One afternoon, as Jacob and Vincent settled in to continue their chess game,
Vincent cheerfully, yet competitively said,
"Finally Father...we can get back to our tournament!
This game shall break the tie!"

And because Jacob didn't reply,
Vincent looked upward at his unusually quiet Father.
Well, at first Vincent thought he was contemplating his strategy,
but because it was actually his own move, Vincent discounted that notion.
And so he felt inclined to ask,
“Is something the matter Father?”

And because Jacob, who had been deep in thought,
did not hear what Vincent had said, asked,
"Did you say it was my move?"

Sitting back in his chair,
Vincent knew there was indeed something on his Father's mind,
because he had never lost track of whose move was whose before!

And so because this caused Vincent some concern, he kindly offered,
"Allow me to pour your tea Father.”

With a grateful nod, Jacob replied,
"Yes please, tea always soothes my troubled mind."

Tipping his head, Vincent with care, asked,
"Why are you troubled Father?"

Hesitantly, Jacob took a deep breath, and replied,
“Before you arrived today, I had been sitting here,
feeling reflective…thinking about my life,
things I have accomplished, things I haven't...at any rate,
I know I haven't told you very much about my past,
about whom I was when I lived up top.”

With understanding, Vincent responded,
“I know your past has always been difficult for you to speak about.”

In agreement, Jacob admitted,
“Yes, it has.
However, now that I am getting older…well, now that I am OLD…
I want to talk about those days. Talk to you about the events which led to
the creation of our world.”

Wanting so very much to hear, and to learn about his Father's life,
Vincent answered,
“Very well Father.”

Settling back, Jacob stirred his tea, before taking a sip, and then began,
“As a dedicated young doctor,
I was disillusioned when the legal community tried to prosecute me
and though I was cleared of any communistic charges,
being innocent did not erase the thought
from the medical community's minds.
So I was shunned, and blacklisted.
All my dreams of being a good doctor were dashed,
my reputation seemingly damaged beyond repair.
And, I was shattered when Margaret had left me because of it.
So when John and I came below to start our new communal society,
I was bitter, and I am not proud to admit
I had lost all trust in my fellow man.
And because of the isolation I felt, my heart had grown cold."

Jacob then thoughtfully paused, before he added,
"These events which caused me to lose everything clouded the way for me.”

Kindly, Vincent responded,
“You are a good, and kind man with much heart Father,
somehow...you found your way back again.”

To which Jacob said, “Yes, I did…I found my way,
and it was because of being able to help other lost souls,
that I was able to trust again…and it was in caring for you Vincent,
a tiny abandoned baby, who needed my care,
that softened my heart, and I was able to love again.”

A loving silence stood bold between these two men who were a true Father
and Son to one another, in every sense.

As Vincent contemplated all his Father had told him,
he wanted to let him know how proud he was of him,
and of how thankful he was to call him Father.
And so a loving embrace
expressed all Vincent couldn't find the words to say.

So as Jacob cleared the emotion from his voice,
and with a bit of a chuckle in his relieved sigh, Jacob said,
"I know this talk was long time in coming Vincent...and in truth,
I do feel better now for having it!"

Upon hearing all his Father wanted to reveal to him, Vincent softly replied,
"I am pleased you told me."

Jacob then rubbed his hands together, and with a new found relief,
cheerfully said,
"Let's get back to our tourney, shall we?
And, I believe it is your move Vincent."

To which Vincent agreeably said,
"Yes it is,"

As Vincent looked down at the board, he contemplatively said,
"Hmm, let me see here..."

And though Vincent saw that his  next move
did run the risk of dashing his Father's uplifted spirits,
Vincent's competitive nature pushed him to make it anyway!
And so he moved his pawn on the board,
and playfully said,
"Check mate!”


SHARON'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST CHAMBER
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A moment with Father and Vincent
By Sharon Holtz