It'd been my Granddad's farm, my Dad had been born there but had moved out after some terrible family feud or other. He never spoke about it really, he didn't talk about Granddad much either; in fact I didn't know that the farm even existed before he received the solicitor's letter.
It was the standard thing, 'Dear sir, it is with regret.' It began, and then it traveled through, 'Only living relative.' And it ended with, 'All taxes paid, ready for immediate habitation or sale.' He'd looked out of the window and drained the last dregs of his tea.
'I'll write back to 'em,' he'd said, not even bothering to turn around, 'Tell 'em to sell it and send me t'money. Be buggered if I go back.'
I'd been stuck in the flat for as long as I could remember, I loved the country though, the few times I'd gone to Bakewell with my Dad on the bus, it was like I was really breathing for the first time in years. The sky was so blue, the grass was so green. My Dad didn't seem to notice; He'd just buy his pudding and then wait for the bus home, hardly saying a word. I suppose he's seen it all before though, being a country lad at heart.
My Dad's always taken good care of me, Well he's had to since Mum left when I was little. He often talks about her, and sometimes he cries. I try to comfort him but it doesn't help. There are words for what was wrong with her, I read them once over his shoulder when he was looking at the paper – Post-Natal Depression, I can't remember much about her either, just some flashes of a jolly blonde lady, smiling as she looked down at me. Thought I saw her once, it was at the church where they'd got married. I recognised her from the photos on the wall, she looked older and sadder.
But like I said, he looked after me. My room was always clean and tidy, he'd get upset if I didn't put things back where they'd come from, very upset, he sometimes cried about that too. I'd say that I hadn't finished reading the book, or that I was going to play with the train again tomorrow, but he ignored me and just checked the window for draughts, it felt like he was punishing me for being a kid sometimes. I got angry and knocked all my books off the shelf once, he didn't come in my room for a week after that.
He gets so upset.
I could be a better son.
A priest came yesterday, said some words and lit some candles. I hope it helps my Dad, he deserves not to be upset all the time. My Dad left an old yellowing newspaper cutting on my pillow about some poor toddler, killed by a threshing machine years ago. Don't know why, his poor parents must be so sad.