Published: November 12th, 2015
Zachary Hay was born in Detroit, MI in 1994. He is a full time student at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI and enjoys reading, writing, and performing stand-up comedy. He has been writing fiction since high school but has never before been published. His influences include David Foster Wallace, JD Salinger, and Woody Allen.
Something Else About the Sun
My father died on a cold, dark day in November. Very cold. I remember that. Otherwise, I don’t remember much. I remember the call from the hospice nurse telling me he was on his way out and I remember getting dressed and leaving to stand by his bedside and I remember him dying but not too clearly. I remember that he had died and that I was there but that’s about it.
I remember talking to some of the nurses and waiting for the men from the morgue to come and take his remains and being relieved when they finally did take him away because I could sign the rest of the paperwork and go home and go back to bed but when I got back home I couldn’t fall asleep. I went for a walk instead. I think I tried to watch the sunrise but it might have been too cloudy.
I remember telling my fiancé about what kind of a man my father was on the way home from my sister’s funeral.
“That old man?” She asked.
“Yes.” I said.
“But Henry, he’s so sweet.”
“He wasn’t always an old man.”
“Why didn’t you ever tell anyone?”
“You should have told someone.”
“Things were different. He just would have found out.”
“I’m sorry, Henry.”
“You and your sister were strong kids.”
When my fiancé and I got married she asked if when we had children their grandfather would be part of their lives and I said that, no, he would not and that we wouldn’t have children until after he died anyway. That made her angry and she said that I shouldn’t let him control my life. I said that I didn’t want kids and left the room and that ended the conversation.
One year, while my wife and I were still together, I mentioned that it was my father’s birthday and she said that I should give him a call.
“I haven’t talked to the man in five years.” I said.
“Maybe it’s time.”
“You said he was a changed man. You said so when he quit drinking. Why not talk to him?”
“He’s your father, Henry. It’ll make you feel better.”
“Oh, because he’s not that bad?” I said. She stared at me.
“I’m sorry.” I said.
My wife left me after two and a half years of rocky marriage. My fault. Sometimes I would tell women that it was the other way around; that I left her; that she cheated on me. But that’s a lie. She left because I hit her. I was drunk. I guess I hurt her.
I remember one night when I was little I woke up to the sound of my sister crying. The next morning at school I asked her what happened and she said that nothing happened and that she didn’t know what I was talking about and that nothing happened, nothing happened and to not talk to her for the rest of the day. Since my sister was two years older than me we only saw each other once at school, during lunch time, and so at lunch I came up to her again while she was eating with her friends and I asked if I could talk to her again and she didn’t say anything or even look at me so I just sat down on the ground next to her and when her friends started to giggle and make fun of me I put my head on my sister’s thigh and let the tears soak into her jeans and it was that very night that I was woken up by my bedroom door being opened and I thought it was my father so I pretended to be asleep but when the mattress moved I could feel it wasn’t him but rather my sister so I sat up and she gave me a hug and she was crying and I remember there was blood but I didn’t think she was crying because of the blood and then my father came in and I can’t remember too much after that.
My sister’s name was Beth. Short for Bethany. I remember that.
If someone were to ask me why I’m thinking about this today I wouldn't be able to answer them. Same goes for tomorrow. I’d probably just mention that the sun was out. Hopefully that would suffice.