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by Snoink

I paused slowly and looked in the door. Dad was there with a newspaper turning the pages slowly with a thoughtful look on his face. Nearby the clock ticked steadily. Should I go in?

Part of me said yes, the other part said no. I hovered near the door, not really wanting to make a decision but wanting to watch Dad all the same. I stroked the fingers on the door knob and accidentally coughed. He looked up.

I wanted to hide, but his eyes caught up to me and he frowned quizzically, not quite sure why I was here. After all, wasn’t I the one who only a couple of days ago slammed a door on his face and told him I never wanted to see him again? I blushed and I was not able to move. He looked sad and very tired.

“What do you want?”

I wanted to tell him the truth. I didn’t know what I wanted – hell, I wasn’t even sure why I was here. But there was something about his tired eyes that froze me. I realized my mouth was open and shut it quickly. Then I opened it again.

“I-I wanted to apologize.”

He grimaced and pulled the newspaper shut. I cringed. “Sit down,” he said softly, gesturing a chair facing him. My legs felt like lead, but I walked across the room and sat down stiffly. He looked at me carefully. “You know you didn’t need to apologize. You know what my feelings are.”

My blush grew darker and I couldn’t bear to look at his face. “I know,” I whispered. “But still…” I couldn’t bear to finish that sentence.

He laughed gently. “Don’t feel embarrassed. It happens to the best of us too. Love, love! What a complicated issue. Why, even I had my shares of my own misfortunes.”

“But not like that.” I paused, certain he was going to interrupt. After a moment, I said, “I thought you were going to be at work. I didn’t realize you were going to come home so early. I didn’t know.”

“No,” he said gently. “You couldn’t have known. I only decided it myself after realizing halfway through my day that I wanted to be home. You looked so stressed at breakfast. I wondered why.” He laughed gently. “And I found out later. No, no, don’t look so embarrassed. I don’t intend to stay on the subject for long. But I do want to know one thing.”

“What?” I said, my lips feeling dry.

“Did you love him?”

I felt confused and dizzy. I held my head and groaned. “I thought so. But he didn’t. Or at least I didn’t think he did. So I thought that would make the relationship better and he would love me more…” I stole a look on his face. He looked thoughtful.

“If he loved you, yes, it would make a difference. But if a relationship isn’t there in the first place, then why should you expect it to grow stronger?”

“I was stupid.”

“No, my love. You just felt it would make you happier. Happiness is a noble goal. Not necessarily the best goal, mind you, but a noble one.” I couldn’t bear to speak.

“Well! If it makes you feel better, I’ve had my share of failed endeavors. When I was younger, I was one of the guys that all the other girls fell in love with. Naturally, for my first date I picked the prettiest girl in town. Her name was Beverley. That relationship lasted about one week before both of us wanted to kill each other.”

“Really?” I said weakly. He laughed.

“Oh, but it was much worse than that. The girl I was really in love with was a long haired girl with sparkling dark eyes. She was a sophisticated lady and wanted nothing to do with me. Well, I tried to get her to have a date, but every time she refused. Then I tried a trick. I put bubble gum on her flute. She was enraged at this and swore to get even with me. Finally she did.”


“Well, she wanted to go in my house and play a prank – I forget what it was now. But you have to realize, at the time I raised chickens and I had this one rooster who was slightly demonic. Anyway, he sees her and instantly he’s squawking and flapping his wings at her. He bit her and did the best he could to terrorize her. She didn’t want to get caught, but eventually I hear this screaming. I rush out, and who would have guessed? My rooster was chasing this girl and as soon as I saw it, I burst out laughing.”

I looked at Dad with some shy interest. “What happened after that?”

“Well, after I finished laughing, I got a gun out and shot the rooster. Then the girl – her name was Maggie – and I spent the evening cooking chicken. Not quite romantic, but it was our first date.”

“Did she like it?”

“Yes, very much. We fell in love with each other quite deeply.”

He had a nostalgic look on his face and I didn’t want to interrupt him. Finally I said, “How did you break up with her?”

“Hmph?” He looked at me strangely. I dug my shoe into the carpet. “Oh, that. We didn’t. We married and had one kid – a daughter I believe.”

My mouth opened. “But my mom – her name is Jessica. You couldn’t have been married to that other woman!”

“No, no, don’t worry child.” Dad’s voice was strangely calm, and I relaxed immediately.

“Then what happened?”

He shrugged. “She died in child birth. The child didn’t last much longer.” He was staring at the floor. Then, when he realized I was looking at him, he smiled, but his eyes showed grief. I supposed he wanted to seem strong by smiling. I didn’t know. All I know was tears were beginning to form in my eyes. I wiped them off fiercely.

“Oh, child, I never meant to upset you.”

There was nothing I could do but to walk over to him and bury my head in his belly.

“I never knew.”

“I never told you. I probably wouldn’t have either, but you reminded me of her just now. It’s funny how the past catches up to you.” He laughed gently.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

He shrugged and stroked my hair. “Would you have understood? Now, look at me.” He held up my chin and I was forced to look into his eyes. “It could’ve been a lot worse, for the both of us. Now I have you and you have me. And both of us have your mommy. Doesn’t that make you feel better?”

I nodded and sniffled. He laughed gently, kissed my eyes, and then grabbed his newspaper. “Now, that’s over. Do your homework.” He winked at me.

I hugged him once more before leaving the room.

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10 Reviews

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Reviews: 10

Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:51 pm
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Whiterose24 says...

Awww..... This is completely adorable! I love it! =} <3

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Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:20 pm
Elizabeth wrote a review...

OOh that was SOO GREAT...
Ugh i keep picturing that picture of you when I see your name though... And aside from that creepy memory i really liked this and I nearly started to cry but MY dad walked into the room and I didn't want him to ask me why I was crying. I tell him something he doesn't listen, that's that.

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685 Reviews

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Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:17 pm
Rei wrote a review...

Actually, Snoink, I usually don't like too much dialogue. But in this case, I thought it worked for the piece. However, I suppose my experience in theatre did make it easier for me to feel the emotions of the story. The relationship was clear, and I could imagine it very easily. The words the characters spoke told me all I needed, and more beefed-up narrative would have spoiled it. Even if you did write it as early as you did, I felt like you knew the characters well, and that they were very strong.

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49 Reviews

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Reviews: 49

Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:35 pm
dreaming_mouse wrote a review...

I didn’t really feel anything for this story; even when you said about the woman and her baby dying I didn’t feel anything. There’s no real emotion in the story, you’re just telling us what it’s like not showing it.

I paused slowly and looked in the door. Dad was there with a newspaper turning the pages slowly with a thoughtful look on his face. Nearby the clock ticked steadily. Should I go in?

This might have been a good place to put in some description; there is no description what so ever in the story. I didn’t have a clue what the characters look like or what the room itself looked like. Description doesn’t really sound like much but I think that if you could build up a clearer picture of everything then you could give a better connection between your readers and characters (if that makes sense sorry)

Part of me said yes, the other part said no. I hovered near the door, not really wanting to make a decision but wanting to watch Dad all the same. I stroked the fingers on the door knob and accidentally coughed. He looked up.

Some of this paragraph worked and some of it didn’t – put a little more detail into the opening. What were each of the parts saying and why were they saying it? I liked the description of her “hovering” I could picture this but like I said it’s not that clear because you haven’t described any of the characters or settings.

I didn’t really understand what the whole story was about – apart from the girl having some kind of trouble in her love life but apart from that you don’t really give much. It’s more of guess work, have they broken up? Why did that break up? That sort of thing, it’s really unclear with the whole thing.

I thought it was okay, not good or anything (sorry :opps:) but I didn’t find it boring – I was able to keep reading it. You really need to put in some detail – it’s all dialogue which doesn’t really help the story progress. And put in some kind of emotion, show what the characters are feeling by giving them an indepth description of their faces or how they're feeling. How does the girl feel when her dad tells her he'd had another child who'd die?

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137 Reviews

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Reviews: 137

Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:52 pm
DarkerSarah says...

Ope, that's it. I'm reading it.


You did that on purpose, didn't you?

*skips off the read Snoink's FREAK*


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3747 Reviews

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Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:38 pm
Snoink says...

Thank you, thank you. Actually I wrote this at two o'clock in the morning (which is late for me) and then sent it in. When I reread it, I was horrified with the grammar and spelling (I had about ten mistakes... ouch) and I rushed to fix it. Yep... :lol: Anyway, thank you for your apporval of the grammar. It's nice to know that "Strunk and White" really works.

Of course, I find it amusing that two people find it completely different. And I sort of know why. Rei is into drama and acting. She doesn't mind that most of the work is dialogue. However, Sarah is a writer of prose. She expects more description. So that part makes sense. And... I didn't want to make it gushy. Probably failed, but... that's one of the reasons why it seems detached. That and it was written early in the morning. XD

Anyway, don't read my story called FREAK, Sarah. I think it would drive you insane. Not for the same reasons mind you; there's hardly any dialogue in it at all. Lots of description. But it's very detached. Hehehe...

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137 Reviews

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Reviews: 137

Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:08 pm
DarkerSarah wrote a review...

There was too much dialogue in this. And the fact that the father called his daughter "child" and "my love" sounded forced. The whole piece was forced and cliche. I felt absolutely no emotion from the father or the daughter, even though it was obviously an emotional situation. Once the father begin his short, boring, emotionless tale, there wasn't enough movement or thought.

The plot has a lot of potential. I think you need to expand on the story a little. Or a lot. Despite the abundance of dialogue, you're obviously a good writer. If you took your time and rewrote this, this could be a good, or even great, short story.

Unlike Reichieru, I'm glad you didn't go into more detail about the daughter and her love, as it was obviously not the focal point of the story.

And another thing I must commend you on: Your grammar! It was very good. If I took more time and went through it slowly, I might catch something, but I don't think I want to bore myself so.


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Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:03 pm
Rei says...

What a sweet moment! Made me get all misty-eyed at the end. Though I do find myself feeling very curious about what happened with the narrator and the guy they were talking about at the beginning.

Uh, Lisa, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back: our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?
— Homer Simpson