The old man sat watching his daughters talking to the strange man who looked so much like their mother. “I’m 83 years old,” he told himself. “We were married 54 years. I know she loved me. Why does this matter so much?.”
Yet he felt restless. His daughters were bending forward, trying to hear the other man’s voice over the restaurant chatter. A voice pitched low like their mother’s.
The old man closed his eyes. This stranger was the result of pain his wife had never spoken of, a shadow on her life.
But he knew his reaction was a response to his own pain, not hers. It was jealousy, he realized with a start. All those years, all the assurances of her love, and yet he could feel jealous of this man’s father and, obscurely, of the man himself.
“Dad?” his youngest daughter asked.
“I’m a little tired,” he answered.
Copyright © 2014 Loretta Miles Tollefson