"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan

As far as he could remember, he had never seen his father. He had never enjoyed fatherly love first-hand, yet he knew the concept well; firstly, from observing the fathers of his friends, and, secondly, from the detailed accounts his mother told him about how caring and affectionate his father was. The son yearned to see his father, yet he never could come face to face with him.
"Your father does a lot of hard work for our sake," his mother would tell him, "he travels far and wide so he can earn a lot of money. That money is what takes care of us."
"But why don't I get to meet him anytime?" the son would pleadingly question.
"That's only because whenever he comes home either you are at school or fast asleep. On many nights, he has kissed your forehead before he left for work. Haven't you felt the kiss anytime?" mother would ask.
"No, I haven't at all..." and then he would think to himself, "I should sleep light next time."
His mother would show him photos of his father, and then show the gifts and toys that the father brought for him. "Look at this grand house," she would say, "and the nice furniture, the food we eat. All these are provided by your father. If it wasn't for him, we would be on the streets."
His mother's words were sacrosanct for him. He never doubted her love, care or her stories. She was his world, his holy spirit, and he was thankful to the father for keeping his mother happy.
Every night the mother would narrate tales of the father's travels, and he would sleep in rapture. He would dream of himself going on those expeditions some day.
One day, when he got home,  he had a strange question for his mother. "Mom they were debating about the existence of God at school today. Most of my friends believe in God because they are scared of him, but I told them I believe in science. As long as there is no solid proof of God's existence, I don't think we should believe in him. Isn't it ma?"
"But you see his pictures all around. Isn't that proof enough, son? And there are so many tales of his adventures that everyone talks about. Can't you believe those?"
"Anyone can make up those stories ma! And those photos are just someone's imagination. I think I need more solid proof. Something that science can accept."
There was silence in the house. Mother paused from her cooking, turned back to look at the son, smiled once, and got back to her cooking.
"Okay, I got it. I will ask dad when I meet him. I will be meeting him soon, right ma?"
"Indeed, my son..." and the mother flashed her angelic smile once again.