A New Life, pt 4

Looking at all those photos now spread all around him made Tomas’ heart ache. These would be their last family pictures so held them in his hands like some ancient artifacts of an era long lost.

He laid them aside ever so carefully, the box was almost empty now. In the back he found a picture of Alyssa and Clyde in their dinning room, probably taken when he was here for dinner.

After Alyssa finished school her father urged her to find a suitable husband and even went so far as to introduce her to a friend of his, a young successful architect, Clyde. Alyssa ever the obedient daughter started dating him as was expected of her. He was a bit older then her and his hair was already streaked with grey, and he wore big, round glasses but there was a certain charm to him that had probably won Alyssa over.

Tomas wondered how long after this picture was taken his family fell apart, a day, a week, no longer than a few months.

He came home one day, from work, or a date with Mya, he was not sure and was greeted by a strange sight. Hannah was sitting on the stairs, her face pale and worried as unlike Hannah as possible.

He heard pacing from the kitchen. His mother. And his father’s voice coming from above. Yelling. He could not make out the words but he had never, in all of their years of mischief hear him yell as loud. He sat on the stairs next to Hanna, somehow he was afraid even to ask what was going on, he knew it was bad, and hoped it would just go away. So they just sat there and waited for what seamed an eternity… 

To this day Tomas did not know why hadn’t he gone up and confronted his father. Andrew would if he had been home, in fact as soon as learned about what happened he would go and fight with him but by then it would be to late, and maybe it was already too late the moment Alyssa went to that study that her boyfriend had designed years ago to talk with father, Tomas would never learn…

When the yelling stopped they heard the sound of someone running and of doors closing. Neither of them moved, mother looked out of the kitchen but immediately went back in. Hannah wanted to rise and go to Alyssa but suddenly,thought better and stayed with Tomas who didn’t know,what to do himself. He wished Alyssa or father would come down, to find out how bad was it. He knew the fight was over but he was still too afraid to go up there.  

Hannah was the braver one that time, it was her that got up. She climbed the stairs and walked up to the room she shared with her sister. Their mother went out of the kitchen and stood on the doorway, her arms crossed in front of her. She was pale and it appeared as she was crying. Tomas got up to go to her but then there were voices again, his sisters, he couldn’t tell what was being said but then Alyssa showed up on the top of the stairs in a white blouse and a pink skirt dragging a suitcase behind her. Her eyes were red as well but she looked so determined as she dashed down the stairs. Hannah stayed behind her with a look Tomas never saw on his big sister. Mother just ran back in the kitchen closing the doors after her.

Tomas was paralyzed for a second but then he ran out after Alyssa and called her name. She turned around and looked at him,and then she gave,him a weak smile: “I have to go Tommy…” Her voice was shaky and quiet. “You will hear it all from father or mother, I don’t… I don’t have the strength to explain anymore…” She looked ready to cry and he just came up to her and just hugged her and she leaned her head on his shoulder. “Take care Tommy.” She whispered in his ear. “Where are you going?” He asked as they parted. “Clyde’s.” She said and took the suitcase back in her hand. “I’m here for you, if you need anything..” Tomas started.”I can walk you there… I…” “Go home Tommy.” She said and started walking away slowly dragging her suitcase after her.

And Tommy said nothing. Tommy did nothing. He just stood there on the cold night confused and scared.

After that day it became his father’s mission to delete Alyssa from their lives, none of them was allowed to mention her anymore, she never came over, she never called and they all had to pretend she never existed.  And still that very day a part of his father died, or went away with Alyssa…

A few months later it was his mother with a suitcase. She no longer wished to hide her affair with Mya’s uncle Jesse and left them to live with him and the twins she was carrying.

And a year later it was Andrew who married a man he loved and became an abomination in their father’s eyes.

His father tried remarrying once but that didn’t work, the house just got emptier and emptier and so did his father… And now he was gone… There would never be a chance to reconcile, to fix what was broken…

And looking at the pictures all around his bed, his father’s bed, Tomas realized that his father yearned for the past, that although he pushed his family away, they stayed in his head, in his heart, and he died haunted by this memories…

Tomas got up abruptly, there was something about that realization that made him scared. It was his house now, his memories, his ghosts… And now his father’s ghost as well… He didn’t want to stay here anymore, he had to get out escape this memories…

He left the room wanting to get some air… To be alone, to talk to his wife… He had no idea what he wanted… And then he saw her. She was standing in the hallway just staring at the door of the old nursery. Nobody had used that room for years, they always wanted to remodel it but never found the time. He came up to her, she seamed so engrossed in thought but he touched her lightly on the arm and turned around. His wife had a thin frame and could appear frail but that was only if you did not notice her eyes. They radiated strength that came deep from within, strength Tomas admired and strength he needed badly now, at this moment, and maybe for the rest of his life…

Despite the crappy way he felt he smiled at her and she smiled back. It was a lovely smile, but she was not a smiling person and it shocked Tomas a little, he thought he must looked worse than he thought to get a smile from Rita but then she spoke: “There is something I have to tell you Tommy.. I’m…I’m pregnant.”

Something filled Tomas right then and there, some strange warmth that filled his very being and he kissed his beautiful young wife and felt as the whole house was coming back to life all around him, waiting to be filled with all new memories…

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