His Father’s Statement

by Steven John Horay

He didn't want to read his father's statement. Yet still he lingered, poised over the kitchen table, where his father had left it. It was almost as though the man had left it here on purpose, but that was impossible; his father had always kept his affairs private. But here it was, opened out from the folds, four or five pages, columns and numbers, the banks purple insignia heading every sheet. And what was the balance on the statement? He didn't want to know. He didn't want to know because maybe the balance would be low, and that would make him sad. Still though, he didn't move. He held onto the edges of the table and looked beyond the statement, beyond the blur of tiny black numbers, and stared into the glass front of the electric oven. His own reflection stared back at him; distorted, framed by imitation gold. Then from somewhere upstairs a door slammed and moments later his father appeared in the kitchen. His silent father looked at him, and he looked back at his father, and then his father was gone; floating across the white stone path leading to the crumbling shed at the foot of the garden. A gust of wind parted the conifers and blew the shed doors wide open. Inside the shed, his father disappeared.