Saturday Snippet – One Way

The ClustersToday’s snippet was inspired by Miss Andi’s post.

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She looked at him with sadness, when once upon a time she looked up to him with awe.

“Dad?” She touched his arm, used to the threadbare sleeves of the only coat he ever owned. Goodness knew she stole plenty to fit him that he must have traded or simply gave away.

She slipped her other hand in his, taking his glasses away before he dropped them.  The nosepads were covered with bandages, the temples supported with strips of cardboard and the hinges held in place by paperclips. It was any wonder the lens were still original.

How one as gifted as him could go blind so quickly baffled her. “Epictetus.”

He blinked as she repeated the name.

She sighed. “’There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.’ Remember? You told me that before I went away to school.”

He nodded without looking at her. “Then you just went away.”

“Yes, I did.” She wasn’t going to argue the point or explain to him her own bout of rash behavior, running away from a madness that had begun to seep into her mind before her parents’ marriage dissolved, before she dismissed her own Prince Charming to the curb.

“I’m here now, because I need you. I need you to stop worrying about me, about the world, about things you have no control over, Dad. You are not  Edward R. Murrow or Sydney Schanberg. You are not Clark Kent turned Superman. You’re human.”

“I’m a burden,” he said softly even as she pulled him to his feet. “Who in their right mind would-.”

“Forget them,” she said, a stronger word on the tip of her tongue, silenced out of respect to her father. “They’re the crazy ones who delight in putting others down, driving them distraction while thinking there’s no escape. And death doesn’t count.”

He reached for his glasses as he made a face. “I wasn’t trying-.”

“I know. I know,” she added hastily. One way or another, she was going to get them both to a safe harbor of sanity. “I’m just… I found a place. You’re coming home.”

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