The evening encompassed everything I was feeling. The full moon, which had given me the chills ever since I could remember, was shining so luminously in the sky above. The stars painted a tapestry like no other, and the sound of the wind in the trees was laced with a morose, yet mysteriously soothing train whistle in the distance. Everything around that night reminded me just how subdued, yet conspicuously fanatical I am about life. There were so many things I wanted to say . . . But I just didn’t know how.
In my picturesque but comforting room, I took in everything the night had to offer me through my little window; the one door to discernment I had at my disposal. For the past few weeks, I’d been trying to write ( for what felt like the millionth time ) the great American novel, or at least a good poem ! I tried my hardest to listen to my heart and understand why my writers block was lasting so long. Somehow, the undertakings you set out to do don’t seem hard until you actually attempt them. Suddenly!
, I glanced over at my bookshelf, to this day I don’t quite understand what made me want to stare at it for that extra second, but something about it caught my eye. At a passing glance, nothing about it seemed out of the ordinary; but if one looked close enough, something was definitely out of true. To my great surprise, a manila folder, which I had never seen before, was stuck, ever so slightly, in-between my two favourite books; The perks of being a wallflower and Cats cradle. I knew that part of my bookshelf so well; so how could I have possibly not seen this folder before?
With my ever questioning mind, I decided to further investigate. Within was a letter, composed by my late father Nate Remington. He used to work in our families shotgun business, bookkeeping and such for the company. I always knew that he wanted to experience the thrill of firing a gun at least once in his life, something his ever stubborn father never gave him growing up. As far as I know, throughout his whole life, even after escaping the over-protectiveness of his father, he had still never so much as laid his hand on a gun.
My father was a gentle, soft spoken and reserved man learning to be an expert marksman, a bit ironic in my eyes, however tempting it may have been, it just didn’t seem to be part of his persona. However, judging from this letter to my grandfather, I guess I never knew how bad he wanted it. 6th September 1979 Father, For my whole life, I’ve been working for the family shotgun business. Always have I been the obedient bookkeeper, the one who you could really count on to be subservient to any and every demand that you could dish out.
However, this is both a letter and a confession I reveal to you that I mark the end of an era, let me explain. A few nights ago I went out and learned to handle a firearm, all on my own. I’d been studying up on it during my free time, and I decided that I’d have a go at it up in Barley woods halfway up the mountain brush road. Feeling secure in what I thought to be a scarcely populated area, I fired a few shots. Sadly, a few moments later I heard a cry in pain. I’m ashamed to say that I did not make any effort to help the man in my fright; whoever he was, he is surely dead now.
Father, I am so remorseful and I have no idea what to do . . . Help me . . . Please. -Nate, your son. I stared in bewilderment and amazement after reading his words. Chills went up and down my spine. . . Did my father really shoot an innocent man? Even if it were an accident, if he had never owned up to it in his lifetime. Serious repercussions could ensure the lives of everyone in our family. How would my mother and I be able to show our faces in public again ?
The sheer humiliation would be enough for me; not to mention the horror I’d feel as the reality of the skeleton (literally) in my fathers closet begins to sink in. I took a deep breath and reset myself at my laptop; following a historical fiction idea I wasn’t sure would go anywhere yet, But I knew I had to try. . . For the sake of the innocent life lost, though accidental, by the hand of my own father. I sat there for a while wondering if I should confront my mother with the incriminating evidence I found of her late husband and my late father’s misdeeds.
On the one hand, I knew that the truth had an incredible power if being able to set one free. If my mother had never known about this before, this could finally be the end of a nearly thirty year old ordeal with the police there would be no more secrets. However, I also knew that my mother and I have a fragile memory of my father, and actually quite a peaceful one of the last time we saw him alive. By giving away the details of this earth-shattering reality, I could completely mar that rock solid and comforting vision of him in her mind.
Finally I decided what I should do. There are times in life where we all accumulate secrets that we know we will take to our grave, for better or for worse. This could be a shot in the dark . . . But I could feel everything start to vaguely come together, and I knew that I finally had my story.