Written by Matt Taggart aka -M. Taggart
A Purposeful Life – Fiction
And the children were happy because they loved their uncle and love was a smile. He reached lower to ruffle each of their heads. His nephew ran after his twin sister through the doorway leading into the living room and both were now gone. Only the sounds of their footsteps racing upstairs were left for him.
He was alone. His brother and wife had already said goodbye and were also upstairs. Now, all that was left was to open the closet door, find his jacket, and leave.
Hanging on hooks, on the back of the closet door, were coats with little hoods that had animal ears. On the closet floor were tiny boots. He told himself not to think about it, but it was too late and he’d already started. He reached out and touched a red checkered coat that belonged to his nephew.
No, he thought. This is their happiness and it isn’t right to think of this now. He closed the front door behind him, walked down the porch steps, and into the driveway. He opened the door to his truck and got in.
Opening the windows, feeling the wind, and listening to music while he drove didn’t help. He turned the radio off. The winding New Hampshire road led him through farm land. Cow pastures and corn fields were on either side of him. Beyond the fields was woodland leading to a deeper forest. Maybe he ought to stop his truck and walk in as deeply as he could and not come back for a long while or ever. It seemed it was now always like this. Each time he visited his brother- to see family, he was forced to remember and now it was overwhelming and he couldn’t not think of it.
It was difficult for him to look forward to his empty studio apartment containing walls which mocked each of his thoughts. He would pace his small apartment and view the same cracks each time he passed them as not to tip the balance one way or the other. Then he’d sit on his one chair he owned and read. Sometimes this would help. Other times it would only open him more to what he’d been trying to escape. He was reminded that scars of this nature won’t heal with any one word from any one mouth and most likely won’t heal at all. No matter how many words he’ll hear or read.
He knew deeply he needed change. The cow pastures on the winding road wanted him to settle here, with them all, but he couldn’t. He continued to drive, although he wasn’t truly in this moment. He was nearly already pacing in his studio wondering which Hemingway story to read to find peace. He wouldn’t think of it though, he told himself. He’d only try and think of how they had smiled with love and try to learn it all again. The sun was bright. His mind split while trying to give permission to live with purpose.
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Thank you for reading.