The musty smell of dust and wood shavings always permeated her nose, tickling it and forcing her to sneeze a few times each time she entered her father’s sacred space. Dragging a finger across the workbench that had sat empty for the last three months still tugged at Valencia’s heart. She wished above all else that her Papa was still alive to chase her out of his workshop, chiding her about the dangers that all his tools could administer. Instead, all Val ever saw when she came in here was the beauty of every handcrafted thing her father had built with his own blood, sweat and tears.
She smiled wistfully remembering how happy her dad would get when he completed an especially challenging, but lovely piece of furniture. He’d spent more time in their detached garage, turned workshop than he ever did in the house. A habit that eventually caused her mother to walk out after having made a special dinner for their anniversary that her father never came in the house for. Valencia knew she should forgive her mother, but wasn’t sure if she really needed to. She’d walked out of Val’s life, leaving her with a man who was her whole world. If it had been the other way around, she likely would have been crushed and probably suicidal if her father had left her instead.
Now, she just wished she had some sort of family left to be apart of. Even though she was twenty five, she hadn’t been ready for the grim news that her beloved Papa had died of a massive heart attack while slaving over his laythe, putting the lovely, albeit final touches on the legs of a dining room table he’d been working on. She’d saved that unfinished work, unable to part with his final masterpiece. It took up more space than she had in her tiny apartment, but loved the delicate yet sturdy table more than anything else she’d had in her possession.
Glancing back towards the workbench, she exited his shop one last time. Tomorrow was the estate sale. A precursor to the eventual sale of her dad’s house. It had been refinanced and mortgaged to the hilt, and the only way Val was going to get out from the mountain of debt her father had accumulated over the years was to sell it. She was thankful that while the home was old, most of the things that normally wore out by now had been replaced or refurbished by her handy father.
With a quiet click, the door shut behind her. She trudged back up towards the house, knowing she still had hours of work to do inorder to get ready for the sale. Amid the thoughts swirling around in her mind was a deep wonder if she’d ever find another person in her life as perfect as her father had been. The ache in her gut instinctually gave her the answer she’d known yet dreaded all along.
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As always – thanks to @Kimmydonn for her editing prowess. Much appreciated!