Teacher’s Dark Childhood Memory

Today, I was hit yet again with the tsunami of emotions as my English teacher recalled a story from his youth that left me breathless and proudly teary.

He remembers back to the day when his father, a strict pastor with 45 years of service in the church, watched his mother be killed. His father watched his mother be hit by a raging truck, watched her lift momentarily into the air, and be discarded under the roaring wheels as it sped off, away from the catastrophe of his design.

That night, his father walked into his room, and told my teacher, then a young boy, to wear long sleeves and quietly walk out with him. They got into their car, and the boy waited in cold, anticipating dread, because he knew in that moment that that man was not the father that he knew. They drove on into the darkness, with his father glimpsing from time to time at the address that was written on the paper that was gripped in his hand. They drove into a township, and they parked across a shodden house. And they waited, in dead silence and bore a gloom that hung above their heads and muted their breaths.

 A man walked out of the house, opening the door, stepping outside and walking down the stairs. His father opened the pouch before him in the car, grasped one of his hunting guns, and stepped out of the car, watching the movement of the walking man with the same eyes that bore pitch dark hatred. He cocked his gun, and continued to watch him walk …         and returned back to the car. He had brought my teacher, his son with him, because in that moment, he knew he had to decide if the sin he was about to commit was worth his son watching. They returned home, and never spoke of it again.

Many years later, the family went on a surprisingly fancy restaurant, a luxury that blinded my teacher with happiness. Happy with the upcoming menu, he eagerly asked his father what the special occasion was. His father raised a toast-  and together, they feasted in celebration of the death of his mother’s murderer.



Yeah. Drove me to tears.


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