Friday, August 27, 2010
Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice
Today's prompt: Notebook
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The moment Nathan picked it up, he knew someone had been through it. Not because the seven rubber bands intricately wrapped around the leather-bound book were out of place—they weren’t. Each one was exactly where Nathan had placed it; wrapped around the length or width, straight or diagonal, based on the colour and thickness of each band.
It was the smell that gave it away. The weathered notebook was shrouded in it. That foul, pedestrian stench of oil and sweat that wrapped around his father and seeped into his pores, infested the old man’s soul. It was the smell of the common worker, something that mortified Nathan. He was above that lifestyle, knew that he was meant for better things. He was meant to run factories, not work in them. He would build empires and have hundreds of people working for him. If he could just get out of this goddamned town.
It wasn’t that he hated his father. Hell, he respected him! With nothing more than a grade eight education, John Wilkins had managed to crawl from the mire of poverty and build a respectable middle class life for his wife and son. The one thing John boasted of (to anyone who would listen) was the small fortune he managed to squander so he could send his son, Nathan, to school.
“My boy is going to university!” he would brag to his friends. Cause for celebration, indeed, as no one else in his family had finish high school.
John was mindful of telling his son how proud he was, always telling Nathan that he could do whatever he set his mind to; that marching to the top of the summit, eyes set on the future, was what he was meant to do.
Nathan looked down at the weathered notebook in his hand, the bands wrapped around it like a rainbow fortress. In it were detailed plans for his future: lists of people who would help him achieve his goal, dates of events for which the timing was crucial. Plans he’d shared with no one, for they wouldn’t understand.
Plans his father had read.
At first, Nathan was terrified. What if his father didn’t approve? After all, it wasn’t what they’d talked about. But, somehow, Nathan knew his father would support him. Was it not every parent’s dream to see their child surpass them? Year after year, Nathan watched his father come home, exhausted after a double shift, and drop on the living room sofa; layers of grime embedded beneath his fingernails that didn’t wash out, no matter how many times he scrubbed. All to see his only child succeed.
Now the old man knew. After reading Nathan’s notes, he knew that success was inevitable. Nathan smiled then, thought of how proud his father must be. With fierce determination, Nathan vowed he wouldn’t let his father down. He loved the old man so damned much. Too bad, really, that he’d have to kill him.