February 5, 2011

The Vacation

It was a month after the funeral that the envelop arrived. It wasn't too heavy, but was made of thick, yellow paper and had a curious red wax seal on it. Inside was a single key, a brochure for a vacation resort, and a scribbled note from his deceased uncle.

"You are the most sensible and hardworking man I know", the note said. "This is for you to take some real time off."

It was six months later, that he finally was able to get a weekend off. The eldest was away on a school trip, the middle one decided he would go camping with a friend in their backyard, and his wife's parents agreed to watch the youngest. He packed a single change of clothes, his toothbrush and drove down to the resort for his first vacation in almost six years.

That was two years ago.

What his uncle had failed to mention in his note was that the resort was special. Every night you went to sleep in it, you woke up the same day.

He didn't believe it when the old caretaker told him about the specialty of the resort. Everyday, the old man assured him, would be exactly the same as today, however long he decided to stay. And because it was never tomorrow, he would only owe payment for just the one night.

Cautious days, turned to incredulous weeks, into exhilarating months. He got tanned, put on weight, went to bed early and woke up late. Even the brief period of anxiety passed, when he realized that the special nature of resort meant there were no means of communication with the outside world.

It was a series of unfortunate circumstances that caused him to fall head long onto the desk in his room, which resulted in a deep gash on the right side of his face. The wound healed up alright, but left him with a visible scar prominently running down his face. As he gazed at himself in the mirror he wondered how he was ever going to explain his shocking transformation in one day to the outside world.

And that was when the guilt began.

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