This weeks fiction weekend prompt:
Write a story that takes place in or involves somewhere you lived or knew well as a kid.
It's funny in an abstract way, how we spend most of our lives thinking about the past. Although the title of my story seems to indicate it happened in the future, it too, is a story about the past.
Growing up, my father always preached, study hard, so you won't end up like grandpa! This philosophy, even at an early age seemed contradictory in so many ways. What was wrong with grandpa's life? Everyone that knew him loved and respected him, even my father. His smile had a magic in it that caused others, even the grumpy ones to smile back. Things didn't seem better when he smiled at you, they were better.
His hands were thick, the palms crisscrossed with deep fissures, he liked to call the road map of his life. They were the opposite of my fathers, soft, manicured hands. Although grandpa's hands were rough and scratchy, they always felt like silk when he'd hold my face in both hands and look deep into my soul.
Grandpa told me life’s biggest secrete when I was ten. “Never live in the past, because it holds no future. Most of all never waste today, because it's the only one you have for certain.” Those words made so much sense to me, simple and profound all in one. I repeated them to my father later that day, after another reminder to study hard, so as not to end up like grandpa.
My father only grunted, saying. “And what about the future? Your grandpa has nothing, because he only lived day for day! Ask your grandpa what his future looks like. I'd love to hear his explanation for that.” With that, my father was out the door. A busy man, with no time for today. The following week was filled with torment and indecision. Should I ask grandpa about the/his future? My father had sounded so certain I'd started to doubt grandpa's words.
Even though grandpa only made it to the eighth-grade, he was still the best reader in the whole family, maybe the whole world. Not a reader of books filled with words, no, grandpa was a reader of minds filled with questions.
He had let me stew for a full week, before asking, “What's bothering you boy?” And then as the flood gates opened, and I began to cry. I told him what my father had said, about the importance of the future, and that he, grandpa, didn't have a future because he'd never planned for it.
And now comes my fondest childhood memory!
Grandpa reached out, cupping my young, soft face into those old, weathered hands marked by a lifetime of living and smiled that magic smile saying. “My yesterdays are gone, and today, will be yesterday by tomorrow, but all my future lives on in you.”
Suddenly it all made sense, that funny thing grandpa would always say when things seemed to go wrong. He'd get a far away look in his eyes and say.
“It happened next week, but to me, it only seems like tomorrow!”