STEALING THE SHOW.
The white hearse drew up at the brick chapel in the cemetery grounds. In the rear was a pine coffin containing the body of the man whose life would be celebrated by his family. A man dressed in a dark suit, pressed white shirt and black tie alighted from the driver’s seat and the tailgate was opened, whereupon a party of eight men, two of whom were his sons, waited to carry his coffin into the chapel.
A woman wearing a pink hat that crowned a head of grey hair flecked with blonde, a crisp pink suit and black high heels walked in a slow but dignified manner, eager to wait until all the party were inside. She saw a woman whose hair had been dyed and coifed and her face done up with pinkish make-up standing, watching the coffin being carried into the chapel, before she followed it in.
The woman dressed in pink then walked into the chapel and took a pew at the very rear.
A man with thinning grey hair and silver rimmed spectacles, wearing a grey suit and purple shirt with a white celluloid collar stepped up to the podium.
“Dearly and beloved,” he began, “we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of -.”
The man had a Power Point presentation where he showed pictures of the deceased man from when he was a baby, to a boy, and to a young man. The woman dressed in pink saw a photo of the man she had once loved and been engaged to. It was then that she saw a picture of him holding a baby about eight months after he had broken off their engagement. She was to assume correctly that the man she saw at the tailgate of the hearse was his son.
A tall man wearing a light grey suit and an open-necked shirt then stood and made his way to the podium.
“I won’t lie. My father and I had a difficult relationship when I was growing up. Anything I could do, my younger brother could do better. I remember, when I was in Year Three, and came first in a school spelling contest, scoring 100/100, I ran home in excitement, to find my father had come home from work and was sitting reading a newspaper. I shouted, “Dad, I came first in the spelling contest!” He merely drew back on his cigarette and turned the page of his newspaper. My mother told me to be quiet because she was feeding my baby brother.
When my letter was sent to Roald Dahl and I received a personal response to him, and was excited, Dad merely replied, “Oh, did you?” and kept watching the television.
When my brother did well at sport, my parents praised that!”
It was then that he sat down and his younger son showed pictures of him with his father when they went fishing and he had been able to catch a large bream. The younger son looked happy and the father had his arm around him holding the rod with the other hand.
After the last of the mourners spoke, they announced that there would be a wake, and there would be finger food and wine. It was then that the woman wanted to say her piece.
“I know none of you know me, but I would like to tell a story. The man whose life you celebrated in that chapel and I were engaged to be married. I still remember the night he rang me long distance to say that he had to break off our engagement. I spent three months crying over it. And now I see why. Well, I’ll tell you what my revenge was! I later married a lovely man, who has sadly passed on, after 45 years of marriage, and I have three children, one son and two daughters. They have all grown up to be respectful, kind, caring people.”
There was a stunned silence from all, except for the eldest son. He then came to see why his relationship with his father was so hard, and it was not his fault.
*This is a fictional story but one hope that my readers will enjoy.