Year: 2022
Category: Writing
As a  part of On The Past Present Future of The past
I held him in my hand- a white box, and I heard a voice from somewhere. “Hug me one last time.”
The corridors of the hospital were so long that I couldn't see the end. The clock was ticking, as if it was counting the hours of living. I pushed the white door on the right hand side. It roared with a hoarse voice before slowly opening. Dad was lying on the cornered sickbed, with his eye closed, like a waxen statue. Clear liquid flowing from a slender jarl into his body. It seemed like a century ago since I saw him. I sat on the chair besides him, staring at the white wall in front of me.

We’d seen the exact same wall before while we were flying kites. Gray and brown scrapes were visible on both of them as a result of time passing. The kite string in those days was an old nylon string. When the wind blew, it brought the kite to the sky and ended up blending into the wall like a thin scratch on it. I was too young to send the kite to the sky, so dad followed the wind to run back and forth in that open field. As the glare of the sun stung my eyes, I turned to see the kite's vibrant colors fading to black against the stark blue background. Still I couldn’t do anything while seeing the kite falling. It drops vertically to the other side of the wall. Dad told me to stay where I was and he would travel across to get it back. But he didn't come back for so long. I could only squat on the ground and start crying.

Well, He made me cry a lot of times. When mom wasn’t home, he had to help with my hair-braiding. I was just a minute late for school and my hair was still tangled up. The other time I cried was because of my father's teasing. He taught me how to ride a bicycle. I wobbled and tumbled, and finally fell on the ground. I wanted to get up and clean the dust off my pants, but then I saw him crouching in the distance laughing at my stupidity. Well, then I had to cry. How dare!

Dad later decided to teach me another skill - swimming. I sat at the edge of the pool while he stood besides me. His hair-covered legs shimmering in the light from the fluctuating water. Then I felt as if I had been in the middle of a massive tsunami with muffled roars around me. The world returned to normal after a long time. The leg hair disappeared. Dad emerge from the water. His hair is like a pot lid on his forehead.

I love those interesting “tsunami” moments. But the tsunami in the nightmare was different. I was gasping for air as the dark liquid pressed down on me.  I was awakened by the sound of my own snoring and I yelled for father with all strength. His body moved instantly to the side of my bed and then took me in his arms. It was just a priceless jiff. I also like to sit on his shoulder. The view from there is excellent, especially since I can see the toys in the hands of children in the distance. In fact, he bought me all kinds of them, but what others have is always exciting. I wouldn’t mind for one more.

These moments of past are referred to as priceless because they are something that can never be obtained again. I knew this when I saw his will with signature. I was actually baffled as o why I had been able to see his will. During that time, grandpa urged me to stay in his house and refused to let me return home for a variety of reasons. But I felt a force tugging at me. I could only skip the last school class to respond to the inexplicable power.  I dashed home like a maniac. Then I bought a glimpse of the drama playing out on the desk. I had sensed it even thought everyone was trying to keep it secrete from me. I knew they were trying to protect me. Only as a dedicated performer can I accompany them to complete the play.  I dialed father’s number, and a I hear a familiar yet foreign voice came from the other side of the line. I asked when will be the end of his business trip. He said, next week.

This was the last conversation

It was wired to be always reminded of Plants & Zombies, our favorite game back in the time. The pea shooter fires its weak  bullets the last moment before eaten by the zombie. It then disappear forever, leaving an empty grid trampled mercilessly.

A few days later I stood next to a huge freezer and saw him being pulled out of the drawer. He was lying on a plate made of some kind of metal. This time he really was a waxen statue. His face was smooth and clean. I’m grateful to see the absence of tubes used to attach his body. There was just his body.

Seeing dad had been a commonplace event, yet now it required a great deal of effort. He currently settles on a green hill in the suburbs. I climbed the mountain sweating and panting. I walked through a dense jungle and finally saw him at the end. The pines that had been planted around him had already started to grow, and he was the only one who was still and motionless. I knelt down and spread the new soil on him. The sun was going down; the terrain is beckoning to the darkness of night.

I stood up and said, goodbye, for the next “goodbye”.