This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week. It's very loosely based on truth about my dad.
Terry had stared into the camera, scared to death but trying hard not to show it. He had signed up to be a mechanic, but orders had come down and he was sent to Vietnam. Needless to say, his wife wasn’t happy with the arrangement either.
It turned out the deployment was more than his wife could take. She took the twins and left him, a dear John letter was the least of his worries. She took all his possessions and burned or sold them. She also kept the kids away from him when he came back. He hadn’t seen them since.
He sighed, crumpling the picture in his clinched fist. Looking back, Vietnam had been the best time of his life. People thought he was crazy for doing two tours, but he always asked them what he had to come home to.
Turns out, he was right. His life went straight to hell when he came back to the states. Protesters throwing tomatoes at disembarking soldiers, riots in the streets, and an empty house. If only that had been the worst of it.
Now, here he sat with lung cancer. They told him agent orange was responsible, which meant they’d pay the bills, but what good did that do him? He was still dying. Dying, in a one-room apartment, his only companion a floppy eared hound in dire need of a bath.
A knock at the door startled him. Hobbling over, he looked through the peephole, astonished he had company. He couldn’t remember the last time anyone had come by.
“I’ll be damned,” he uttered, grabbing he door handle.
Standing on the other side, smiling shyly, were two mirror images of the picture still clutched in his hand.