The best suit
I was about to take the small, deserted alley leading to the urban gardens, which, bare of their owners, showed themselves in the best light with heaps of blossoming flowers and cute little cottages. A few steps before entering the blissful peace a man preceded me, his daughter trotting along. I slowed down, to keep a good distance between them and myself and avoid catching any part of their conversation. The illusion of being alone on earth gone, and I could not help but observing the funny little man. His torso was shorter than his legs, and his body swinged right and left when walking, like a pinguins. But he was none, with his sky-blue t-shirt. The little girl was wearing her hair up in a chignon held tight by a feathery elastic band – a pink one. On her shoulders a rosy schoolbag matching her elastic band. I observed from behind the colour combination and thought about who chose the clothes of the child that day. And what about the man? I stopped on the spot as the reality, the one I wanted to forget the time of a walk, hit me back like a punch in the stomach. My chose my father’s last outfit just a few days before. The darker suit he wore at my wedding three years ago. My heart bled as I remembered my joke when my mother bought his suit.
As my mother held the suit during a video call from another life, I commented that it was a great investment: the nice quality suit were perfect both for my wedding and his funeral.
I started walking again, slowly. My bent head could still catch the vibrant flowers handing down the fence of one of gardens. Despite the sadness, I smiled softly as I recalled both my parents laughing at my joke. “Only if he stops eating…he won’t fit in it in a few years, if he keeps gaining weight,” my mother said.
He did lose weight, and at the same time as his belly kept expanding, pushed from the inside out. His suit became both too large and too tight, but he had no time to complain anymore. He left speechless, taking his best suit with him.