Chapter 16

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“I’m a crazy old man.  I mumble I guess.”

“I came out here to ask you something, if it’s alright?”

“Ask away.”

Abby turned to her father and then toward the lake and asked, “What do you talk to her about?”

Will looked at Abby then toward to the lake.  He pulled out his pack of cigarettes.

“You want to know what I tell her.”  Will paused and lit a cigarette.  “I know you probably think I tell her that I am mad that she is gone, that Michael is gone, that I should be gone instead of the both of them.  I don’t tell her that.  I used to, years ago but not anymore.”

“What do you tell her then?”  Abby looked back at Will.

Will turned his head so that their eyes met, “The same thing I’ve been telling her for forty years.  The answer to the one question she’d ask me every morning.  Hell, the one thing I know she wants to know, that she ever cared to know.  What are the colors of the sunrise as I see them?”  Will shifted his eyes back to where the sun had risen as if the sun were rising once more, “And today the colors were green, cyan really, with streaks of vermilion and magenta.”

Abby followed her father’s eyes to where the sunrise had been.  With Will, Abby saw a sunrise that existed only for them.  “She’d want to know that,” said Abby.

“Every morning for forty years,” said Will dropping his head.  Will lifted his head and gazed out onto the lake one final time and then turned and took a step toward the house.

“You know,” said Abby.  Will stopped, their backs to each other, Abby was beginning to tear, “she’d want you to tell her tomorrow.”  Without turning around, Will reached back and placed his hand on his daughters shoulder.  He held her for a silent moment and then started into the house.  Abby stood in the snow with the blanket held tight around her shoulders, holding still as long as she could before her watering eyes washed the invisible sunrise away.

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