Wander or Kiran Hawthorne, the last three weeks

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Wander or Kiran Hawthorne, the last three weeks

Post  Ashleh on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:44 pm

Wander

In my dreams I see a little boy; I’m kneeling in front of him, watching him on all fours because he’s still more comfortable crawling even though he’s just learned how to walk. I watch as he begins to straighten, teetering on the balls of his little feet, he has shaggy dark hair and his eyes are violet but they don’t have the same silver as mine do, he’s such a beautiful little boy. He starts to toddle towards me, his brothers and sisters start to clap for him, cheering him on but he starts to fall; I catch him in my arms and pull him close to me, I bury my nose in his hair and inhale his sweet scent but I feel him getting smaller and I know something’s wrong. He doesn’t make a noise; his little fingers don’t curl in my lapels like I know they should…
I woke, drenched in a cold sweat and for a moment disoriented before I remembered I didn’t exactly have a home anymore and had put myself up in a hotel; I reached up to rub the wet from my eyes, wisps of dream reality were still dancing through my head, and I wanted desperately to run away from them. The sudden, shrill noise of my cell phone ringing shattered the last of it and I sighed, glancing at the clock on my night stand before I answered the call.
“Kiran,” My father’s voice filled the speaker, a rumble against my ear, a familiar sound, “I’m in town, I was wondering if you could meet me at the local bar some time.” He breathed.
My ears twitched, listening for the deceit in his tone but I found none yet, “How about now?” I breathed, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep again.

The bar wasn’t crowded but it was unsurprising considering it was three a.m. on a Wednesday night, William Hawthorne sat at a booth in the back of the place, nursing a glass of whiskey, my father looked older than I had ever seen him, haggard even, his dark hair had lost it’s shine and the dark stubble on his face meant he hadn’t shaved in a while, he was more bone than muscle. I could feel my lips twisting as I slid into the booth beside him, ordering a drink from the waitress before I turned to him; he met my gaze over the rim of his glass before he settled it down on the table, “I heard about you and Anna, I’m sorry.” He breathed and I realized he was actually sincere.
I nodded slowly, “I don’t really want to talk about it, Will.” I muttered, studying his face, “What are you doing here?” I inquired, leaning back in my seat as I reached up to run my fingers through my hair.
He pursed his lips, taking another long sip from his drink, “I was wondering if we could take a trip together, just you and me, kid, we’ll go down to the palazzo in Argentina, hmm?” he breathed, his lips pulling into a small smile.
I scrutinized his face, this was the man who beat me, who beat my mother and my siblings, this was the man who scarred me, who hurt my children but I realized for the first time in my life we were both alone and it was then I found myself nodding.

I stood next to my father as we leaned against the terrace in Argentina, feeling the cool breeze sweep up from the light blue ocean, I watched the foamy waves crashing against the sand, I had expected booze and women but it had been quiet, it’d been almost nice. I looked up at Will, now, he was watching the sky as the sun slid down behind the horizon; a shawl was wrapped around his shoulders as if the breeze was giving him a chill, “Are you all right?” I mumbled, raising a brow at him.
William smiled down at me, “Fine, I just work too hard, you know?” he mumbled.
I nodded slowly, “I know, you’re always working too hard, old man.” I said trying to be amusing but something didn’t sit right in the pit of my stomach.
He smirked at me, “I think I’m going to head in, I’m tired.” He muttered, turning to start back into the living room. I turned to watch him for a moment; he had made it a few steps before he seemed to slow and suddenly I was struck by the memory of the boy in my dream as my father teetered on his own feet, it was the first time I had ever seen him fall and had tried to catch him.

I studied him in his hospital bed, he looked smaller than I remembered, I found it almost funny to think that when I looked at him as a child I thought he was a hero, my hero, but now when I looked at him I thought, God, I hope I don’t become him.
“You aren’t me, Billy.” He said, his lids fluttering, and for a moment I thought I had spoken out loud before realizing I hadn’t, “You’re so much better than me.” My father breathed, his bloodshot blue gaze finding me in the chair beside his bed.
I swallowed hard, “When did you find out about the cancer?” I muttered, pretending he hadn’t spoken.
He sighed, “A month ago.” He muttered, “Its terminal, I’m only going to live a few months more, Kiran, I’ll be withered, a husk of my old self.” Will said softly, his blue eyes shimmering, “I don’t want to die like this.” He whispered.
I bit my lip, watching him for a moment before I reached up to take his hand, I remember only holding it once when I was six; he and my mom had been fighting, I could never remember about what but I was crying because I was scared, she was pregnant and he’d shoved her but when my brothers had rushed to her side I looked up at my father, expecting him to fix it, instead he took my hand and we climbed into his Camaro, he took me for ice cream and said everything would be okay. It was one of the only good memories I had of the old man, I raised my gaze to his face, my fingers tightening around his, “Dad, everything will be okay.” I whispered even though I knew it probably wouldn’t be.
“I’m sorry,” Will whispered, “For all the things I’ve done to you, Kiran, for all the horrible things I’ve made you believe about yourself.” He breathed, his voice getting thicker and when I looked up at him, I realized his eyes were wet, I had never seen my father cry before, I had never thought I would, “I am so proud of the man you are,” he continued softly, “I never meant to tell everything was your fault, it wasn’t, Kiran, you can’t let fate burden you. You can’t take the world on your shoulders, son, if you do it will crush you.” he breathed.
I nodded slowly, “I know, dad.” I muttered, feeling my throat tighten, “What do we do now?” I asked softly, feeling like a little boy again.
He gave me a watery smile, “I’d like to go home again,” he said softly, “I’d like to die there.”

We sat against the wall, shoulder to shoulder, in the husk that had been our family home in Mattoon, Illinois; we each had a bottle of Jack Daniels, his was laced down with poison, reminding me of a time I’d spent with my brother, sitting with him until he would disappear. I tilted my head back, taking a long, hard swig of my clean liquor, feeling it burn down to my belly as my eyes sought the stars above; Will took a swig of his own and I knew his actions were getting slower, he would cough every now and then and it sounded like death rattling in his lungs. His bottle was becoming empty and he leaned his head on my shoulder, it was something he had never done before, “Promise me something,” he began softly, “Promise me that you won’t work too hard and forget the good things in life.”
“I promise.” I muttered, taking a long swig from my bottle again when I felt his weight against my side, “I forgive you, dad.” I whispered, feeling my eyes sting as I finished my bottle.

I found myself wandering the next few days, alone in thought and aimlessly through the night, I was almost afraid to rest, afraid to sleep because when I did, I always saw the boy tottering, sometimes I caught him, sometimes I didn’t but it never seemed to matter, and once, I was the boy, teetering over an edge but there was no one to catch me. I found my way back to the motel I had holed up in, I took off my Timberlands, discarding them carelessly in my messy room, I reached for my near finished bottle of booze when my hand bumped the picture frame that was there and it clattered to the floor, the glass breaking. I pursed my lips and knelt down to pick it, I took the photo from the broken glass carefully and straightened as I studied it; it was a photo of my children, all of them together and smiling, I could feel warmth filling my veins for the first time in days that had nothing to do with the bottle. I gazed at it for a few moments longer before I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, my hair and beard were shaggy and unkempt, my violet-silver eyes were bloodshot, I didn’t look like a man my children would be proud of. I swallowed hard, dropping my gaze to the photo again when the last words my father spoke to me sang in my ears.

I had cleaned myself up, showered, shaved, and in a dark suit, the last one I would be wearing for a while; I pursed my lips as I brought my gaze to my accountant’s at First National in Paris, all of the money I had stashed away in banks all over the world followed the trail here to a man I could trust or at least instill enough fear in to know he wouldn’t double cross me, “Are you sure about this, Monsieur Hawthorne?” Nigel Croix asked, scrutinizing me as if he’d just realized I was insane.
“I’m sure, Nigel, I want the money divided between Anna Sommers-Thomas-Hawthorne and my children,” I said being absolutely serious, “But I don’t want the money to be accessible until exactly one month from this day.” I breathed.
He nodded slowly, “As you wish, sir.” He muttered and within the hour had paperwork drafted and I found it rather easy to sign.
I walked out of the bank with nothing but five thousand dollars left of me and a light feeling in my chest. I walked down to my motel, changing into a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and ratty old jacket that used to be my father’s, I grabbed my duffel from the floor, all of the possessions I had left inside of it before I made my way onto the street again, needing to catch a cab to the airport and the States, thinking it would nice to see Adam and Cassy for a little while.
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Ashleh
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