“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present." - Barbara De Angelis
"Tata...stop, I told you, I've made up my mind...I can't stay, there isn't anything left for me here." Luka pushed his chair back from the table as he rose, nearly upsetting it in the process. "At least in the States I have some hope for a life."
"How can you say that? You have a life here." The elder Kovac tried to keep his emotions in check as he struggled for a way to talk to his youngest son.
"Do I? Where? Tell me, because I don't see it. What I see is that my life ended when Danijela and my children died, everything we had planned for was buried with them in that Vukovar cemetery." It was all he could do to hold the tears back as the familiar argument was played out yet again.
"You're alive Luka...you're healthy and you're alive, do you know how many fathers I know who can't say that about their sons?" Even as the words left his mouth Josip realized the slip, but it was too late for him to call them back.
"Do I know? How can you even ask me that?" His voice rose as his anger crept upward.
"Luka I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that." Crossing the room he reached for his son, only to pull him into an embrace before he could refuse.
"Luka...we all mourn the loss of Danijela and the children, we always will, but you can't live your life like this. One day you're sick with grief, the next you're so angry with hate you can't think straight, but running away isn't the answer either." He leaned his head in close to his son's as he spoke, fully expecting the young man to pull away from him. When he didn't he rubbed his back and sniffed back his own tears.
"I don't want you to leave, but if that's what you think you have to do to find yourself again I can live with that. Luka, look at me." He released his son so that he could look him in the face as he finished what he needed to say.
"One day you'll find a way to love again, you may even find someone like Danijela to spend your life with, someone you want to have children with." He lifted a hand to stop the words of protest before they came.
"No, hear me out. I know you can't see it now, you hurt too much, you harbor too much hate, but one day it'll come, maybe when you least expect it, but it'll come." The tears were past his stopping them and as he moved back to Luka and folded his arms around him he allowed them to fall freely.
"We'll get through this Luka, I promise you. I know it's hard to see that now, but, we'll get through this." He didn't expect his son to answer, and when instead of silence his son finally gave into the tears he had been fighting to hold back Josip pulled him tightly into his embrace.
Slowly the walls were crumbling.