Sage Advice | The InkWell Weekly Fiction Prompt #5


I stood by the lakeside watching as the water moved in rows and flowed down to wherever the lake ended just as new rows appeared from the shoreline. The rows flowed down in a pattern. I loved the feel of the cool breeze on my skin and how it swayed the leaves on the tall trees by the lake in a particular direction.

My brain was muddled with so many thoughts. I usually come to this lake behind my family house to meditate and reflect on vital decisions that I need to make. I believe our actions determine our destinies and they should not be made lightly or flimsily.

Here I am again after almost a year that I visited last. My mom saw me drive in through the gate and nodded by the door, saying (without speaking) that "he's here to think."

Anna moved out of our home after a little quarrel. She believed I was unserious about our future.

Then I sensed someone behind me. Only one other person came down to the lake - my Dad. He appeared beside me from my peripheral vision, hands in pocket and we both stared into the distance for a few minutes. Probably to get reacquainted with each other's presence.

He cleared his throat and I knew what was to come - sage advice from a man who was happily married for as long as I can remember.

"Son, coming out here to hide when you should face an important decision like a man is not appealing"

I sighed. "I am not hiding Dad. You know that!"

"All the same, your mother and I are always happy to have you here. Is this about Anna?"

"Yes Dad. Sh-she moved out."

Dad moved a little and stood in front of me, face-to-face. I had to look him in the eye all through this conversation. That's the way he brought me up.

"I don't say this often but you are a good, responsible man and you make me proud every day. Go and bring your wife back to your home. This is not the moment to be divided. You both want children, you have to give it some time. The way I see it, you are both stressed. Go on a vacation. Show Anna some love. It's only a matter of time, we will celebrate the birth of a child in your home."

"Yes Dad. We both know this is my fault because of the accident…"

"Enough, son." He cut me short abruptly. "Remember what the doctor said?" I nod a little, staring into his serious eyes. "You will have kids when the time is right. Don't put this on yourself. Okay?"

"Okay sir"

Dad put both his hands on my shoulders.

"Life is all about taking risks. I took a risk when I married your mother even when your grandfather (God rest his soul) gave me a hard time about it. We had our challenges and overcame them. Here we are today, thirty-five years going. You can learn from us but carve your path. Be patient and keep loving your wife. Your children will come."

I drove to Anna's sister's house where Anna had been staying after she moved out. I felt better, lighter, and confident. Like a heavy burden taken off me. I'm thankful for my parents, always on hand to give me advice. Indeed, marriage takes commitment and hard work to succeed. I cannot wait to see Anna, my wife.


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