A life-changing relationship
Qestral stood at the end of her father, Quest’s bed, and looked at her failing father.
He had always been an unhappy man and as death approached his mood was as dark as ever.
He was ever restless nowadays, the candle that had been his life was slowing burning down with no hope of relighting.
She reflected on his life and her life with him. There was never anything peachy about him or his way of seeing things. He longed to regale her about his harsh childhood, living in a shoebox on the side of the road he’d say.
His family, all seven of them squeezed into a space three would have found a tight fit. He’d look around at the suburban sprawl and say: “Luxury, all these houses, driveways, hot and cold running water, back yards, sheer luxury compared to what we had. We lived shoulder to shoulder in a cardboard box on the side of the road and if we were lucky we didn’t end up being blown onto the highway run over by a cattle truck. I woke up one morning and saw that one leg was south of where I’d left it the night before, and the other one was north. I crawled along the road grabbing both legs, reattached them before my father would wake and thrash me within an inch of my life if I hadn’t fetched the water from the freezing river so he could have a cold shave.
But we didn’t complain, we knew life was tough, we knew we had it better than the Dobson’s who were forced to live in the middle of a round-about all seasons of the year with only an old umbrella to save them from the elements.
You, young people, don’t know how good you have it.”
Qestral listened to this so often during last years of his life. It was true he’d had a hard upbringing, with a stepfather who cared little for him and a mother who was an alcoholic but he liked to embellish his recall of those times.
As death approached, Quest knew his time was up. He grew more and more restless, he insisted the candle beside him was kept alight, as long as he could see the flame he knew there was still life.
The next morning, she came as she had done every morning for the past two weeks, to find that Quest’s quest in life had come to an end. She drew the sheet up over his head and sat and cried for a father who despite his failings, had been her dad, a man who struggled with reality but who had learned to value the love of his child.