I saw my father again in the lighting department of John Lewis. It had been ten years but there he was standing by the Anglepoise display. A tall olive-skinned man, with a splendid hook nose and dark shiny eyes. He was demonstrating to a woman how to change the position of those gawky lamps. There was something both wise and passionate about his expression. He’d come back whole but without his gloom.
His name badge said, ‘Mr Khan’, but I knew his real name. He had not grown older since he left us so now I was closer to his age but still young enough to be his daughter.
When he finished talking to the woman, he walked back through the flowing lights. He had a grace to his walk as if he were still dancing with my mother, that old fashioned dancing where he held her in his arms and she followed him, stepping into his steps as they foxtrotted around the living room. Once he tried to teach me how to dance with a partner, but I was stiff as he held me and so much smaller that I stumbled.
It was odd that I saw him because I had not thought about him for a while. Even so, my longing could have created a man in a white shirt and dark suit, my father with the sheen of living in the middle of a room of lights. I walked closer to him and when I was nearly at the counter where he now stood, he looked ...
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