Cairo: and the saddest tale in the world

She was whispering when she told me.  About her father.  Her eyes looked away. It seems that one minute he was there and the next he was gone.  It was sudden.  He was not particularly old, you see.  Or sick. Or fragile.  

She murmured, choking,  I'm the most sorry that I didn't tell him.  That I didn't tell him enough how grateful I was  for all that he had done for me, all that he had taught me.  

She shook her head.  I never asked him about the things that really mattered.  Like the moments that stood out for him, shining, important in his life.  Like if he had ever been scared - really scared.  Like if he had ever wished for something more. 

And then she said in the saddest voice in the world, I just took from him.  I never gave.

She began to weep.  After a time, she  said, Now I will never be able to ask him.  Now I will never be able to give him anything.  Give him anything at all but flowers in the cemetery.