Check Out Time
June 10th 2012
The leaves on the oak trees rustled in a slight breeze. It was a mild summer day. Naomi had foregone traditional dress for a black tank top and a pair of blue jeans and sandals.
“We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a beloved friend and mother.”
Naomi stared down at her feet. She wasn’t really listening to the pastor. She couldn’t help but think that it was a little silly that someone who didn’t really know her mother was leading the ceremony. She felt eyes on her back. Everyone was watching her. She was standing apart from the others. After a while, she began to notice that one man in particular was looking in her direction. He watched her with solemn, sorrowful eyes, his hands clasped over his black suit jacket.
After the funeral, Naomi went and stood in the parking lot. She made a point to avoid everyone. They came up to her and said a whole lot of things that she didn’t really hear. They told her that it wasn’t her fault, but she didn’t believe them. They asked her if she was really going away, if the Penn Foundation was where she really thought she should be. It was what the psychiatrist at the police station had suggested, but Naomi wasn’t bound to it. The law couldn’t tell her what to do; they insisted that she was innocent, a mere bystander.
The man who had been watching her walked up beside her. “Hello,” he said. The greeting sounded forced, as though he were afraid of her.
Naomi eyed him suspiciously. “Hi. Do I know you?”
The crowd was dispersing. There was a discomfort in the air that was almost palpable. The man beside Naomi shrugged. “You did know me, once.” He caught her gaze and stared at her. He appeared as though he were on the verge of tears. “Do you need a place to live? I have plenty of room.”
“Who are you?” Naomi took a step back. Part of her already knew who he was; the rest of her didn’t want to believe it.
The man smiled weakly, his first attempt to comfort her. Then he spoke, and it was clear that he was afraid of her reaction. “I’m your father.”
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Rosa Sophia is the author of the Paranormal Mystery Taking 1960. She currently resides in south Florida.
Please visit her at: www.rosasophia.com