by Jim Bates
A black hole, that's what it felt like. Depression sucking the life right out of him. He hated it, tried to fight it, but lost the battle that morning and ended up lying in bed unable to move, feeling sorry for himself and missing them both.
An hour or so later the phone rang and he forced himself to pick up. It was his son.
"Dad, it's been a while. I miss not talking to you. Can I take you for coffee?"
Yes or no? Decision time. Leave the comfort of his bed, or be a father to his boy? Drown in his own sorrow, or set a good example for his son. In the end it was Jake's voice that did it, just the jolt he needed. "Please?"
"Yes, I'd like that," he said, clearing his throat and forcing himself to sit up. "I'll see you...when?"
"I'll pick you up in an hour. I'll drive."
"That'll be good, Jake. See you then."
He hung up and took a long moment to collect himself before thinking, I've got to get dressed. He looked at the door leading from his bedroom. It seemed like a long way, a long dark tunnel.
He swung his feet from the bed to the floor and got ready to stand. One step at a time, he told himself, one step at a time to climb out of the depression he'd been mired in for the last six weeks, ever since his wife and daughter had been killed in that car accident.
He struggled to his feet, stood shakily and steadied himself. He might be depressed, but at least he could walk. He lifted his foot, put it down and stepped tentatively forward. Then he did it again. He wanted to take a shower and get into some clean clothes and be ready for when his son arrived. It felt good to have something to look forward to. He took another step. He had a long way to go, but at least it was a start.
About the author
Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers' Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, Mused - The BellaOnline Literary Review, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard and The Drabble. You can also check out his blog to see more: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.
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