He tried to be as still as possible, peaking through the leaves, wondering if they were still out there.
He didn’t want anyone knowing where he was. He just wanted a few minutes alone to calm his nerves.
He could see the guest were still there where he’d left them. No one was looking for him. They sat on the chairs that had been placed in rows across the grass. From where he stood he could just make out the flowers and ribbons that were tied to the backs of the chairs.
The guests were all seated, hushed, waiting for her to arrive.
He wished his father were here as he reached into his breast pocket and pulled out his fathers watch. He felt its weight in his hand. It always grounded him, always gave him comfort. He clicked the clasp to open the cover and stared as the second hand ticked away with slow painful movements.
The air was quiet and hushed and he heard the little hammering bang as the second hand moved from one mark to the next. It reached its zenith and then stopped, standing still as he exhaled. He counted his heart beat three times before it began its journey a new.
Had it only been a few minutes since the last time he checked?
He looked down at the watch again as his thumb traced the crack in the corner of the face and he smiled as he remembered the day the watch had slipped from his hands.
He’d picked it up off the dresser and been startled when his father stepped into the room. It fell from his little fingers and hit the floor with a loud bang. He’d stood there and held his breath waiting as the safety chain clattered its way to the floor, waiting for his father to say something.
Waiting for his father to be angry.
But he’d been surprised by his fathers reaction. He hadn’t been angry at all. He’d been upset and reminded him that the watch was precious, that it had belonged to his father, and his father’s father and that eventually, one day, the watch would be his.
He could still hear his father’s words echoing in his ears. “When this watch is yours, you must remember to look after it. One day you’ll be a father and it will be your job to pass it onto your son.”
The memory made his eyes prickle with tears; he missed his father so much. He took a deep breath and pushed the tears down. So much had happened since the year he turned six.
He traced the intricate pattern around the face of the watch and remembered his mother giving it to him just one year later. Everything had changed so quickly that fateful night.
He remembered his mother crying herself to sleep so many times he’d lost count and how hard it was being the man of the house.
He remembered his own tears and his own pain, that place inside his heart that had been empty for so long.
Once again, he wished his father were here to see the man he had become.
He turned the watch over and read the inscription again. “Remember that time heals all wounds.” So many times those words had made him angry.
Today the words made him smile. With the passing of time she arrived and healed his wounds. He loved to hear her laughter and only now realised it was music to his ears, a soothing tonic that lightened his heart.
As he check to make sure the safety chain was firmly attached to the clasp, the sound of an approaching vehicle interrupted his thoughts and bought him back to what today was all about.
He was nervous. What if he tripped? What if he forgot the words he had written?
The car slowed and finally stopped and from where he stood he caught a glimpse of her in the back seat. Her hair was tired back with soft curls gently framing her face. She stepped out of the car and he saw her dress and the flowers. His heart skipped a beat.
She looked so lovely, more beautiful than ever.
It was time and as he slipped the watch back into his breast pocket he gave it a little pat. He smiled knowing it was so close to his heart, knowing his father was watching and would approve.
He took a deep breath and moved out from where he’d been hiding behind the tree.
And then she was standing next to him. His heart beat so fast he thought for sure she would hear it pounding in his chest. He took another deep breath and slowly let it out.
“Don’t be nervous”, he heard her whisper. “Your father would be so proud of you.”
As he reached over to take her hand, he gave his father’s pocket watch one more little pat.
This Tall Tale is in response to Finish it #5.
Finish is a weekly blog event hosted by Author S B Mazing who provides the opening sentence or paragraph and then requests others to finish what she has started.
Finish It # 5 consisted of the opening sentence: He tried to be as still as possible, peaking through the leaves, wondering if they were still out there.