When I was a child, my late father and I would spend every moment of the summer season on
the sparkling white sand of the beach near our home. We would dance, kicking up the shiny
surface so that the droplets glimmered like diamonds in the sunlight. We would lie on our backs
and stare at the sky, until the swirling clouds began to take on our imaginative shapes mingled
together by our fantastical minds. We would grip imaginary weapons and fight, thrusting swords
like the most violent of fantasy pirates. These unforgettable days went on and on, a never ending
cycle of blue skies, imprinted forever in my mind. My earliest memories are filled with images
of my father in these moments, laughing as he kicked up the warm sand and twirled a golden
compass around his pinkie. And, now, as I stand on the same beach, feeling the same heat
radiating under my feet, almost fifteen years later, I can’t help but think of him. I can’t help but
think of him, and all the pain he caused himself and everyone around him during the final years
of his life.
To most of the world, my father was a historian. To me, however, he was an explorer. My father
would often venture out into unknown territories and lost seas for months before returning home,
informing me of tales of epic battles and shining treasure chests flying around with golden
wings. I had listened enthusiastically, taking every word as tips and guides to my very own
exciting adventure or even with my father. Even so, I’d never hidden of my emotions towards
my father’s journeys.
“Why do you have to keep going, Daddy?” I asked, with the emotion of hatred as I curled my
little hands to fists
“If I don’t go, then who will take my place explore the unknown lands and lost seas to tell
“Tell who Daddy?”
“Whoever asks, if people asked me what I did in my life I wouldn’t give them a boring story.”
He gave me a kiss on the forehead and whispered into my ear, so my mother couldn’t hear.
“Maybe next time we will go together,” he replied, attempting to distract me.
Looking back, I know now that the reality behind my father’s stories were never quite as
exciting. On each of his journeys, he was looking for the same thing, the ‘lost treasure’ he
believed was sunken down somewhere beneath the ocean. It was his obsession. His life’s work
had all been spent on attempting to find it. His gloomy office room was filled with torn, dusty
books on the ‘lost treasure’. Vast maps were scattered on the back wall. Whenever he was home,
I would sit outside the door, my knees pulled up to my chest, and listen.
The room resounded with heavy sighs of disappointment and the sound of scrunched up paper
hitting the bin. My father never allowed me inside his office when he was home, though my
mind overflowed with moving images of my father looking over strange maps, deceptive clues
and misleading riddles, his face glimmering with the hope of finding the ‘lost treasure’ as he
solved each one. Every now and then, he would...