It still taunts me, even today, the chair by the fire, the one he always sat in. My Father's Chair.
It's been well over a decade, but it's still hard.
Enterprise is due to leave in just a few months, and both Trip, and I had some time off due, so I wanted to come here, I wanted to bring him here, to show him this place.
I couldn't bring myself to sell the house, even now, knowing it might be years before I'm back here.
"You okay?" Trip is beside me, his face concerned, I guess I've been staring at the chair a while.
"When I was a kid, he'd sit me on the floor in front of him, while he sat in that chair, and tell me stories about all the wonderful things in space, and how I'd get to see them all someday. I never once doubted him." I tell him, the memories invading my senses.
I remember so clearly, he amazed me so much back then, I thought he was some sort of superman.
The crackle of the fire in the hearth, the smell of pine that seemed to be everywhere, his smiling face looking down at me, his eyes twinkling as he told me about distant stars, and all the races out there.
"Your gonna see it all." Trip tells me lightly. I don't doubt him either.
"When I was a kid, eight, he gave me an astronomy book, and took me around the Warp 5 Complex. I was so in awe of it all, I can barely believe it's really happening." I say.
"It is." Trip assures me, smiling at me gently.
I wish Dad had gotten the chance to meet Trip.
I think would have gotten on well, they both have a certain spark, a certain unquenchable lust for life, for engineering especially, Trip reminds me a lot of him in some ways.
I tell Trip that.
"I've never been paid a greater compliment." Trip says, smiling, slightly lopsided.
I smile back slightly, but move past him.
I can sense him watching me. It's strange, I remember the day I first saw Trip, when he shot his mouth off to the Vulcan's, after we lost the NX-Alpha, I'd never have imagined then, what we have today.
I'm standing right in front of the chair, since he died, I couldn't bring myself to sit in that chair, it was like I'd be altering my memories of him somehow.
Trip hasn't said a word; he's letting me do this, letting me lose myself in the memories.
I lean over, just a little, and hit the button on the fire, lighting it.
I pause a second, still unsure, before I sit down, closing my eyes as I sink into the soft fabric of the chair, it smells like him, or maybe that’s just my imagination.
I look over to Trip, but he isn't there, and I suddenly realize he's sitting in front of me, where I spent so many nights.
"Tell me the stories Jon?" he asks me. "I'd like to hear them."
So I do.
Here, in the house I grew up in, with a imitation fire roaring in the hearth, and Trip sat crossed legged in front of me, listening to the same stories my father use to tell me, while I sit in this chair. My Fathers Chair.