The old man was asleep in his chair. The sun warming the winter through the window. The phone rang and he dropped it in the floor. By the time he’d picked it up the phone was dead. It rang again.
“Hi Gramps! It’s me! Eddie.”
“Ahh! Eddie, my favourite grandchild.”
“I’m your only grandchild, Gramps.”
“Yes, but you’d be my favourite.”
“Grandpa, I’ve finished my thesis. Do you want to read it.”
“Of course I do. I’ve been wanting to read it for two years. Where is it?”
“I can send you a copy.”
“Where is it? I want to see the real thing.”
“It’s down here, at the beach, Gramps. Mum will come up and get you if you want.”
Eddie and his parents had taken a holiday house down at the beach somewhere. For a month.
The old man had no idea where the holiday house was. He remembered back to when the break came. No body knew what happened. Even he wasn’t sure why it had happened but one day he was happy and the next day the woman he’d loved for ten years left and went away. She had gone down to live on the beach. He wondered if it was the same town. He knew she’d gone to Wye River. He used to drive through Wye River and stop and hope to see her again. But he never did.
His daughter, Eddie’s mother, came up and drove the old man down.
“We’re nearly there Dad,” his daughter said. “Wye River. Have you ever been down this far?”
Of course I’ve been this far, he thought. You have no idea. Thirty years I’ve come down to Wye River for a Sunday drive. Just for a coffee. But I’ve never seen her.
“No. Not really. Lorne I’ve been to. But never actually to Wye River.”
They stopped at the house. It was nice. Had a sort of Greek Islands feel to it. It was a nice house.
“The lady we rent the house from lives next door in a small unit. This is her retirement fund. She’s very nice. She pops over now and then to pick tomatoes from her garden.”
The old man sat in his chair reading Eddie’s thesis. An old lady walked around the side to the vegetable garden. She didn’t see him but he saw her.
And he woke up. His heart was thumping in his chest.
Another one of those dreams. Every day. Every night. He didn’t even have a Grandson. But he kept having the same dream. Always different. Always the same. And the same lump in his throat.