Warnings: Its kinda about the events that happened on September 11, and it is set in my own made up universe.
After tossing and turning for a while, unable to fall asleep because of a growling stomach, Vin decided to head for the kitchen for a glass of milk and maybe some cookies. Carefully, Vin crept towards his intended destination, cautiously trying to not make even a squeak.
As he neared the kitchen, he noticed that the light was on. Feeling that something was amiss, he tried to get a closer look, but stayed hidden inside the shadows, not wanting to attract the attention of whoever was in the kitchen. He ventured closer and closer, at last he was close enough to get a decent glimpse of the intruder. And that intruder turned out to be his father, well, his adopted father at least.
"Dad?" Vin asked, curious about the reason his father was up in the middle of the night.
"Hey, Vin," came the weary reply. Vin was sure he could see tears in his fathers eyes.
"Is something wrong?" Vin asked again. Of course somethings wrong, Vin thought. Why else would he be crying. Duh!
"Nothing " was the reply, but it sounded uncertain. The young boy could see that his father was having an inner battle. He guessed that it was between letting his troubles out and loosening the weight on his shoulders, or the manly choice of dealing with it himself. Finally, he picked the first choice, but still needed a little pushing on Vins side.
"Its okay to tell me. Im a big boy."
Mr. Larabee let out a huge sigh, and started. "You do know about 911 dont you?"
"911? So thats what theyre calling that attack now. Yeah, I do," Vin replied, ever eager to hear what else his father had to say about the recent terrorist attack that had left America and the rest of the world grieving.
"I knew people there," the short reply held so much emotion within it.
All Vin could do for that second was stare at his father with his mouth hanging wide open. He couldnt believe it. Since the attack on Tuesday, his father had not shown the slightest signs of being affected by it. While Vin was crying and worrying about what would happen now, and Chris was shouting angry insults at the unknown enemy, his father was like a pillar of support, telling them every thing was okay and every thing would be okay. Now Vin knew. Now Vin knew that his father was grieving the most inside.
"You worked with them?" Vin asked once he found his voice.
"I knew 2 of the policemen that are still missing. I met them at some police seminar, and we just hit of right there and then. We kept in touch all this time how long has it been? 4 years? 5?" he mumbled to himself. "I just talked to one of them 2 weeks ago. He said he wanted to come down from New York to pay us a visit. Said he wanted to meet my youngest."
Silently, Vin listened while his father poured out the emotions within him.
"We made plans, thought it would be nice for all of us to get together since we havent seen each other for a while," by then his voice was cracking as he thought of the reunion that would never come. "After that, we just hung up. I said that I would call him again in 2 days time, but I was so busy I forgot. Hah! I forgot to have the last conversation I would ever have with my friend I forgot."
"You didnt know that it was going to happen," Vin stated earnestly, trying to soothe his fathers guilt and pain.
"Thats the point, Vin. I didnt know what tomorrow would bring. I just took for granted the things that I have. You know what I thought when I realized that I hadnt called him?" Not waiting for an answer he continued. "Ahh! Ill do it tomorrow. And you know what? There was no tomorrow."
Vin was starting to understand what his father was trying to say. He felt the same way. Every since the attacks, he felt so vulnerable, so afraid. What if he was one of those grieving people on the streets looking for a lost loved one? He also realized how many times his mother, father and brother walked out the door and he never even bothered to say goodbye or tell them how much he loved them. . He knew now that he couldnt let a single moment slip by, every moment was worth treasuring.
"I guess we did learn one thing from all this "Vin said before trying to stifle a yawn. "I think Id better head to bed."
"Yeah. Gnite," replied his father.
Suddenly Vin turned around and said something he realized he hadnt said in quite some time.
"I love you dad," he said with a smile. His father looked a little shocked for a few minutes, but quickly returned the show of love. "Me too."
Yup, Vin thought. They did learn something from this attack. It was that one should treasure every single moment they had with the people they care about. Vin also learned that it didnt hurt to say l love you because if you thought about it, there isnt any confirmation that there would be a tomorrow, only a today.
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