Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A Six-Year Return...A Short Story
He was sure the Christmas lights would be on and when his old Corolla rounded the corner on the cold December night, his feeling was confirmed. The blinking lights and colored hues brought a flood of childhood memories back to the young man's tired mind.
"Funny," he said aloud. "It's like I never left." It had been six years since Tom drove away, leaving his family after the latest in a long line of arguments boiled over until something gave and the 17-year old high school dropout grabbed the keys off the kitchen counter and left, slamming the door behind him. Cursing, he gunned the engine of the car, a car he had bought only three months earlier, a car which he had only made one car payment in those three months. "He didn't need this," he yelled as he raced through the sleepy roads of his home town. "He thinks he knows everything--he thinks he can tell me what to do! Just because he's an old man who's stopped having fun, doesn't mean I have to!"
But that was six years ago, and things have changed. At least, that's what he thought until he stopped the car at the curb and stared at the scene before him. The lights, he noticed immediately, were the same ones he and his father put up years ago--even years before he left. Same old dad...doesn't buy anything new. The flashing stars. He couldn't believe they still worked. And he saw that they still had that string of little Santa lights, lights his father bought for him to give to his mother for a last-minute Christmas present. And as he exited his car and walked the short distance to the home's front door he couldn't, for the life of him, remember why he had ever left.