the two hugged fiercely as if it was the last time they would see each other.
“Good voyage, my Son,” the Father whispered, tears thickening his voice.
The son nodded to him and walked for the ship, his voyage laid out before him, his mission reflecting in the eyes of every traveler.
The father watched his son’s back disappear into the crowd, his very heart entered into the chaos.
He wanted to grab someone and say, “Look, look there. That’s my Son. In him, I couldn’t be more pleased.” But they would know.
Yes, soon, they would all know.
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