My father said that Jack would never make anything of himself, as he spent so much time day-dreaming and little time actually doing. But, I loved sitting in his old goldish brown car listening to his poetry that seemed as sweet as candy hearts full of hugs and kisses.
Jack made life exciting, for he could see the art in the beauty of the butterflies. He would ask me where would I go if I could fly away with them, which is where I developed my wanderlust. He would bring me odd gifts, to ensure that I wouldn’t forget him, as if I could! I still have some of them today, like the dried roses that I hid under my pillow and the white stuffed bunny that holds court in my writing room today.
I remember the tale he made up right on the spot when we came upon a gas mask in a bed of flowers. He said that a man of conscience has dropped it there in World War II, rather than gas a village of women, men, and children. In that tale, I learned that compassion must always rule our hearts.
As I listen to the bike bells ring of his cycling team, a kind of homage like a seven-gun salute, I fixated on a screw in the planks of his coffin, realizing that my father was wrong. Jack was a dreamer, too busy enjoying life to sleep even through the night, afraid of missing something wonderful. He taught me to love deeply, sincerely, and to let my heart be free, even after the inevitable hurts of life.
For me, he was the greatest kind of lover: a lover of life!
Fictional story written for the Sunday Writing Prompt Collage, April 19, 2020.