The Hard Knock

He stood in the doorway with hair dripping wet.

She was tired in her bones. The hard part always seemed to last forever. Why was that, Theresa wondered. She flinted through memories that she would have liked to last forever but instead seems to dissipate like fog in the morning…

The time she celebrated her 23th birthday in the most expensive restaurant her best friend could afford. They giggled when the server had asked them to taste the wine before he served them two blood red glass fulls. They were used to bottles of Gin, not fancy waiters waiting for approval. Then there was the time when she went for a walk in the woods and saw a young man alone in his own peace, laying naked in the sunlight like a Greek God. What the hell was this weirdo doing out here, Theresa wondered. Something about seeing him and not being able to be seen excited her beyond her imagination. Then she remembered the time when a stranger had knocked on the door. That was a different kind of happiness. That happiness made her toes tingle. It was really too bad they couldn’t last forever.

She had been gone for so long that the sound of her best friends laugh couldn’t come back to her. Neither did she remember the young man’s face from the woods. At least she could still visualize the hair dripping wet… Eventually, she would forget that too.

All she wanted was a summer breeze or to be taken away by someone who she loved to a place she had never been. But she couldn’t. Happiness wasn’t ready to have her. So in the meantime, until happiness was ready, we had to make do with its evil twin brother, unhappiness. It all started with a simple wish.

She wished that one day she could have the world. That was suicide coming from a small rural town in the middle of no man’s land. For miles around her, there was forest, forest, and more forest. It wasn’t her fault that her father who had passed, was a hermit with absolute mistrust of all government entities, especially the heavy hitters like CIA, DEA, FBI. Those were the bad guys in his book. Everyone was out to get him. Thank God paranoia wasn’t in his DNA, Theresa thought.

Her mother wasn’t around, but she liked to fantasize about her. All that was left was a few blurbs from her father and a faded snapshot of a lady with a smile that created a thousand different stories in her daughter’s imagination. She was a dreamer alright. Maybe that’s what got her in trouble in the first place.

It had been raining for days. On the fourth day, while her father sat by the fire reading a conspiracy novel. Theresa’s eyes were shut, listening closely to the sound of rain falling all around her, and there came a loud knock on the front door. She couldn’t believe it. No one had ever knocked on her door. No one ever came. So she did the first thing that came to her mind. She ran.

He father was alarmed at how fast she made it to the door and foolishly opened it wide as if she were welcoming an old friend, someone she was expecting. Whose daughter is this? He pondered after the question of who the hell had found him. In fact, it was an absolute stranger. Middle-aged with a rough beard, but eyes that would always be described as kind.

Standing in the doorway with dripping wet hair, there stood a man in a green trenchcoat and an apologetic smile on his face. She stared at him and wondered if he was the answer that she had been praying for the last 5 and a half years.

I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m lost. His voice matched his eyes.

That’s all it took. Nothing more, nothing less.

One morning her father woke up. That same evening he would have a heart attack because another knock came to the door, this time it was indeed someone looking for him. It had been 15 years since he saw his daughter after he woke up in the morning to see her gone with the stranger who he helped out of the pouring rain.

Sir, your daughter is on the FBI’s most wanted list. Give me all the information you have. Or else.

O boy.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

adult alone blur close up
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

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