Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lock and Key (08/21/14)
TITLE: Final words
By Ken Grant
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“I found it,” Tom looked up into a cloudy sky. “I found it, dad,” He added quietly.
Tom turned the key over and over in his hands as we walked toward the table and sat down pensively in a chair. The instructions to find the key had seemed easy at first, but each stage had taken him down paths that required every one of his many skills. More than once he had been tempted to break open the box, but each time that the thought had flitted through his mind it was accompanied with the feeling that he would be cheating not only his father but himself as well. Fulfilling the quest had provided a feeling of satisfaction much richer and deeper than anything else in his very successful life. He had played by the rules and now he would receive his reward.
“Well, let’s see what you have for me,” Tom said as he placed the key carefully in the lock and after jiggling it slightly the lock gave way.
Tom laughed at his temerity. The lock had released its hold and all that was left was for Tom to open the box and reveal its contents, but now that the time had come he struggled to find the courage to make the last step. His quest was done and now he wondered what more there could be. Finally after a deep breath he pushed back the top only to be amazed to see a simple piece of paper containing his father’s handwriting. The revelation was both disappointing and intriguing. Tom removed the piece of paper, written on his dad’s familiar stationery, and read the contents out loud.
“My son,” Tom paused as he struggled to remember the very few moments when his father had referred to him so tenderly. He composed himself and continued on.
“I know that you don’t think of me as much of a father. I honestly didn’t know how to give you what you needed. I did what I did in the hope that you would figure things out on your own. If you are reading this letter then you are the man I could never help you become. Love, dad.”
Tom left the note on the table and walked back over to watch the ocean continues its steady beat against the rocks. His father’s inadequacies had kept them from having a close relationship, but his dad had managed to find a way. Tom knelt down and looked up at the sky as he said, “Thanks, dad. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
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