A few days ago, marked the two year death anniversary of my dad. I refuse to confront it.. because then I will be forced to feel. And I don’t want to feel.. because that’s what makes me cry. I found this letter amongst some of my stuff. I think I might have written it soon after he died.
I remember us driving together silently on the highway. Me in the driver’s seat, you by my side, nothing but the radio breaking the silence. From media agency to media agency you would take me. I didn’t have much driving experience back then, that’s why you came with me to give me confidence in my own driving. And I remember you always telling me things like, “when you’re in this area alone, don’t drive with your windows down all the way – it’s only okay now because i’m with you.” It’s as if you knew you were leaving me.
I remember the last interview you took me to. It was at the company I work for now (Correction – it was at my previous company. This is an old letter). You said, “this is a nice area for you to work in.” I came out of the building smiling from ear to ear, with my brand new employment contract in hand. I got the job. You were the first to know.
I remember that rainy day sometime before when I got my heart broken again. I didn’t feel like driving; you drove. You told me you love me. It was the first time I heard you say that to me. I wanted to say it back but my words got stuck in my throat. I’m like you daddy; we don’t let our feelings out. I wrote the words on your tombstone, daddy. I lie on the floor of my old room, curled up over your tombstone, sobbing… your tombstone! Everybody’s watching, staring. The don’t think I can finish, but I do. I sometimes think of how you would disappear for days, sometimes weeks. Where did you go? Mum always made up some lame story for me but I’m not six anymore. You’re my father. This world was not good to you. I know that you’re better off where you are now. I know that you have a better life now. I just wish I was a part of it somehow. When people come to me and ask me how I’m doing, they speak about you and all the things you said about me. They tell me how proud you were of me. Thank you, daddy. I never knew that. They tell me how happy you were that you and I started a relationship these last three years. I hang on to their every word; I don’t want them to stop talking.
Mum says she sees you a lot in her dreams. Why don’t you ever come to me? Why don’t I ever see you? I just want to see you one last time. To say goodbye properly. I never got a chance. The hospital ward was so big. I stood on the other side, your curtains were drawn, I watched as the doctors tried to resuscitate you. I saw your body bounce as they tried to bring you back to life. I stand there, frozen, mum starts crying. But not me. I am strong. Tears stream down my face. I remember crying at the hospital earlier that day, when the paramedics carried you on a stretcher to the ambulance truck. There were a million pipes coming covering your body. Your eyes were closed. Even then I didn’t realise how bad it was. I still believed I would see you at home that night. You’d pull through. You always do.
Mum and them were whispering about those idiots at the hospital gave you an injection that turned septic in your bloodstream, acting as a catalyst to your bleeding ulcer. I’m forced to believe that everyone’s death is planned out from the day we’re born, and so was yours. Because I am a Muslim. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t ask the question what if? What if we had taken you to a private hospital? Would you still be alive today? I remember seeing you briefly that last week. We never spoke much. You looked distracted or tired, I couldn’t tell. There are a million five minute memories flashing by. They’re all I can hold on to right now. But why are they only five minutes?! I don’t want to let go just yet. I don’t want to let go ever. Sometimes, I also feel like you felt. Like nobody on this Earth appreciates you…like you’re supposed to be somewhere else. I hope that you are well-looked after where you are, daddy. You deserve that. Maybe one day I will see you again. If not in my dreams, then in the life after.
I love you too, daddy.