“Can I help you?”
Colton looked up at the face before him. He thought he was fine with meeting the man Samir. He didn’t think it should have had an effect on him. He thought he would come to Egypt and find Samir and tell him why he was there and it was that simple…wasn’t it? He never felt like he missed his father when he was young. His mother, Aunt Jenny and Uncle Dennis made up for it. He never felt like he was missing anything. But standing there now, with the knowledge that this man was his father overwhelmed him to the point that he had forgotten everything else.
“Wha-what?” He asked a little embarrassed that he was staring at the man.
“I said, can I help you?” The man asked in a soft voice. It wasn’t angry, it wasn’t forlorn, it was pleasant and it made Colton swallow hard at the news he had to deliver.
“Oh..um..yes. Actually, Im looking for Samir Kaur.”
“I am Samir..you are?”
“Im…uh…Im….” Colton found he had trouble speaking, his throat felt awful dry and he had even paled a little.
He shouldn’t of come, what was he thinking? Lost in his own head and the screaming protests within came the voice,
“Are you all right? Would you like to come inside and have a seat? You look like your about to pass out.” Said Samir, opening the door wider and gesturing for him to enter.
Blinking for a moment, filled with confusion, before; “Oh…thanks…must be the heat.”
Colton took a moment to look around as Samir showed him to a small sofa. It was a quaint house, dressed plainly and for the basic needs of life.
When they were seated, Colton couldn’t find his tongue again. It was Samir that said, “You still haven’t told me your name, or why you are looking for me son.”
Colton looked up at that last word that completed Samir’s sentence, something in his heart opened at the word that he never knew was there, a yearning?
“Im …” He cleared his throat and tried again, “My names Colton….Colton Valenti.” He said finally looking at Samir closely to see if anything changed on his face. “You knew my mother…Hazel.”
Samir looked at the young man across from him, the moment he opened the door, it was like looking at Hazel. The boy had her light brown eyes, her soft face, her nose…only her hair wasn’t black. He knew who this boy could be and he pushed it aside because he knew it couldn’t be true, it was just a weird coincidence.
Samir stood up shaking his head, “No..no..You can’t be Hazel’s son” He said walking away. A slight limp could be noticed. He would still be in the army if only he hadn’t hurt his knee in combat. It made him a second too late to move and that lost second could mean the difference between someones life and death.
“I am. Hazel is my mother, you are my..”
Samir stopped him shouting, “You are not Hazels son! Hazel is dead! What cruel joke are you playing at boy?!”
Colton looked at him, a bit shocked, “No…what?…why would…who would tell you that?” He asked.
Samir ran a hand through his hair, shaking his head. “My father said….” and the moment he spoke it, everything seemed to fall into place. It was like a giant puzzle that he thought he had completed years ago, only to find that it was still missing pieces. “That son of a bitch.” He said and without any notice he slammed his fist against the wall, shaking his head as it rested on the cool wallpaper, repeating, “the son of a bitch..I cant believe that son of a bitch.”
Colton was a little afraid, but said nothing.
Samir began softly speaking a few seconds later, “My father told me Hazel was dead. That he received a phone call from her friend…and wanted to tell me she was dead. A car accident the bastard said.” His tone went from soft and illuminated with pain at every syllable to bitter anger.
Colton held his mothers letter that was never delivered in his hands, he held it out for Samir.
“My mother is not dead…she called, but your father told her you were married.”
Samir looked at Colton’s young face and took the letter, his eyes devouring it within seconds, hot tears burned behind his eyelids before they spilled and he was sobbing.
He clutched the letter tightly to his chest and cried. When he learned that Hazel had died he felt like he had died. He had no direction, no sense, no purpose to live. He had given most of his life to the army, hoping to die and be reunited with the one he loved, yet she wasn’t dead. She was alive. She was alive…Samir looked at Colton, realization hitting him that that was his son…he had a son. He had a boy that grew up without him, that thought his father had abandoned them. The thought sent more tears to the older mans eyes, large round droplets running down his cheek, no end in sight. He pulled Colton into a hug, crushing him, memorizing the feel of this young man who was of his flesh and blood, who he didn’t have the pleasure of holding when just a baby.
“I never knew, I never knew. If I had the slightest knowledge of you I would of come running. I would of…” And then there was more muffled whispered talk of regrets and tears all shed in that hilly valley of Egypt.
It was nearly three hours that they were talking. He had cleared it up that he was upset that his visa didn’t go through and did not want to tell Hazel that it would be a bit longer before they were reunited. He had no idea that his father was planning a secret marriage. Samir’s eyes weren’t quite dry yet. He had so much anger and hatred for his father once again, he thought it was gone with his death but it wasn’t. If he wasn’t dead, he would have killed him with his bare hands. Samir couldn’t get over that he would do something like this…it was cruel and evil even for his father. He had had 10 years to tell him, ten years to correct the mistake that drove his son to throwing his life away, and yet he didn’t; he died with the knowledge. Samir just couldn’t understand what satisfaction he had with keeping two people apart, and more so a family apart. Did he not have any compassion when he learned he was a grandfather? These thoughts and many more ran rampant through his head, he just couldn’t understand.
Colton always thought he would hate his father if he ever met him, for leaving his mother and him. But he didn’t expect that the man had no fault…instead his parents cruel separation was done at the hands of his grandfather. He was surprised at how easy it was to like Samir. He didn’t know what to expect but he knew that Samir had to be a kind man for his mother to fall in love with.
When all talk of the past was finished, and the inquiries about his mother began. That was when Colton remembered the reason he came here in the first place. He told Samir about the accident and about the destructive effect it had on Hazel. He didn’t need to ask him if he would come, Samir had already pulled his suitcase from the closet.
“We will leave tomorrow. Ill pack up tonight. I don’t need much and I don’t think Ill be coming back here…ever, there is nothing left for me here. All I need is Hazel…” He paused his hurried hands to glance at Colton, “And you…my son.” He said before hurrying away to get his things together. He had finally gotten his visa, but when his father told him she had died he never looked at it again. Now he held it in his hands, “I’m coming my love.” Samir whispered, his eyes glassy once again with tears.