My Father’s Watch


I did not know my father, he died before I became conscious enough about life to recognise a face or understand a situation so I was largely raised by my aunt for long period sas my mother often went missing somewhere in her mind,  locked in her bedroom, wrapping herself in grief and religion, or something of that sort: we never had a chat involving the sharing of emotions.

From the age of eighteen my father’s watch, curiously non-committal it must be said, as it no longer worked and read eleven-thirty six regardless of the hour, was fixed to my wrist as a momento of a person I never met but thought about regularly: it connected me to him.

Out of good manners I take it off while I bath, and lay it on the shelf by the tub so its fragile workings are not further damaged by water. It has never pretended to be more than it is or made a promise it could not keep which removes it from comparison with most of the people and things who consider themselves reliable. No doubt, in better times, on my late father’s wrist, it saw life as I have not seen it, as he travelled round the world reporting on events for one newspaper and then another.

I’m one of those people who surround themselves with routines and habits in a vain attempt to keep the unexpected away from them and so I pretty much eat the same dinner on the same day of the week, rise punctually at six-thirty every weekday to prepare for my work as a schoolteacher and take the same walk on a Saturday morning to the same café for a solitary coffee.

So it might have continued until one day, sitting in said café, I was approached by a girl who said, “Sorry to bother you, but that watch looks very like a nineteen sixteen Rolex to me. They used a distinctive dial in that year”  Not a usual conversation opener it must be said, but it then turned out that her father had worked for the company for his entire working life, ending up as a curator of their museum, and she used to visit him there.

Almost without asking she sat down at my table and soon I was telling her why I wore the watch, and how it connected me to my father, and how that understated sense of quality and craftsmanship it evidenced was, for me at least,  an antidote to the slip-shod careless ways of the modern world.

That made her smile, and she said, “There, there. It’s not all bad” and I’m sure she’s right. I hope so anyway, as we sort of got on, if that’s not too forward, and we are meeting for lunch at the end of the week: her suggestion. I always knew my dad would look out for me somehow.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, Creative Fiction, creative writing, Fiction, Peter Wells, Romance, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to My Father’s Watch

  1. ksbeth says:

    the universe works in it’s own time and in ways that a mechanical timepiece never can. a magical connection between the two conspiring to work together here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story!!

    Like

  3. Arbie says:

    Lovely and heartwarming story! 😊

    Like

  4. cathytea says:

    This is so sweet , and a little heart-breaking , too .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely study of the inter-relationship between seemingly disparate characters. A great tale, Peter. Mind you, I might have been inclined to sell the watch and (possibly) give up the day job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. judithhb says:

    Another good story Peter. I always wonder how much of your stories contain fact. In any case, keep on writing please.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Janni Styles says:

    Another beautiful work, thank you. ❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  8. Ha, ha! There you go!

    Like

  9. That is possibly the first story of yours I’ve read, Peter, that has ended on such an upbeat note! Loved it!

    Like

  10. caminodetim says:

    In his desk, my father kept three briar pipes that had belonged to his younger brother killed in the Battle of Narvik. As an 8-year-old, I used to take these pipes fill them with the left-over tobacco stubs from my father’s cigarettes. Then I would find a secluded spot far from the eyes of any adults and enjoy a smoke. Even now, I feel an affinity for an uncle I never knew.
    Thank you for your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved reading it. Let’s hope he will sell it after a dream where his father tells him to and takes a cruise with the money and then meets the mother of the girl he met and…. 🙂

    Like

  12. gotham girl says:

    Loved this…My daddy’s Rolex watch is a treasure of mine…I wear it and feel his presence. Now mind you my daddy was a farmer and did not have the means to buy one…but one day an opportunity came about and he went for it because a friend needed money. Smart man. He wore if for over 25 years or more. I cherish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes while collecting life – we are collected by it.

    Like

  14. What a satisfying story, Peter. I am hopeful for this young man who loves his father.

    Like

  15. nelle says:

    Watch what happens! 😉 You wander some clever roads, Peter.

    Like

  16. tiostib says:

    Reblogged this on Travels with Tio and commented:
    Another beautifully written vignette of human existence by Peter Wells.

    Like

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