In an attempt to spend at least a little time writing each day, I will be participating in various writing prompts/challenges/etc. Today I am linking up with The Lightning and The Lightning Bug.
Today's Prompt: Flicker of Inspiration Linkup #49: The Last Time
The last time I heard his voice was at my surprise birthday party. I had turned 30 a week and a few days before and my mother-in-law had invited my family to her house to celebrate. I wasn't surprised by the party, but I was surprised he had come. My father was an introvert, a trait he passed on to me, and the fact he had traveled four hours to a near strangers house was slightly shocking.
What wasn't shocking was how he positioned himself off to the side, nearly in a corner, of the living room. The chair he chose was between the entry way and the door to the kitchen. Typical of his nature, there was no chance for anyone to sit next to him.
Throughout the party his mood slowly turned from slightly cranky (a result of the four hour car ride) to downright cantankerous. While his chosen spot allowed him to keep an eye on everything going on in the room, it also planted him in the middle of the main flow of traffic which caused problems for his hearing device of choice. Unable to make out an specific conversation taking place in the room, and unwilling to move to a different chair, he finally retreated to the car in the driveway so he could have a good grump.
The rest of my family soon noticed his retreat and packed up to leave. Disappointed, I walked them to the car and watched them pull away without saying goodbye to him. A week and a few days later, he was gone. I sometimes wonder if our parting that day would have been different if I had known it would be the last time.