June 10th, 2018 by Patrick Starks
To: Athena and Maxilla
Some days we can agree are like no others, some days can be quite perfect in fact. However, what is one to do on those days that aren’t so. Do they mop around like sadden dogs or do they bury all thoughts of depression, like a hog—with a hint of hedge.
I was never that, that being the last part at least. I was always the one who moped, the one who complained about life being so hard. And for the times that I needed an explanation for it, my government would always be the blame for the reasons life was what it was.
It was November 5th, 1992, the day such negative thoughts would sway. I wasn’t really a man of talent. I was no athlete, no musician, but weeks later I would inherit something I never knew flowed from within. It had been years since I saw my father, yet there we stood running back and forward around the court. Our socks were now drenched, and the very thing that made them so would also bring fire to our eyes, literally.
Dad was much older from then, however, he never lost a step as the years went on. You could say, I’d lose to him every time, no matter how hard I practiced. Dad trained me all the way until the end, the end of when I would meet my greatest foe, Veronica.
Women were never known to compete with men in sport, but it would seem Veronica would be the first. She wasn’t at all tall but needed not be for what she competed in. Her hair remained tied as always, as it became apparent to me and the other men that it resembled that of a honeycomb, golden, and probably sweet.
“Be careful with that one son. She looks like bad news,” said Dad.
“Oh…” said mom. “And why is that?”
Dad didn’t say another word after that. For a man that was so stuck in his ways of believing a woman could never compete with our physical strength, he sure chose the right one to marry. Mom was one of the most prominent advocates for the woman’s movement–marching up and down capitol hill for all women alike. Mom’s was without a doubt a real-life wonder woman.
The sun burned on the back of my neck. But over time I’d climbed my way all the way up the leaderboard. Dad was proud, and so was I. I had never in my life felt so accomplished, however, it wouldn’t be long before she and I would have our match.
Sweat again brought fire to my eyes. My vision was blurred, but still, I could see that It was forty-love. Veronica couldn’t have looked any more beautiful than what she was now. Her eyes glistened, and yes, even for a moment thou could not even listen. For the moment, everything was just still. With Veronica’s strength and beauty alone, she had frozen me like the mythological Medusa.
“Game, set, match!” yelled the judge.
Before I knew it, I was shaking hands with someone that made me feel that losing wasn’t at all that bad. Dad’s head was now buried to the ground, and mom rejoiced with all the other women in the crowd. And what better lesson to prove my dad wrong by his own pupil being defeated by that of which he felt was never in a million years possible.
And now it is November 5th, 2012, and still to this day Veronica makes my heart sang. And yes, at times she can be a wild thing. She in the midst of her Tennis career gave me not only love but two beautiful daughters. I had no more talent left from within, except the fact that I would become the worlds greatest dad. Although, dad could never understand why I would allow my toenails to be painted, but that too is another story to tell, one of which we will discuss through a tea party, along with my daughters of course.
She didn’t want to but after 2 years of giving birth to Athena and Maxilla, Veronica would have to call it the quits for tennis. For weeks she moped around like a saddened dog. The only thing that made her smile were old videos of the matches she’d won, giggling to the matches she beat me in. It become apparent to me that seeing a part of your heart saddened was something that not even the manliest of man could bare. I decided that Veronica and I should have a talk, as I could see that she wasn’t herself anymore. Mom and Dad would of course watch the little ones.
Tears then flowed down Veronica’s eyes like rain to windows, as her lips shivered. Her hair was no longer in that honeycomb bun I adored so much. It now only concealed her chocolate eyes, but for every moment I got I would pull them back just to get a chance to see them once more.
“What do I do now,” said Veronica. “I had it all, but now it’s all gone.”
I told her I used to feel the same way until I met her. And she smiled, just as she had done the day we had our first match. But I had to give it to her. She pointed no fingers—not at the government, not at any other. She knew what she wanted and how she felt about losing it. She just needed to find a way to fill the void that lingered. Lucky for her she had two little princesses waiting for her when we came back home. She squeezed them tighter than I had ever seen her do—it was a Kodak moment, more so a Nikonic moment if you catch what I’m saying.
But I won’t tell you that we all lived happily ever after. In life thing sadly don’t come to that. Half of my heart had now left me— it was November 5th, 2016. The girls were grown up now, Maxilla was even in High school. Although, Veronica…
Well, let’s just say I brought her roses every Friday until the day I would lie next to her. And dad as well lied in the same yard. It was just me and mom now, and the princess. Life was hard again, but a saddened dog I was not. I buried it all like a hog, without the hint of hedge though.
All my life I had tried to find ways of making life better for myself, making it safe and secure. But none of it mattered. What mattered the most was what spoke to me from within. A wise woman told me once that sometimes the simple things in life are all that matters. I never understood that for my head was always wrapped in success, and hopes that the money from it would make me happy, and free. But now I see what she meant. Thank you, love, we will one day again be two turtles doves.
My only purpose in life now was to be happy, to be one. To show my little girls that life can be whatever you want it to be, regardless of the money or the fame you have for these my friends are only materialistic—it is only skin from a tree at the end.
But it would not be long before mom passed and I not long after. Mom was old of course, but I had been diagnosed with a broken heart that could no longer go on. My only regret was that my little girls would go on the rest of their lives without their mom or dad. And I hoped I taught them well.
To my princess stay strong and keep your racquet back always, and yes, before the ball hits the ground. Mom and I love you both. Go to the basement, there is a safe. The code is 5-4-3-2-1. Trust me, no one could guess something so predictable. Life has been beautiful because we had you two. Remember the simple things for I never learned this until now. Life can be a game sometimes, but you can set it however you want, and through this, I promise you will find would you seek, you will find your match.
Here I come love.