“What did you say?” I staggered backwards, not believing any of it.
“No, you’re lying. I said you’re lying!” I shouted on top of my voice, pointing at her. “How dare you say such a thing? Who are you to throw such at me?! Who are you?!”
“Tricia, calm down…”
“Don’t tell me to calm down! No! No! My dad can’t be dead. My daddy’s not dead!”
“Let me go! Let me go! I want to see my daddy. I want to see my daddy. My dad can’t be dead. My dad can’t be dead! Please let me go. Let me go!”
My roommate clung to me as I went on. My Dad can’t be gone. He can’t be! He promised to always be there for me. He promised to never leave me! Why did he have to let go? Why did he have to…?
I felt sorry for Tricia, and at the same time happy about what she was going through. It wasn’t fair to her but I couldn’t care any less about how she felt.
This is just the beginning of your pain, Tricia Parker! You haven’t seen anything! I chuckled inwardly, a grin getting a hold of my lips. You wouldn’t know what hit you, until it does!
ONE MONTH LATER
I was having a hard time coping with the memory of dad still fresh in mind. I missed him, that I could never stop saying, but I had to stay focus and be that girl he’s always wanted—the strong, daring girl he’s always looked forward to seeing.
Our home was never the same without him, but the thought of him being at peace got me moving.
I never really thought that I’d be spending this year’s Christmas without him—without he and I setting up the Christmas tree and lighting up the house with Christmas lights, as our tradition made it be.
“I miss you, daddy. I miss you so much.” I cried into my pillow, with his picture held close to my bosom.
“There! You place your sand into the bucket. Turn it over like this—and poof! Our castle is ready!”
“Yay! We have a castle—Mommy, come see.”
“Awe. Isn’t that cute?”
“It sure is, mommy. Daddy taught me how to make it.”
“Mm, I see you two are having a fun time together.”
“Now, who’s daddy and mommy’s little munchkin.”
“That’s our little girl!”
“Trish. Honey, wake up?”
“Mm? Dad, is still early.”
“Baby, it’s me.”
I yanked up, realizing it was my mum. “Mum?”
“Baby, you have to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said drowsily, and laid back down.
“Come on, Tricia. You have to eat.”
“I’m not hungry, Mum… really.” I yawned tiredly and let go of the picture, as my mum picked it up.
“He was a fine young man, your dad.” she smiled faintly, and lowered the pic. “I wish he was here with us.” she sniffed, making me realize that she’s been crying.
“I wish so, too, Mum.” I sat upright, having the urge to hug her.
I wasn’t the only one having a hard time moving on, and I knew mum needed no other person than me.
Countless times she had blamed herself for being the cause of his death. And most times she’d cry all night, getting herself locked up in her room—to the extent I feared that something bad was going to happen to her, when I’m gone.
I couldn’t leave her in this state. Even though she insisted that I went back to school. I wanted to be with her, to be there for her, and to keep her strong. This year has been one awful one, and I certainly couldn’t wait for it to be all over.
This year has been really… really bad for me—so bad that I can’t help but wonder how I have been able to push through. Well, I can say that it’s always being God, because without Him, I’d have being dead by now. It’s few weeks to Christmas, and I still don’t know how it would be. Mum’s probably not cooking her special Christmas dishes this time around, not with dad gone—and me… well, I’m thinking of spending my own Christmas at Campbell, and not have to go back to all that past memories that’d get you weeping. Why, I have to go now. I bet Derek’s already waiting downstairs.
“Hi, hi. What brings you here?”
My teeth clenched at the stupid question I had asked. Of course he’s here to see me. What else?
My mind went talking again…
“You weren’t crying this time, were you?”
I gave a ‘no’ for an answer, which I knew was a total lie—or not!
“Just a teardrop, I could say.” came my teasingly answer, though true.
“So how are you? Are you feeling any better?” He asked as we walked to the bench.
Instead of telling him how I really felt at that moment, I chose not to—not because I didn’t want us talking about it, but because I wanted it to be with Phil.
Philip should be the one here, I told myself. He should be the one I was letting out my emotions to, but it seemed my emotional side wasn’t cooperating—as I found myself letting all that I felt to Derek. What am I doing? Did I just have my arms wrapped around Derek?
“Stop crying. You’re hurting me by doing that.” Derek’s soft voice got me still.
I felt safe in his arms. And I hoped that he wouldn’t take them off, or let go… in anyway.