The Warmth of an Only Sun
Written & Narrated by Ryan Williams French
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The Warmth of an Only SunRyan Williams French
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The Warmth of an Only Sun



If I could have my little boy back

Yes, If I could have him back

I would give up everything just to hear his heartbeat

There was much pain in all of the silence.
The things left unsaid.

Songs that were never played

Paintings that were never painted


When he was born he was only the size of a mustard seed.

He weighed half a gram

And Nadia our midwife told his mother and me

that his chances of survival were small


“Daedelus, he may not be here by this evening so if I were you,

I wouldn’t get too attached" She said

I begged to differ

He was my boy

Icarus was my only son


I did everything I could, but nurse him, to keep him alive,

kept him with me day and night.

Finally, my life had meaning now that I could enjoy the warmth of my only son.

Icarus had soft curly hair wispy as feathers and large fat plump cheeks that were more gentle than dandelions.

Icarus was my joy.
My little man.
I purposely kept him on my chest because I wanted him to know more than anything the sound of my heartbeat

the exact tempo and cadence.
Slow and steady.
That way when he got older If I was not around, God forbid,

He could remember the sound of his father's pulse
The song of his father’s dreams

The paintings of my deepest affections


If times ever got bad, if he ever felt isolated, misunderstood,

or confused all he would have to do is

close his eyes and remember the sound of my pulse.

The wait for his health was one of dread and quiet desperation,

him the size of a mustard seed, heart beating much faster than mine.

Fluttering like a little hummingbird.



minutes became hours,

hours became days,

days weeks, and surprisingly months had passed.

Before we knew it. We had a fat little monster running around the house eating everything in sight and getting his hands on anything he could.

Oh those were the years


And then of course he began speaking
We learned he was wise, perhaps too wise for his own good.
And exhaustively stubborn.
I knew his stubbornness would take him places

his stubbornness and his imagination would surely take him places

if cultivated in the right manner.
And I would pester him about this


“Icarus! for what is a man without his mind?

His imagination?  

His ability to create?

The strength of a man's body is fleeting and passes exorbitantly fast

like the days of our youth.”


The days of our youth


When I saw him plummeting from the sky

I thought surely this must be a mistake.


I never got to tell my son. No show my son who I really am.

I mean there were many conversations.

But none about how much I loved dancing.

None about the time that I first fell in love with Rodin

while walking the streets of Paris

None about the time my heart was shattered after watching City of God

None about the times I hated men, despised women, but mainly loathed myself

None about the times I loved a man, worshipped a woman

Yet was undone by his mother’s smile

None about the time my father beat me with his staff after he discovered I enjoyed molding sculptures of lovers as a child

None about the first time I heard God’s quiet still voice

moving over the face of the waters  

None about the last time I savored his mother’s touch

No instead I focused my efforts on teaching him to be productive,

strong, presentable all at the expense of teaching him how to love and discover the beauty that is life.


I never sat down and told my son how much I really loved him.
I never told him that I loved him deeper and more expansive than any words or worlds could ever contain or describe.
I loved him in a way that could only be deciphered through the sound of my heartbeat and the feeling of its pulse.
Or rather the perennial light of a star.



But just like that,

There was a loud splash


The birds of the air kept flying

The sailors on their boats kept sailing

The children on the shore kept laughing



All this while my boy drowning.


I rushed to the bottom of the sea to catch hold of him but it was too late.

It was too late

Pressed my ears against his chest

there was no music


There we were like before

Me and my boy

A father with his son against his chest only this

time my son was much larger and much heavier,

only this time he was cold.


And to think

Just like that, a father can lose the warmth of his only son.


Perhaps I’m selfish, but I couldn’t bury him

As long as I was alive I had to see him

So I decided to rest him in the sky

Somewhere where everyone could see him for all time.


I carried him close to my chest

We embarked on our final journey together.

Flying toward the horizon.

It was quite the voyage
days became weeks became months

years became light years and light years became parsecs.

I didn’t know that I possessed that much endurance.

But love comes with its surprises
At first, I was transfixed by grief that was so profound

The Memory of his warmth devoured me from the inside and I could not speak.

But over time
That grief began to morph into something

incandescent hot burning and then bright.
I carried him off as far as I could to make sure that no one would ever be able to possess the ability to take my son away from me.


And there he rests

9.1 billion light-years away from here.
Still Shining.
Still Incandescent.
Still Ever present.

Still free

Always my only Sun.