“He doesn’t have long,” the nurse emphasized, “I will just wait outside”.
“Yes, yes,” Jack stammered, struggling to uproot his feet to step inside.
A hoarse voice welcomed him.
“I am glad you returned”, his father said, adding before relapsing into a fit of coughing, “take care of the family”.
They were his last words.
A shocked Jack stared as much in sadness as in confusion. Which family? His mother died giving birth to him. Papa was, until that moment, his only family.
It was a while before he noticed the new entrants. A broad shouldered man, and a youngster tugging the skirt of a tall woman. The man’s identity registered first: Jesse, his friend.
But as his eyes rested on the woman he first mistook for the nurse, his heart stopped. Jesse had to save the moment. “Your son, Max”, he said. He didn’t have to introduce Claire.
Tightlipped, Jack remained quiet, hypnotized even as Jesse narrated the events that followed his exile.
“Papa brought Claire home, took responsibility for her, through the pregnancy and birth of Max.”
The fog in Jack’s mind started to clear. He remembered the events of that day of four years ago, of that night. The room was dark, Claire lay naked, him half naked…That night he had his first experience with a woman.
And then papa walked in. Without saying a word, he had bolted, deserting her, and forsaking the home and friends he had known.
Now it made sense. All those letters papa sent, asking him to return. And he blamed him!
“He never understood why you ran away,” Claire finally spoke, “It broke his heart”.
Jack was overwhelmed, “Forgive me papa”, he sobbed, even as the nurse wrapped away his father’s lifeless body.
Word Count - 295
Look up another of my 300-word short story at https://steemit.com/story-300words/@ebitularmbert/a-short-story-judgement-day