Parents lie.

It was late one night. Raining. Cold. I was five. My parents said everything was going to be fine. Parents lie.

That must have been the first time I came across the concept of lying. I guess in this case it was a white lie.

It’s going to fine.

They kept repeating it. Over and over. Till it became a meaningless slogan. An echo with no emotion.

Father packed his bags over the next couple of days. Slowly. Taking his time to make sure everything was in order. He’s only paused to hold my mother close as she wept.

I’d hide under my bed. Sometimes I’d see his feet in the doorway. He’s lean down and his face swallowed my vision.

You okay champ?


If you want to talk...


And then he’d leave.

We had our last dinner together on the Sunday. Mother made us say grace. Her hands held my father’s. Tight. My sister’s hand held mine, who I turn held my mother’s.

Our heads bowed as my sister gave thanks for the meal that lay before us.

My father squeezed my hand softly, and I looked up. He winked at me and we said amen.

The next morning we all got up early to join him at the train station. The place was busy with tears and strong brows. Men with packs slung over there shoulders.

It’ll be fine

I’ll be back before you know it

I’ll bring you back a stone from the beaches

For your collection

He hugged my mother one last time. Kisses my sister on the forehead.

Finally he kneeled down in front of me. My eyes were glued to my feet. He drew my head to his gaze. He began to start speaking, but the words trailed off.

In that silence, instead, he stared at me. He didn’t say any words, no final goodbyes. He just smiled, and I smiled back. Cause I knew that we didn’t cry. We didn’t show emotion. My grandfather hadn’t when he’d been sent off. His father before as well.

He drew me close one last time, and boarded the train. We waved amidst the crowd. Mother was worried he would lose us. As the carriage drew away, he never took his eyes from us. Mother broke down in my sisters arms. I stood still, and wished I’d said something. Anything.

He was brought back the following year. His eyes closed. His smile faded.

It’ll all be fine, they said.

Parents lie.

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