My fingers sweep against the glass layered on top of the photo, as if wiping away dust from my father’s face. There was no dust, of course – Mum always kept the entire house spotless, often rushing around with a duster or the hoover until she slumped against the wall, breathless and panting from the whirlwind she became when cleaning.
I could hear her with the hoover upstairs, perhaps using it to mask the sound of her tears; she would hate for me to her sob, as she knew I had little memory of Dad. Even now, staring at his smiling face on the photo in front of me, nothing came to mind. Not his voice, or his hand in mine. To me he was just the man on the fireplace who often made my mother cry whenever she glanced at it. Those little memories I surely must have had, collected when I was just a toddler before he was gone, must have faded away over time.