A story I have written for the Ascension short story contest at Clarity of Night.
It was inspired by this picture.
We were a family, always together. Just the three of us, in the small single bedroom apartment I rented.
I worked in a software company that didn’t pay much, but had managed to save every penny for one thing. She had not spoken even by the age of five, but doctors said that with surgery, an expensive one, we would hear her speak soon. It was our dream, something we prayed for every day all these years. When I got home from work, she would jump into my arms and smile. Yet, she could only write her thoughts on a sheet of paper. I would hug her and go to the verandah and sit there, crying silently, daily.
When she was ten, I got a good job offer, complete with high pay and perks, but I had to go abroad the next day itself. Even though it meant going away from them, I knew it would help realize that dream. I accepted. When I told her, she cried. She wouldn’t leave my shoulder, and I didn’t want to let go either. She held my hand all the way to the airport. Trying not to cry, I extracted her hand and walked away. I turned back to see her silently waving at me. I started to cry. After looking at her for what seemed like an eternity, I stepped on the escalator.
Then I heard the words…
“Daddy, I love you. Don’t leave me.”
We are a family, still together.