Hospital Ward

Beep beep. Beep beep.

He loves me. He loves me.

Beep beep. Beep beep.

He called me for the first time in years, told me to come home for dinner. I said yes but in my head I dreaded the meeting. What was I to do when I meet him? Hug? A handshake? I have not seen him in months ever since I moved out of that dreadful house. Fortunately, work provided a timely excuse for me to stay in the office the day I was supposed to go back. He never called me again after that and I never thought twice about why.

Beep beep. Beep beep.

I remembered the first time he hit me was when I was eighteen years of age. Rebellious and thirsty for adventure, his words of advice fell deaf on my ears. I had my own friends, my own life outside of the family, why bother interfering with things he has no part in? Every night a new place to trespass and a new store to steal, I was never happier than I was then. Yet I had to come home every midnight creeping past his sleeping figure on the couch like a thief in my own house.

Beep beep. Beep beep.

My mother died of leukemia the same year he lost his job. We weren’t wealthy, but we were well off. We didn’t have to worry about where to live or what to eat; it was a given. Then my mother was diagnosed, and our savings dwindled with each passing chemotherapy. She hung on, though her strength was not unwavering. We lent her courage but knowing it wasn’t curable gave her reason to give up. He took it hard, especially after he was retrenched — coming home late before shutting himself behind closed doors and proceeding to spend the rest of the night staring at my mother’s photograph. I resented him. I needed comfort but where was him when I needed him?

Beep beep. Beep beep.

My mother used to tell me stories of my father about the time I was pushed out of her in the hospital ward. How he stood stoic in silence with that incomprehensible mask he wore as I lay wailing in blood. He was a man of few words — still is — but I was told that while his face remained stony, his arms was twitching as though he couldn’t wait to wrap his arms around me.

Beep.

He loved me. If only I knew he loved me.

a.h.

________________________________________________________

Sometimes we take some things for granted because we think they will always be around, then we regret and lament about the unfairness you don’t think you deserve after they leave. Be nicer and a little kinder to your parents, you will never know how much they give up just for you.

” At fourteen there’s so much you can’t do and you can’t wait to move out and call your own shots, but don’t make her drop you off around the block. Remember she’s getting older too. ” – Never Grow Up, Taylor Swift

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