He was 17 now, about to graduate from high school. He was sitting at Starbucks, looking out the window, his feet were restlessly tapping against the floor as he waited.
" Can I help you?" the waitress appeared by his table, ready to take an order. Sam shook his head.
" I'll order later." The waitress served another table as Sam looked out the window, observing the passersby, inspecting each one of them to see if he was in the crowd. After a glance at his watch he started wondering whether he was being stood up. He was about to leave when the door swung open. His dad appeared in the doorway and once he made eye contact with Sam, he smiled shyly. Sam remained seated and with angst watched his father approach him. His mind was reeling with a bunch of questions. Did he change over the two years? Does he still like him? What has he been up to in that time they haven't seen each other?
" Hi." his father sat facing him. Up close he seemed much older than he actually was.
" Hi." Sam seemed reserved. " How are you?"
" Could have been better." he shrugged. " And you? I heard you'll be graduating soon. You must be over the moon."
Sam smiled, nodding. " Yeah, I am. I'll finally be able to leave this place."
An awkward silence enveloped them as Sam played with the menu on the table. The waitress showed up and the two ordered same drinks.
" Where will you go?" his dad asked.
" I don't know yet. Me and Brad are deciding over two big cities." Sam said, glancing at him to see his reaction but his dad kept a straight face.
" Look, Sam.. I'm sorry for not being there when you needed me. I've regretted it since and I hope you can forgive me one day but if you can't then I'll understand nonetheless." he said, grinning sheepishly.
Sam shook his head. "It's okay. I've learnt a lot in these past years and I can forgive you. Not because you deserve it but because of my inner peace." he said softly. His father's eyes teared up. Sam had never seen him cry in his entire lifetime but that day his dad cried tears of sorrow and joy.