Short Story – Older Days (By Nathan Young)
I do not like this, and I miss the older days. Back then was good. I remember so much from back then.
I had gone to London (I forget now why but I do remember the important things still). I had gone to London, and I remember the mansion. There were silver and white lights draped across the ceilings and around the pillars. Everyone was dressed in their suits and gowns and it was all so pretty. I remember this very well. And I remember going outside, cold and dark and silent but still so nice, and I saw her. She was looking up to the sky with its stars and its dry moon.
She looked to me from the sky, “Hello.” She smiled.
And it was quiet but nice, and I moved closer.
“It’s quite a night, no?”
“Oh, indeed,” she had said. “Quite a night indeed.”
It was lonely out and you could hear the muffled music of the band from inside, but out here was special and it was nice.
“Adeline,” she said.
And her hand was so small and lovely in mine.
“Would you like to go inside, Adeline?”
She nodded, and we went in back to the silvery lights and the talking and the laughter. It was crisp and bright, and everyone was in such good spirits. And I remember the toast: the clinking of the glasses and the glistening drinks and the arms lifting. I remember the music that you had fun to but still made you feel a little sad inside. And I remember the dancing with Adeline. She was really so beautiful, and I don’t think there was ever a girl quite as lovely as her.
I remember too falling in love, and it happened all too quick.
Adeline was the daughter of a wealthy man though, and he did not like me. To them it only mattered who you knew and what you did. Never the ugly and important things, and he did not like me.
But we moved to America, and it was okay again. America was good. Lots of good times there. The forests and camping, the pale cold sunlight in the winters against the shining snow, the dancing, the travelling. Yes, lots of good times there. And the world is really so beautiful. America was where we almost had our child. God bless its soul, it never quite made it. But we tried again and that time we got the child. And I loved her and Adeline so much, and I always said to Adeline, “Darling, you will be beautiful always and one day I will be too old and ugly for you, and you will leave me.”
But we had many good times in America. Times I could never forget.
One day though, when I was ugly and old, very old (and I will never forget this), my Adeline and the child were gone. And I have not heard from them since. I was sure she loved me, but now I am very very old and she is so beautiful, so I understand. I check for letters still but there is never anything, and I know there never will be.
And now I am here with these people that I do not know and they are always sad. I want my love and my child or I want to be alone. Not with these people who are always sad. The house is small and the light hits it in a depressing way.
A woman walked into my room. “Can I get you anything, Nick?”
“Nothing but for you to leave me alone.”
And Adeline’s eyes began to water at hearing this. “Very well, dear.”
“I am not your dear. I am the dear of someone long gone who does not love me any longer.”
“Oh, but she does love you, Nick,” and tears fell. “She loves you so much.”
“You do not know a thing about me, and please leave.”
Why are they always so sad? What reason is there for it? It’s a miserable business. I am sad but I at least have my reasons.
And now another one is coming.
“What do you want?”
Adeline was back and her eyes watered again. “But why do you torture us, Nick?”
“Who is ‘us’ and who are you?”
She pointed to a child by her that I did not notice.
“Hello, daddy,” and she walked clumsily over to me.
“I am not your daddy, child. I am the father of another.”
And the woman sobbed and grabbed her child and stormed off saying, “Oh, don’t listen to him, child. He is sick, and your father loves you so much. He loves us both so much. He is just sick right now.”
I do not like this at all. I want my love and my child. I want the older days again—I remember so much from those days.
My name is Nathan Young, and I am 19 years old. I am majoring in English with focus on literature, and I plan to apply to get into the PhD program after I complete my undergraduate studies. I live in a 600-square-foot house with my dad in downtown Phoenix, and we attend Arizona State University together. I am going to school in order to become an English professor and hope to teach at a university or a community college.