Around 2:30 in the morning my eyes were stinging so badly that I couldn’t keep staring at that computer screen so I decided to stretch and take a bit of a break. The mail from that afternoon was still sitting on my desk. A single letter from, as the return address told me, some lawyer’s office in the city.
I knew I need some sort of change, but I don’t think I was ever read for the change that would come that night at work.
As was fairly common, I was working late after the bank’s big rollout of their new website spectacularly backfired leaving me, the only one without a good excuse to not work that night, as solely in charge of fixing it.
I opened the envelope to find two pieces of paper trifolded inside. The first on some fancy, thick legal paper addressed to a “Mr. Pax Jr.” The second piece looked to be ripped from a notebook, dropping pieces of fringe onto the carpet as I unfolded them both. That one was addressed to “My Son.”
The first letter, hastily written by one Lewis Wagner, Esq. told me that my father had died last month. To me, my father had been dead for 8 years, ever since he walked out on my mother and me in the final days of her treatment. The real shock came in learning that my father had left the only thing he had, a piece of land in a town called Windenburg, to me. By this point I had assumed my father had shacked up with some young woman and would have left anything he had to her, or worse, her brats.
The second letter, written in the shaky hand of my father that I still recognized after all these years by its similarity to my own hand, was evidently written just shortly before my father had died. It was brief, but told me the essentials: he had come into the possession of (his words, I don’t want to know how exactly this happened) a large piece of land that now he would leave to me. He told me he knew there would come a time in my life where I would, like him, grow tired of the daily grind and need to start over. I had to admit, as I sat in the bank’s back office, alone as the clock was approaching 3am, that my father, for all of his faults, was right. He ended the letter with no customary or stuffy sign off. He simply wrote “I hope you find what you deserve.”
So here I am now, in this quaint little town of Windenburg, a prosperous valley nestled in the mountains.
As the taxi first rolled into Windenburg I couldn’t help but think, who was this man that had been my father. How did he come to live here? In this picture-esque town that was so opposed to his
cruel no-nonsense personality.
The taxi driver told me he would have to drop me off about a block from my new home because it wasn’t a well-traversed road anymore and he didn’t dare risk damage to his livelihood.
I walked the final block to my father’s, or rather, my new home and when I first set eyes on it that only thing I could think was…