Photograph copyright – K.S. Brooks
STRIPES – John D. Ottini
December 17, 2016
I sit staring at the horizon and wondering how I could’ve taken all this beauty for granted. My sister Jill hands me a cold glass of water and I sip it slowly through a straw.
“A penny for your thoughts?”
I look at her for a moment, then shake my head and turn away.
“You know you can tell me anything?”
A tear runs down my cheek. “It’s nothing Sis. I’m just being a sentimental fool.”
She takes my hand. “Come on Dexter. Tell me what’s on your mind?”
I take a deep breath and pull the jacket over my shoulders before answering.
“I never thought this time would come and now that it’s here, I don’t feel like I’m ready.”
“I don’t think anyone is ever completely ready for . . .”
“I always promised myself that when the time came I would have no regrets. Now the time is here and I feel like I’ve squandered my life away. Look at that beautiful ocean. Every morning I woke up to this beauty and never took the time to enjoy and appreciate it. I was always busy working or consumed with some trivial aspect of my personal life.”
“Dex, you’re being way too hard on yourself. Why can’t you just enjoy your final days in peace?”
“Easy for you to say, Sis.”
She laughs and slaps me on the shoulder. “Gee, the way you carry on, you’d think you were dying, instead of moving to Vegas.