The silence of the ride home gave way to thoughts of her. All the pain which had been set aside that afternoon now returned.
His father pulled to the curb in front of Jacob’s apartment and shut off the engine. His knuckles turned white as he tightened his grip on the steering wheel. He turned to Jacob with red, tear filled eyes.
“Thank you for going with me today.”
Jacob released the door handle and slid his hand onto his lap.
“I think I understand why I took you there today. You see, I’ve never been able to tell my feelings to anyone. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I don’t know how. I can hear the words in my head, feel them on my tongue but they never make it to my lips. It’s always been so much easier, safer for me to shut off from things. I don’t want to be like that anymore. I know I was never there for you while you were growing up and there’s nothing I can do to make up for that. I look at you now and I see the man you have become and it makes me proud. Proud because despite everything you’ve been through, you turned out OK. I know what you’re going through now is hard and it probably won’t get any better for a long time but you can make it through this. Don’t let what life deals you beat you down like I did. Don’t hide like I have, face this and deal with it. I know you don’t need me but I want you to understand I’m here for you now. If you need anything, I’ll try to help. Just ask.”
Jacob opened the door and stepped outside. He cleared his throat and turned to his father . . .
“Just so you know, I never hated you.”
He closed the door and made his way up the sidewalk. Stopping at the base of the front steps, Jacob sits down. As he watched his father drive away, a feeling overcame him which he hadn’t felt since she left. A feeling of hope . . . a possibility of tomorrow.
As Jacob closed the door behind him, he could hear her voice calling to him. Passing from kitchen to living room, her voice called out again. Jacob sat himself on the edge of the couch and brought his hands over his eyes.
“You’ll never guess what I did today.”
The silence told Jacob she was listening . . .
“My father and I went out in the country and picked peaches.”
A small light shone through the blinds from outside. A warmth passed over, through him . . .
“It sounds weird, I know. I have to tell you though, I’ve never seen him like he was today. He said things to me that I could never imagine him saying. He was honest, open . . . caring. I think things are finally going to be alright between us.”
The air had a deep calm which overtook the entire room. The light grew brighter . . .
“I love you. I love you and everything is going to be OK.”
Jacob sat back on the couch.
“It’s alright now, You can go.”
The calmness grew to a breeze which chilled Jacob’s skin. The light flickered then grew brighter.
“Thank you. Thank you for everything. I love you.”
“Please, you can go now.”
The light flickered once more and then was gone.
Wrapped in her memory, Jacob closed his eyes and dreamed of tomorrow.