Gone, Still

“What you want, is irrelevant,” Shiloh read her father’s lips, barely parting as he spoke. “We need a change. I need a change.”

It had been a week-long fight, one so intensely routine she wondered why he bothered to go through the motions. He knew very well how she felt about leaving her home of eighteen years. No promise of a better city, or a better life, could have changed that.

Nor could it have been true in fact. Shiloh loved this city. She turned her attention away from Dad, tightening her fist with tired frustration, which was most of how she felt these days. When she felt calm again, she looked up and caught his last words in time, “It’s final, Shy.”

Before Shiloh had a chance to have her say, her portly father had returned to wolfing down his dinner, as though she was to accept what he had decided for her. To hell with that. She never would. Anger surged within her like fire in her throat.

Why does he get to decide?, she thought. I am part of this family too, aren’t I?

She lifted her hands slightly, but decided against speaking out. She was not about to argue against her father again. Volume wasn’t her strength, not since a sudden bout of illness took her hearing two years ago.

Part of her stubborn self wanted to bring up how Mum would have understood, which honestly would have upset herself in equal measure. Instead, she swallowed her tears. She pushed her chair backwards, hard as she could, hoping it might screech like chalk against board.

The look on Dad’s reddening face told her it did. Satisfied, she stomped up the stairs and into her bedroom. Certain she had been left alone, she sat on her bed and finally let her tears fall. Nothingness in her ears filled with an imagined symphony of Dad’s resonant shouts.

At least for a while. Soon, it turned into the melancholic silence that she had always known, heavy with rue and loneliness. She thought about how much Dad had changed after Mum’s passing. Back then, he had never once lost his temper before her, even when her teenage tantrums had blown up at him with few things left unsaid.

He had always given in to her. But not anymore. For the past week, his persistence on moving had never relented, no matter how much it hurt his daughter.

Plans turned into near-reality when he started to discard Mum’s old belongings, as thought they meant nothing. There was no doubt he was still grieving, but couldn’t he understand that she was too?

She picked up the photo album left on the dresser, and found a family picture they had taken last Christmas. It was her favourite. She wiped her tears away, so that she could see her family as it once was – happy and whole. She would never want to leave this place, where they spent all of seventeen good years together.

Doesn’t he understand? It was never about the city. The city was but a place that could easily have been another. But what she could never leave behind, was irreplaceable. It was her home and the memories it held, the very things her father longed to escape.

Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

Gone, Still © 2017 by Jade A. All rights reserved. 


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