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I Killed Him
I Killed Him
We had just returned from the cemetery. Or at least my brother Alan and I had. Uncle Albert had brought us home. Dad drove off and left us there, well maybe not just left us there. But had our uncle bring us home.
We had ridden with Dad, in his pickup. He would not even talk about riding in the limo. Aunt Lois, Mom’s older sister and her kids and Uncle Albert. Dad had no other family, except Mom, Alan and me. He was an orphan, never knew a real family. Dad and Aunt Lois could not be around each other ten minutes without getting into it. When Alan and me was kids we would see if we could guess how long it would take for the sparks to fly.
I was surprised they had stayed civil as long as they had today. It had lasted right up till the men started to lower Mom’s casket into the grave.
Dad walked over and dropped the rose bud he had picked at the house. Then said,”I’ll be back after the dust settles, Baby, and plant those roses for you.”
Aunt Lois turned around so fast, that she tore a hole in the carpet that was around the gravesite. Uncle Albert had to catch her to keep her from falling.
“You will do no such thing, John Logan,” She said, jerking Uncle Albert’s hands off of her and getting in Dad’s face. “Any plantings or decoration must be approved by the committee. And I am the head of that committee.”
Everyone was looking at them. Dad turned and walk a few steps and said over his shoulder,” Jen wanted roses, and she will get roses.”
“John Logan, you try to plant roses here, and I’ll, I’ll. Have the sheriff put you in jail!” She screamed. “You hear me!”
Dad stopped and turned around and just stood for a second. Uncle Albert had taken Aunt Lois by the arm.
“Lois, people in the next county heard.’ Dad said,as he pinned his Sheriff's badge on his jacket “Do you know how dumb that statement sounds.” Then he said,”Al, would you drop the kids off at the house for me. I have business.” Then he got in his pickup and drove off.
Mom passed away last Sunday night. In her sleep, no real reason, her heart had just stopped. The doctor had said it was like infant crib death. She went to sleep, no pain, just never wake.
Alan was here, in for spring break. I was in New York, working in an off Broadway play. Mom had called me that evening, it was after our closing show. Wanted know if I would be able to make it home before I started a new job. She sounded tired, but said it had been a long day. I had told her I would be on the redeye the next morning. That was it, Dad and Alan picked me up at the airport. I could see it in their eyes, when they told me I fainted.
Even after the funeral I still wake up and think I heard her in the kitchen.
I was in the middle of Mom and Dad’s bed, legs crossed. One of the old photo albums in my lap. I heard the front door open, Dad came down the hall pass the bedroom.
“You alright,” I asked,” What kind of business?”
“Just business.” He said, and when on down the hall to his office.
Alan came in the back, he had gone over to Uncle Albert’s and Aunt Lois’s. I didn't feel like going after the scene at the graveside. I loved Aunt Lois, but she could be a pain. I realized that I sounded like Mom.
“How was it?” I hollered so he could hear me down the hall to kitchen.
“It was Ok.” he said, and added,” Undle Al got called away.” When I raised up a picture fell out on the bed. I looked on the pages and there was not a space missing one. I had never seen it before. It was a man with long hair and a beard. He was dressed like a hippie, beads, bell bottom pant and tie dye shirt.
Dad was coming back up the hall. He had changed into his jeans and a t shirt.
“Who is this?” I ask.
He came into the bedroom and leaned over the bed and took it from me.. After looking at it for a long time he ran his hand across his mouth and handed it back. And walked out and onto the back patio.
“ Hey, Dad,” Alan called from the kitchen,” You want a beer?”
“Yeah, sure,” He said, “ And you might should bring a couple of sixpacks. Your Sis found some old bones. It’s time to clear the air.”
“What’s the oldman talking about? He ask me as I walked by.
“ I have no idea. I found this picture in an album. And ask who it was.” I said back.
Dad was at gazebo when we came out on the patio.
“ Out here.” He said,” If this has to happen, this is the best place for it.”
It was Mom’s favorite place to set in the evenings. Roses all around and down the path. Alan handed Dad a beer and then handed me one. Dad took the picture and looked at it.
I said,” Dad, what is going on?”
He put the beer on the rail and took the picture. After looking at it he handed it back and said,”I had hoped this time would never come. But it has,” looking up he said, as if talking to Mom, Darlin’ here goes.” Then he swallowed and said,” Dear, that was your father.”
The beer fell from my hand and in disbelief I said,”What!” Alan spit beer all over the roses. And I must have looked pale, because Dad told him to get the smelling salts. When I got my senses back I ask,” Who is he and where is he?”
Dad helped me to a bench and said,” I killed him.”
As I stared at him, Alan hollered from the patio.”Dad, Deputy Jones is here. He said you need to come. They found Uncle Albert shot.”