faith, Short Stories

Father

Going to visit my father after years of seperation sounded like a good idea. Or a good sounding bad idea. It’s been years since I moved out of the house but even though the journey from my house was less than an hour drive, I could never bring myself to it.

My father wasn’t a perfect man. Not close. He says that often. He wasn’t the trophy winning father either. Our lives was a mess before I was eighteen when I moved out. We could hardly afford a 3-times meal because he rather spent the money on rum and alcohol.

Before he got into the alcohol addiction, we lived pretty well. He was a doctor but got his license taken away after an incident at the hospital. Since then, he literally tortured me. It was being wicked and not being strict. He controlled my life, school-life, picked the people I could hangout with and the times I could, he told me the subjects to take, would severely punish me for things as trival as spilling water on the floor. He tried to break me, He told me I would never measure up. He intimidated me into silence and made me the introvert I wasn’t and all my life, I’d tried proving myself to him. To show him I was better or going to be much better, to grow into a man a father would be proud of, even though we rarely spoke.

After moving out, I saw him a couple of times on the train but never made an attempt to talk to him. Still living closeby to my old apartment, few weeks after I graduated from studying psychology in college, I saw him walking down the road while I was driving to work and I did the craziest thing ever. I decided to give him a ride. I don’t know if it was to prove to him that I was more or because i just wanted to. The drive wasn’t awkward or nothing close to what I had imagined, he talked to me, and he let me talk back. He said he had changed. That he was sober now and then he did something, something I’ll never forget – he apologized.

Since then, I’d pick him up whenever I saw him and would drop by a couple of times. The house was cleaner than when I left. We talked about our lives and all that happened. He told me what made him change, said it was a church, or Jesus. I don’t believe in any religion or in a supernatural life but i was glad something made him change and gave me an opportunity with my father.

He made me promise to introduce him to my girlfriend and I did. He was funny and no longer a mess. He had changed and I knew that. We were beginning to have the relationship we never had and even more.

This afternoon, I got his call but I was in a meeting with a patient so I put my phone to silent mode, hoping i’d call him after the meeting. Unknown to me, he had called so many times, left voice messages for me saying I should please come pick him up from home as he was not feeling too well. I called after the meeting but he didn’t pick up. The last time he had called, he didn’t leave a voicemail.

The next time I saw him, he was lifeless. He died on his way to the bus stop. Shot in the head.

And I felt lonelier than I have ever felt. And responsible.

Short Stories

The Night of December 1956.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. His was getting upset at others, and it started the night his wife died.

His wife was a jolly, sweet, easygoing woman. She was the best thing that ever happened to him. He met her while he was in college and when he pursued his career and she pursued hers, when their lives got busy and they could have drifted off so easily, they held on and to be honest, she made holding on easy.

Every marriage doesn’t go on a platter of gold. Some people say the first year of marriage is always the hardest, and even though they didn’t agree to it at first, they had to, and it was even longer than just the first year. It was the problem of not being able to bear a child. Or even conceive one.

The little town in which they lived had only one doctor and according to the doctor, every method he knows that could help has already been used on them.

Ten years later, his wife conceived a child. That moment was one he would never forget. He was going to be a father, and even though of being a father, having to raise a child to be the best version of himself or herself, having to watch the child grow, scared him, he relied on the fact that hopefully he wouldn’t have to do it himself. That he would have the best woman he would ever ask for with him made him feel safe.

That night, that foggy snowy night, his wife, due in two weeks at the time, offered to go join the choristers when she learnt they needed an alto singer. He tried convincing her not to go as the church was far away from where they lived, and his car already got snowed in but being a kind of strong-headed woman, she left.

He could have gone with her, but he also had a night shift work and wouldn’t be back until 10pm that night.

He was almost home, coming back from work when he saw an old man with two other men carrying a pregnant woman towards his house. According to the old man, he had found her laid on the floor, struggling to get up when he offered to help. Apparently, she fell on her way home and her water broke already. Thankfully he found the two men who helped to carry her and since it was a small town, they knew where to bring her while the old man went to call the midwives.

That night, he had been terrified, more than he has ever been. The thought of him losing her stayed afloat in his mind. One of the midwives was telling him not to worry and that his wife and child were going to be okay when he overheard another telling the midwife not to promise anything but to say they were going to do their best.

Doing their best was what he clung to. It was everything he held on to for the next half an hour.

He had her push and it was obvious she was in pain. The doctor had arrived and had gone in to assist too. He overheard them saying she was losing a lot of blood. More than normal.

Then he heard a cry. The cry of a baby. His baby.

But it strangely quiet in the room. The baby’s cry was all he had. The midwives and doctor went all quiet. Most importantly, he couldn’t hear the voice of his wife. Or her breathing.

The doctor came out. Blood over his hands and arm. His look said it all. All hasn’t gone well. His wife…

“I’m sorry, Elliot. We did all we could.” He heard the doctor say.

That moment, all the memories he had with his wife came rushing to him, even the memory of her leaving the house that night.

“The baby. Is it… alright?”

“Yes.” One of the midwives answered.

“We’re sorry, Elliot. I am.” The midwife who had assured him earlier said.

“It’s okay.” He said, while taking a long hard look at his wife who laid cold on the bed.

“Would you like to hold your child? She’s still a little scaly because she’s not fully developed yet but she’ll shed it off soon.” The midwife said.

“No. Take that child away from me. I don’t want to see it. Ever. And all of you, Get out.” He said.

At that moment, he realized his wife would be very disappointed at him and not that he didn’t care, he just didn’t know how to react. He had always thought he would raise this child along with his dear wife, he had in his mind that he was incapable of raising the child alone and now, grief slowing making its way into his heart, grasping it and tearing it apart slowly and making it cold in the process without him fully realizing it made it worse.

He walked out of that room, not looking back as a drop of tear went flowing down his cheek.

He was so scared to fail as a parent that he failed the first night he became a father.

It was the night of December 1956. A night he’ll always remember.

Photo credit: Pexel

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Hey there! Thanks for reading and joining me here again. I seem to be writing a lot of short stories now and that’s because I just get inspired and just write them out. Sometimes.

Winter semester started already and hopefully I get to blog on health soon.

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Thanks and until next time!