*This was actually inspired by John Mayer’s “Daughters,” although it does not reflect the song =\ but anyway, it’s just a story that started with one line and then unraveled itself 🙂 isn’t it lovely how they do that?
I will carry the weight of the world, so you don’t have to.
Her fingers linger at his forehead. His gray hair is thinning, leaving a shiny bald spot. She brings his hand to her face; tiny brown spots sprinkled here and there on his thick wrinkled skin, over his toughened calluses and worn out scars, extending to his nape and neck. She touches her cheeks to that hand and closes her eyes. He does not move. Her eyebrows twitch, and she lets go of him.
It was summer. Outside her window, the tall oak trees wavered in the wind. A storm was coming, shaking up the acres of green grass and darkening the sky with a blanket of deep sleep. She idled in her room, thumbing through Alice in Wonderland, skimming the parts about the Mad Hatter, waiting for it to bring her into a quiet slumber. Mom was downstairs on the couch – a dirty old thing, ragged blue with several holes punched through. The grumbling pickup truck, puking black smog as it went, has not arrived in the driveway. Dad wasn’t home yet.
Suddenly, someone burst through the door and called out to Mom. Mom shrieked back some inaudible response. Then, a burly man edged his way through the hallway and thundered up the stairs. Mom dashed after him; she could imagine Mom’s long legs stretching over several steps at a time, leaping and jumping. The man slammed into the room next door and shouted something to Mom. Mom rushed in. She heard a thud, and some exciting words exchanged.
The old pick up crawled into the driveway. Dad, in his navy blue overall and dirt brown boots, stepped out of the car. Dad whistled Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and then just as he opened the door, as if he noticed something, he stopped.
There was a brief moment of silence that seemed to take a million years, for the Earth to turn, and for the clock to tick.
She crawled into a ball and whimpered. Is this how the world would end?
The rain began to hit the window, loud drops banging and soft tears whispering. Dad pulled her into his arms. He rocked her back and forth, and trembled.
It is spring. Light dew rests on the fresh sprouts of grass, and yellow fog rubs against the window. A strong stench of soiled sheets and last night’s dinner surrounds her. She fingers the cross hanging from her neck. The charm dances on the chain and twinkles. She says:
“Dad, sometimes you can’t carry the weight of the world.”
Then she cried.