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Herr Braun, sympathetic to my predicament, granted me a leave of absence to care for her, and I passed much of each day reading her stories, tending to household chores, and scouring the market for treats that might tempt her appetite. When at length the pall of grief began to lift and I returned to work, it proved an unexpected relief. Routine soon reclaimed me; I walked to the shop; I mended clocks; I assisted the customers; I trudged home and supped with my mother in weary silence. She eventually regained the ability to run her little household as she always had, but she no longer smiled or laughed. I knew that a part of her—the part attuned to levity and joy—had died with my father and that her days, like mine, were now drudgery. We had lost sight of our reasons for living, yet we toiled on, slaves beneath the yoke of circumstance, and as the years passed, I became inured to the changes they brought and the rapidity with which they came and went. Herr Braun’s clocks ticked and boomed and chimed, counting down the minutes of my precious, irreplaceable life—and I felt nothing, only a vague and baseless panic that no amount of liquor could quell. Shortly after my 25th birthday, my employer informed me that, having no living sons, he intended to make me his heir. It was clear that he’d been lonely before I’d arrived and was grateful to have another soul with whom to share his tales and advice. “Why haven’t you found a girl to marry?” he asked abruptly. “At your age, I already had a beautiful wife and a child on the way.” “I’m not the marrying sort.” “Is it because of your mother?” he persisted. “You’ll have to leave her side someday. Don’t you want to build a life of your own?” “I can’t abandon her—leave her all alone… She’s not strong anymore.”

Page 9 | The Paragon Journal

Profile for The Paragon Press

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

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