Alex traced a finger across the cool glass, wanting to feel the raindrops on the other side. The bus slowed, pausing at a light. Just a few more stops and it would arrive at the train station where Alex was supposed to get off. The one half a mile from the hospital where Alex’s father lay dying.
They hadn’t spoken in three years. The fight had been stupid, the estrangement even more so, but with every day that passed it grew more and more difficult to bridge the gap. Then the call came from Alex’s stepmother. Congestive heart failure. He wasn’t going to survive it, not with his other health problems. So Alex squashed down the fear and hurt, forked over money that should have been spent paying the bills, and traveled through three states to get to him.
Now, turning back sounded like the most sensible thing to do.
A weird, hitching breath caught in Alex’s throat and it was a struggle to keep the tears at bay. A moment later, a cool, slender hand wrapped around Alex’s. Strong, steady, it didn’t matter that Alex had no idea who the hand belonged to. At the last stop, Alex had been too busy looking out the window to see if the person in the adjacent seat was male or female, young or old. Wasn’t important though; the firm grip was all that mattered.
Fear quaked through Alex’s body as the bus hissed to a stop and passengers struggled out of the seats. With one last reassuring squeeze, Alex’s seatmate let go. In a daze, Alex stood and wiggled out of the seat, stopping to grab the duffle bag from the overhead storage.
Just before reaching the door, Alex glanced back, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious stranger, but the side of a face was all that was visible around the seat in front. Alex could see a shock of dark hair, a single blue eye, and a smile. It was enough.
Reassured, Alex stepped into the rainstorm, ready to brave the past and find the peace both father and child needed, before it was too late.
Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other author’s flash fics for this week! There are some really incredible ones.
In particular, be sure to read Helena’s flash fic today. Ireland’s Marriage Referendum will take place this coming Friday and her story is a beautiful reminder of why it’s so important to vote yes.
I look forward to seeing you next Monday!