(Brooke and I were given a digital picture frame as a gift. While hooking it up I found that there were several photos on there already. The instruction manual says that they are just sample pictures, meant to show you how the display will look. I like to think there’s more to the story.)
"Of course they know nothing. They are just children. Not even my children. Just kids."
This thought ran on a loop in Tony's brain as his family posed around him. "Not mine, not mine, not mine."
Of course he knew. He'd always known, regardless of the fact that he'd wished he hadn't. It was one of the many lies a man tells himself to avoid the unbearable conflict of a falsified life.
"How could she?" he'd wondered from time to time. But those questions were always drowned in another business trip, another holiday, another family vacation like this one.
No more. It was time for the truth to set him free. This picture would mark the end of the fraudulent family portraits; the end of the family altogether. Not that it was all bad. He would miss the soccer practices, the recitals, the look on his daughter's face when he handed her another trinket from a hotel gift shop in
"But I'm young enough," he convinced himself. "Young enough to start again. For real this time. No more faking it."
He huddled together with these people one last time.
It was over in a flash.