Who I Am (Friday Fictioneers, December 2013)

Copyright D McIlroy

I wish I was better at Christmas; but I’m not going to change now, I suspect.    So I’m relieved that it’s almost over, and even more relieved that it’s time for Friday Fictioneers and I can get back into a routine again.   Hope my fellow Fictioneers enjoyed their Christmas each in their own way, and wish you all the best for the coming year.

Thanks to Rochelle for making sure that there was a prompt underneath the Christmas tree for us.   And thanks to Doug for another  great photo.  Glad that you’re back amongst us this week.  You’ve been missed.

“I know who I am now.”

He wasn’t sure she’d heard; the tower restaurant was heaving with Christmas revellers.

“It was crass of me,” he started again, “deserting you both like that.  I was too young…not ready…”

She stared out into the darkness beyond him.

“I…I know it’s been hard on you,” he was stammering now, “and I was gutted to hear about your mother.”

Her mouth tightened.

“But I’ll make it up to you… all of it.  Like I said – I’m different now, I’ve changed… I know who I am.

Her cool gaze met his.

“Good for you then, Dad.”

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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58 Responses to Who I Am (Friday Fictioneers, December 2013)

  1. Dear Sandra,

    You smacked me between the eyes with this one. I can’t say enough good things about it so I’ll leave it at “Bravisimo!” and give you a standing ovation.




  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    You are so good it makes me green with envy. You capture nuance in nets of steel cable made of words, take an obscure photo and use it perfectly to tell a killer story and you blow us all out of the water each and every week. If you ever leave Friday Fictioneers I will hunt you down and…cry on your shoulder until you promise to return.

    I absolutely loved your story. Have you ever had a meal in the tower restaurant? I’m jealous.

    Thanks for the welcome back. I’m glad you like the photo. It makes me think of you.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve missed your silver tongue! 🙂 And attractive though the prospect is of you crying on my shoulder… I’ve no plans to leave. No I’ve not eaten in the Eiffel Tower. Eating food would be the last thing on my mind if I got up there, keeping it down would be a major preoccupation though, as I’m very uneasy with heights. 🙂 Happy New Year!


  3. This is absolutely wonderful. That last line really hits hard, completing the whole scene. It sounds like his gesture is a little, much, much too late.


  4. Indira says:

    Its not always true’ better late then never’ , very beautifully written story.


  5. Ye Pirate says:

    Tough, tough story, he’ll never change from “me, me, me”. Masterful suspense.


  6. elmowrites says:

    It seems to me she will take more than a bit of ego-based groveling to warm up to him this Christmas. I love how you craft the backstory into this without telling us any of it. Masterfully done.
    Happy Boxing Day to you. Time for another brandy, I think.


  7. Adam Ickes says:

    I’ve been in her shoes. By the time I was ready to forgive, leukemia had taken him. It saddens me to think how long I held that grudge, but there is no going back now, only forward. Wonderful story, as always, Sandra.


    • Sandra says:

      Sometimes we judge our parents harshly. It’s interesting sometimes to do the maths and work out just how old they were when they did whatever it is we still resent so much. From the light of your own experience of how you were at that age, it’s sometimes easier to understand and forgive. Thanks for reading and sorry you didn’t make your peace whilst possible.


  8. People who know who they are and look at you with ‘cool gazes’ work for me everytime. Very well done Sandra.


  9. Oh this rings so true… Some sins can never be repaired.. and that end just stings like a dagger…


  10. Jan Brown says:

    A great story with so much implied, unsaid. I think that’s often the key to flash fiction. A sharp ending is another key, and you certainly nailed it! Very well done!


  11. Sandra, so wonderful. I really feel the sting. The dialogue is so sharp, authentic and nuanced. Great!


  12. kz says:

    this is great, i love how her facial expressions tell a story of their own. wonderfully done.


  13. Judee says:

    As always, a perfect ending! I love your twists! I also get what you said about the holidays, I’m not good with them, but they’re moving past, thank goodness. 🙂 Happy 2014!


  14. liz young says:

    Pompous Dad, yes, but she could have tried meeting him halfway. Well observed.


  15. mike olley says:

    So true, the real relationship is the time invested, not the blood connection. Rarely do people get a second chance at these things. You set a good scene.


  16. rgayer55 says:

    Outstanding writing, Sandra. I know several folks who have lived this reality. No one ever said life was easy.


  17. draliman says:

    That was a great story! It seems to me that he has a long road ahead of him of he wants to be part of his daughter’s life again.
    I liked your introduction – for me too, seeing the Friday Fictioneers prompt was a beacon of normalcy in a sea of Christmas chaos 🙂


  18. MissTiffany says:

    Oh, not what I was expecting! Fantastic, as always. I love how you can tell multitudes about how the girl is feeling just by her small expressions you wrote. Well done!


  19. unspywriter says:

    Ah, we’ve both dealt with dads in different ways! You’ve captured so many emotions in such few words, and both characters ring true. Well done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/le-secret-dun-pere/


  20. Bryan Ens says:

    This story makes me thankful for my dad. Loving families are nothing to take for granted!


  21. I hope they get it together sometime. Blessed are the repentant unless they’re just trying it on.


  22. claudia says:

    oh i wish he had found his way back a bit earlier… sounds like she cannot believe him… sounds like it is too late… to much pain already… ugh… very, very well penned sandra…


  23. Mike says:

    I loved that last line Sandra, so hard hitting. Wonderful story.


  24. Pow! This is why I race to your story each week Sandra. Brilliant! The dialogue is tight, real and powerfully scripted. The final line, a heartbreak. Beautiful!


  25. plaridel says:

    a feel good story. just in time for the holidays.


  26. EagleAye says:

    Very, very good! You had expecting one direction and you went another. You build it up beautifully. Great one!


  27. Eena says:

    As always, a very engaging read but more heart-wrenching than usual! I knew what was coming and it pained me to read through to the end.


  28. The honest fear that most fathers fear after divorce, especially if the ex is rough about us seeing the kids.
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/ff-friday-fictioneers-carolyn-leaves-reality-rated-r-12272013/


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