My father is talking; he is talking about how he has waited as the house has stayed on the market, watching the price go down. He is talking about the deal he’s offered the seller, how he will finance the purchase. Though I do not understand him, I ask questions, to keep him talking; it is worth the risk of riding home in the rain and the dark; I believe that it is worth anything.
What do you think? my father says, after a moment.
About what, sir? I say.
Maybe you could stay here on weekends, he says. Maybe you could stay here all the time. Would you like that?
I cannot look at him; I have to be careful, so that he will not see that he has guessed my secret wish. For years, my father hasn’t lived with my mother. My greatest wish is that we will be reunited.
Yes, sir, I say. I’d like that.
Maybe, my father says, looking away from me.
Yes, sir, I say.
Right now, he says, it has to be our secret.
“The Vanishing House,” History Lessons, Writers Without Margins, Fifth Edition (February 2020)