Summary: No amount of editing or writing skill could help her learn how to wield a hoe or know the best position to plant her crops. Then again, it was her fault for never considering the possibility that she would take up farming as a career.
Notes: This prompt takes place in early spring.
The hoe fell into the ground with a heavy thud. Jo could feel the sweat running down her face, and felt more than a little aware of the fact that she was dirty, more than likely smelly, and completely out of her element. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and once again she wished she had chopped most of it off.
The skies were calm and clear, and the only audible sound was that of birds in the distance. This place was so far removed from the city that she had grown to tolerate.
It had become a daily ritual to drag herself out of bed only to bike over to the office job that she pushed papers at, but here no papers needed pushing. She didn't have to worry about letters that needed editing, or which boss needed another latte.
Her job now was to look after the seeds in the ground and her new little pet, Paku. No amount of editing or writing skill could help her learn how to wield a hoe or know the best position to plant her crops. Then again, it was her fault for never considering the possibility that she would take up farming as a career.
She honestly wondered why she would come back here after having been gone so long, but the answer seemed to come in the odd sense of peace that she felt. This was her father's old life. This was what he had loved, and what he had stayed for.
Just thinking of that made Jo pause and take in a slow breath. Her last memory of her father wasn't warm or comforting. No, it involved her throwing words and accusations at a man who had regretted ever leaving her alone.
After years of not seeing or hearing from him, his sudden appearance at her aunt's house in the city had provoked such an angry response it had surprised even her.
She knew why she had been sent to the city so long ago. He didn't want her path to be forced into his own. Maybe she didn't want to spend her days sowing seeds and milking cows, but she didn't know why he had seemingly removed himself from her life.
The look in his eyes at that moment would stay with her forever. That image was the one that came to mind when the news reached her at work, and it took all of her willpower not to break down at her desk. Four years had passed, and it took a letter in the mail for her to hear that he had died. Those four years had given her the time needed to grow and consider her father's choices, but she would never again have an opportunity to tell him how she really felt.
She would never get to apologize, or tell him how much she still loved him.
Jo threw the hoe into the ground and let it stay there, holding still for a few seconds before sitting down on the grass.
This was her penance, she supposed. Her second chance to reconnect with her father if only in spirit. In time maybe she could even come to love this place like he had.
Maybe, just maybe, she could come to forgive herself as well.