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Insanely Inane Thoughts

If fate doesn't make you laugh, you just don't get the joke.

Lipstick Boy

Jared was lying on the picnic sheet, which was replete with stains of the past. There was a gentle breeze blowing across the ocean, spraying grains of sand over his wrinkled but tanned body. The wind tousled his ginger-red hair, strands of which stuck to his forehead while a few fell over the sunglasses. Others felt that Jared was fast asleep but only a few knew that sleep didn’t come easily to him.

Jared’s eyes followed his son’s playful antics by the ocean. Timothy was trying to build something that looked like a sandcastle but all it really was a pile of wet sand. The moist mud clung resolutely to his trunks before getting washed away by a wave. Timothy laughed at his friend who was staring glumly at the wrecked sandcastle. He said something to cheer up his friend, who hurled a handful of sand at Timothy before breaking into laughter.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It had been a day like this for Jared, many years back. Climbing to treetops and plucking mangoes from the orchard, playing with the family dog and not having a care in the world. His father, who used to be gone long at sea, was home that day. Jared was pleased as punch because he never got to spend time with him. He was hovering near his dad all day long, showing him his paintings and telling tales about his friends at school and home.

“Come with me, Jared,” his father said after Jared had finished talking. “I want to show you something.”

Jared walked with his father, hand-in-hand, towards the bedroom.

“What is it you want to show to me, Pa?” asked Jared, sitting on the bed, his feet dangling over the wooden flooring.

“Lie down, son. I’ll show it to you in no time.”

“Alright, Pa.”

“You are a sweetheart. You know that?”

The sheets on the bed rustled with weight.

“What are you doing, Pa?”

“You trust me, don’t you?”

“Yes, Pa. More than anything in the world.”

“You were always very special to me. I like you a lot.”

“It’s hurting me, Pa.”

“Shhh! Be quiet now, Jared. You are daddy’s brave little boy, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Pa,” Jared said, trying to hold his whimpers.

“That’s more like it. From today, you are daddy’s lipstick boy. Do you know what a lipstick boy does, Jared?”

“No.”

“I’ll show you.”

In half an hour’s time, Jared was back in the orchard though his mind was still in the bedroom. Days turned into months and months into year but his mind was always there.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Timothy, who had been tugging at his trunks, snapped Jared from his reverie.

“What’s the matter, Tim?”

“I’m feeling a little hungry, Dad.”

“You want a burger?”

“Sure, Dad.”

“You want me to come with you?”

“I’ll go with Richard, Dad.”

“Are you two old enough?”

“I’m brave enough.”

Jared didn’t say anything more and handed over the money to Timothy, who was busy kicking the sand. Timothy ran towards Richard, money in hand and wind in face. Jared looked wistfully at his son and smiled, “You’re a brave little boy.”
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