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I Can't Live Like This
“Tragic car accident kills mother and two children, leaving father and eldest son in hospital.” That’s what was printed on every newspaper in the Billings area one Sunday morning two days after Timber Hole and his family were in a fatal car accident. Timber was in the hospital. He had a broken leg and cracked ribs. There were cuts all over his body from his head to his feet. There were stitches on his legs, arms, and face.
A nurse walked through the door; it was time for his pain medication. He had regained most of his strength to talk normal again and so he started asking questions like “where’s my family?” and “what happened to me?” the nurse didn’t know how to respond because he had only been conscious for a day and didn’t think he could take everything at once. All she told him is what happened. She said nothing more and walked out. He knew something was wrong and wanted to find out but his medication was kicking in and he fell asleep before he got a chance to ask again.
Timber hated waiting for anything. His friends and family would call him the most impatient person in the world. He knew he probably shouldn’t ask for any specifically bad details about the accident but he wanted to know. When the doctor came in he asked where his family was instead of asking about his injuries. He knew it was going to be the hardest question anyone would want to answer so he asked it first. The doctor was hesitant at first but then he told Timber what happened to his mother and siblings and that his dad was in the hospital too. Timber tried to stay calm and not cry as bad as he was feeling inside but he couldn’t help it.
For the next few days Timber started talking to a counselor named Ms. Maller about how he was dealing with his losses and his condition. Ms. Maller tells him how certain things can help ease the pain and how he can handle the funeral. Timber was very skeptical about the funeral because it was for most the people he has loved and known his whole life and he knows it will be painful. Painful to hear all these people talk to him and say how sorry they are and say all kinds of memories they shared. Now those memories would be there and they wouldn’t be as happy to him as they would be painful. She helped him figure out what to say and told him it was okay to be sad even if he didn’t want to be.
The next day his dad was up and could be aloud visitors. He and Timber fixed the funeral arrangements. It was hard on both of them but they didn’t talk about it. They were having the funeral two days later. It didn’t take them long to plan out the arrangements so they had a lot of time to talk about what they would do next. Timber couldn’t do much in crutches and his dad was having a hard time standing for five minutes without getting light headed so they wouldn’t be going anywhere. Timber would most likely just help his father around the house until he got back on his feet.
On the morning of the funeral Timber was dressing himself in a nice suit. The doctors helped his father with his and then they went to the funeral. They got there as they were setting up. Flowers were everywhere in the room and the only colors were black and red. It wasn’t a happy sight to see especially for Timber. He was heartbroken enough having to see all the pain in his fathers eyes everyday. His father had changed since the accident. He was no longer smiling all day long as he normally had done everyday with his mother and siblings. He now looked all pinched up as if something was going to pop up and scare the wits out of him.
People started to arrive; Timber didn’t want to be there anymore. He was afraid of being there and crying. He didn’t want to cry anymore then he wanted to see others crying. He tried his hardest to keep his emotions under control. It worked. He stayed calm and relaxed the entire time without having his sadness come out in a big seen. He didn’t know what the reason was for people staring at him. It could have been that they saw the pain inside him as he saw in his father, or maybe he looked strange to them on crutches. Either way he didn’t like it. It made him feel low or rather in the spotlight and he couldn’t get out of it.
He stared as people walked up to the caskets (closed of course) and paid their last respects to his family. He was waiting for it to end so he could leave. Just thirty minutes left and it will all be over with he told himself with a half smile on his face. He waited for his father to come over and tell him they were leaving but his father was nowhere to be found.
Timber searched around for about five minutes then just started asking around. No one had seen him for a while and one person said he left. Ah I see. He couldn’t stay either but he didn’t bother to ask if I wanted to come? Timber didn’t want to stay and he figured he could leave now that his father had. But he was the only relative there. He couldn’t just leave these people there without someone there at the end staying to say goodbye and give their thanks. Guilt overruled.
After he got back to the hospital he found his father and confronted him. “Why did you leave me there alone?” he said with a still low voice. “I didn’t want to be there either but someone had to be there to see them off.”
“It’s not like that. I just… couldn’t be there. It was very draining to me.” Said Timber’s dad unable to look at him. There was a long awkward silence between them until Timber walked away. The way he walked seemed mad but he wasn’t and his dad knew that.
By the next week his dad was able to walk longer and better then he did at first. Soon they would be able to go home and finish off their summer. It would be different and sadder then they would have expected but they needed to be home. They needed time together and to get their lives back on track. It wouldn’t be easy but they were willing to try and make it work.
The house was big and just how they left it. They didn’t want to change anything because they were afraid to get rid of what was left of their now dead family. Timber walked upstairs. He walked right past his younger brother’s bedroom and strait to his own. It was the same. He left the room and went back downstairs. His father was still standing in the doorway looking around as if he couldn’t decide if it was a dream or nightmare. Timber made a noise as if to say I’m here then let him get back into reality.
They went in the kitchen and looked for something to have for lunch. It took them a while to find something that hadn’t already rotted. They ate and went back to looking at how it was all the same. He wondered if everyday would be like this. He herd the doorbell ring and went to answer it. It was his friend Rob. He hadn’t seen Rob in over a week. It was nice to see him.
“How are you doing?” Rob asked hesitantly.
“I’ve been better.” Timber replied with a shrug.
“How’s your dad?” Rob asked with more confidence.
“Not too bad and not too good.” Timber said slowly.
“I hope it gets better. I wish you the best of luck man. I’m going to go now, it’s getting late.” Rob said eager to get out of there.
“See you later Rob.” Timber was not so happy to have his best friend be weird around him. It was never like that but he realized that after the accident things were going to change between some people. He walked back inside to find his dad still staring at things but this time in the kitchen. How long will it take him to get over this he thought to himself while looking at his dad off in some kind of trans.
The rest of the day was uneventful. Timber knew he didn’t have anything better to do so he went upstairs and changed into pajamas. He brushed his teeth and laid down on his bed. He just laid there thinking for a while then turned over to switch off the light. Right before he fell asleep he whispered, “Can I live every day like this?”