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Daily Short Story Two: The Things We Never Said

Miranda and her son Marcos have 'slightly' different opinions about her recently deceased husband.

Marcos entered the chapel at the funeral home and heard his mother sobbing uncontrollably. He felt along the wall until he felt the light switch and he turned on the lights. His mother Miranda looked at her son and cried out, "Oh! Isn't it terrible?" as she ran to Marcos and fell into his arms.

I hope she doesn't mess up my uniform. These things are expensive to get cleaned.

Marcos was home on emergency leave. Honestly, he thought a four day pass would be enough. He came straight from the airport to the funeral home in his Army dress uniform. It only had one stripe on it, but he was extremely proud of it, as it felt to him like the only thing he had ever truly earned.

"Why are you sitting in the dark, Mama?"

"I...I just couldn't take looking at him anymore. I still can't believe it. A heart attack. He wasn't even sixty yet!"

Well, those things happen when you marry someone almost twenty years younger than you.

"Oh. Okay, Mama. Sit down back here where you can't see him." Miranda sat down. Marcos walked up the aisle to the casket and looked at the person who called himself his father. Not because he wanted to, but just because he had the thought 'I guess this is what I'm supposed to do now'.

I DON'T forgive you. Maybe I will never forgive you. Maybe in twenty years, I'll think about reconsidering.

He turned around and sat down next to his mother. "Why aren't you crying?," she asked. "Do you think you're a man now and you can't cry? Or that soldiers aren't allowed to cry? You can cry, son. It will do you good."

If I cry, it will be for myself, as I remember how, and how much, he abused me. And you did nothing. Did you not know? How could you NOT KNOW? Just be glad I'm not laughing, Mom. Because I kind of want to.

"Where is everybody?," Marcos asked. "I thought the service was today."

Miranda looked at her Patek Phillippe watch. "It's not for a couple of hours yet. You must have come here straight from the airport. Why didn't you call me?"

Because that house is NOT my home. It never has been. You took me as a happy if poor child from the slums of Rio to be a rich but miserable child in a mausoleum of a mansion.. That guy up there should be buried there, it would be totally fitting.

"I figured you would be here and I didn't want to bother you." If at all possible, I'd rather not set foot in that house ever again.

Miranda hugged Marcos. "You're not a bother, son. You're my joy. My only joy, now."

Wow, she really loved him. She didn't just marry him for the money. Unfortunately that love apparently blinded her to the truth about him.

Marcos put his arm around his mom. "I love you too, Mom."

"Why DID you join the Army, anyway? And as an enlisted? Dad could have gotten you into West Point. Or Annapolis, or wherever you wanted to go!"

That guy was NOT my 'dad'! "I just wanted to do something totally on my own for once in my life, Mom."

"But now I worry about you so much. They can send you off to war whenever they want to!"

"Mom, it's all right. I'm highly trained, and it's only four years of my life. I'll be all right. I promise." I have no idea how to keep that promise, but I DO like the idea of staying alive for a while.

Miranda and Marcos sat in silence a while. Then Miranda got on her knees and prayed. God, I can tell by my son's reaction that what I suspected is true. Please help Marcos to forgive him And, if it's Your will, please forgive him also.

Then Miranda put her forehead on the pew in front of her and cried again. For a totally different reason.

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