I’ve started off the week on the right foot, so hopefully it holds! Had a pretty productive weekend so I’m hoping that carries over into the next few days. We’ll see.
Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series. Now that I’m only juggling two serials instead of three, I’m hoping to alternate every prompt response. Since my last one was A Vampire’s Bride, today’s will be Provincial Freedom. I’m still not sure where Paola’s story is going, but hopefully she reveals it to me soon. She’s a bit more difficult than the others, but I guess that’s understandable, given her circumstances.
Prompt: Borrowed happiness
Max has been making more of an effort to check in with me. Not that they have any news to report about my condition, but it does make me feel better – like I’m not alone. I’ve also taken their words to heart – about my dad worrying about me – and have made a similar effort to spend more time with him and less in a radioactive wasteland. After all, isolating myself isn’t really helping me cope. My dad has even started smiling again, something I hadn’t realized was missing until I started paying attention. I want to kick myself for letting it go on this long. How long since I came back from the dead? A few months? And all this time I just kind of ignored him.
“I’ve got it. You can go watch TV. Your show comes on soon.” I move to clear the table, a smile on my face at the look of relief and gratitude in my dad’s eyes. I guess it’s the little things.
“You sure, mija?” He places his dishes on the counter by the sink.
“Yeah, it’s okay. I wash them faster anyway.” My sleeves are already rolled up to my elbows. He gives me a kiss on the forehead before retreating into the living room. His happiness is almost contagious, and I find myself smiling at nothing in particular.
“You seem to be doing better.” Once, the unexpected sound of Max’s voice would have made me drop the plate in my hands. Now, I just take it in stride and wait until I hear the TV in the other room before responding.
“A little. Yeah. It’s funny, though. I can’t help but feel I’m living on borrowed time, you know? Like this fleeting, tiny joy has a time limit on it. Or it doesn’t really belong to me.” It’s a feeling that’s been nagging me for a while. My dad is happy now, but I can’t stay here forever, can I? He’ll notice eventually that I’m not aging. And even if Max fixes my immortality problem, I’ll still be leaving my dad behind.
“It’s what you make of it that matters, Paola. Don’t get hung up on its potential brevity.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re an angel. You don’t have these problems.”
“You’re right, but I’ve been around for a long time. Watched a lot of humans waste their lives worrying. There isn’t much you can do about your current situation, so just make the best of the time you have with your dad. You’ve been given a second chance. Don’t squander it.” They lean against the counter, arms crossed, watching me through serene eyes. I’d kill for that kind of serenity.
And we slowly continue to inch forward. After writing this I have a bit of an idea of how this will move forward – how Paola will make the best of her time. Here’s to coming prompts providing the necessary inspiration 🙂
As always, think happy thoughts!