If Only Things Had Been Different

He sat in the back of the room.  There were people shuffling about around him but he sat in his seat quietly ignoring them.

If only things had been different.

He remembered being in a boat with his dad.  He sat quietly, his fishing rod in the water.

 I wish a fish would bite.  

The water lapped peacefully around the boat.  His father sat at the other end, a cap covering his head.

"You have to be quiet.  Otherwise you'll scare the fish away,"  his father had told him before they left.

So he stayed very quiet.  And his father didn't talk.  Not when they were fishing or any other time either.

He stared at the other boats dotted around the lake.

 I wonder if they sit in silence too.

Of the handful of times that he'd been fishing with his dad, he had only caught a small number of fish.

Does it really matter if you talk?  It doesn't seem to matter when I'm fishing.

His dad reeled in his line and re cast it out on the water.

Thirty minutes later, his dad looked at him and said,  "We're not having very good luck.  Do you want to stay here longer or should we go?"

"Let's stay a little longer,"  he said.

 Let's talk a while.

Another fisherman drove past in his boat.

"Having any luck?"  he yelled.

"No,"  his dad shook his head.

"Try the southern part of the lake.  I just caught a few over there,"  the fisherman said.

"Thanks.  I might,"  dad yelled back as the fisherman continued on his way.

"Do you want to go to the southern part of the lake?"  his dad asked him.

He shrugged.  "If you want to."

"Let's just come back another time.  I'm getting sun burnt."

He looked around the room.  People were talking in hushed tones.  Some were crying.  He stood up and walked to his father's coffin.

I wish things were different.  I wish we would've talked a while. 

A tear slipped down his cheek as he walked over to join his family.

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