"I miss Mommy."
"I know you do, tiger. I do, too." I adjusted the rear view mirror so I could see Raymond's enormous, sad eyes. He was strapped into his car seat, his toys and books spread out within reach of his little four-year old arms.
"We gonna see Mommy?"
"No. We're going to see Grandma. Mommy's gone."
"Mommy in heaven, right?"
"They took Mommy in a am-boo-lance. Right, Daddy?"
"Because she was sick."
"Like when my tummy hurts?"
"No, son. I told you. Mommy had a special kind of sick called cancer." I could hear my voice crack. "You remember how she told you she loved you, don't you?"
"Don't ever forget that."
He was silent. The road ahead was empty.
"Daddy? Is it all right to cry?"
"Of course it is, son. Of course it is." I felt my body shake. I tried to control myself.
"Then why don't you cry, Daddy?"
I pulled the car to the side of the road, got out, and opened the back door. I unbuckled his seat belt, held him in my arms and we both cried. Like men.
BIO: Wayne Scheer has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net. His work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, The Pedestal, flashquake, The Internet Review of Books, The Shine Journal, and Eclectica, among others. "Like Men" was originally published in Flash Me Magazine, July 2004.
MOTIVATION: I wrote this story after a friend said my male character in another story lacked emotion.
Photo by:Kuba Rola