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It had been a couple of months since my dad died. He meant the world to me, and ever since he passed, everything had turned askew. I was not doing that well in school anymore, I did not want to be as social as I used to be, and my girlfriend doubted my feelings for her. People used to describe me as the smart a** that always got the girl. My life was perfect until my dad took his last breath. I was still furious that that my dad never said anything about his cancer. He smoked everyday though, I should have known better.
There was an overwhelming smell of shame floating around my head. This smell was different from the ordinary fragrance of an apartment in Chicago. The two smells slithered in and out of my nose. It made me a little nauseous. I truly regret not talking to my dad before he died. While lying on top of my bed, I reminisced about how he used to tell me he loved me more than air. I could hear his voice in my head; it was rough and scratchy but he knew how to talk. His words were porcelain. His phrase replayed in my head over and over again. As I thought more about it, I felt my eyes swell up with tears. I wiped them away quickly before anyone could see me. I never cry. Suddenly I heard two knocks on my bedroom door. “What do you want,” I said thinking it was my mom. My girlfriend Hailey walked in to my surprise. Her face was refreshing. Her hair swooped into curls at the ends; it was black and sleek as it swayed with her hip movements. I was lucky to snag her before anyone else. “Tad I have a surprise for you,” she said.
“Well, what is it?” I replied.
“I can’t tell you that yet,” she teased. Hailey propped herself right on top of me. I looked up at her and smiled. In return, she ran her fingers through my night stained locks. “Come on, get out of bed so you can see your surprise,” Hailey said while tugging on my shirt. We both got up and she started to drive somewhere. Before I knew it, we halted at a small bed of flowers. I got out of the car and observed my surroundings. I knew where I was. Tombs were everywhere; I was standing right above my father’s rotting corpse. My heart started to beat faster than ever. The feeling of nausea returned as I hunched over. Hailey grasped my hand and told me to move the flowers. I brushed away the dead Lilies and read the stone. “You can’t be successful unless you are willing to go the distance for it….” “Rest in Peace James Woodsen.” It was my father’s grave; the agony of seeing it was a dagger slicing open my heart. My body had become the dagger’s sheath. I couldn’t help but yell at Hailey.
“What were you thinking when you brought me hear?” I screamed.
“I thought I was helping you cope, and I thought bringing you here would help you to move on with your life,” murmured Hailey. Her voice crinkled like she was going to cry. “I don’t need help coping because I’m not mourning!” My body shook as the words spewed out of my mouth. I sighed and walked all the way home by myself.
Finally, I got back to the apartment. I thought I would take a shower to diminish my built up anxiety. Unfortunately, the shower did not do anything for me except make she smell good. I put on a plain white T and some sleeping shorts. God I was thankful it was the weekend so I had time to cool down. The nausea made me more than thirsty. I thought I would escort myself to the kitchen. Once I got down there, I saw a razor that my mom brought from work. It looked sharp. It became unusually enticing. I had heard about people cutting themselves to relieve stress. Picking it up, I hesitated. I took a deep breath and tried again. I placed the razor against my skin. I continued to draw a straight line from my wrist to my forearm. The flesh was sliced open, and it burned against the air. I didn’t feel the satisfaction I thought I would as the blood stained my clothes. As I sit on the kitchen floor, I attempted the action again, but my mom slapped the razor out my hand cutting the edge of her palm.
“Tad, why would you do such a thing so stupid?”
“I just miss him mom; every night I ask God why he had to take away my dad out of all the people in the world, anger grew within me.
“You know your father’s death was his own doing. He loved to smoke, and his lungs finally gave up the fight,” I could hear the tension in her voice.
“I know mom; I just feel bad because I couldn’t help him” My mother replied,
“Your father could have been helped; he just didn’t want it, because he was a stubborn bull.” I chuckled a little because it was slightly true. My mom patched up my arm, and told me that it was time to see a counselor.
During the next couple of months, I was seeing Dr. Watson every Monday and Thursday. Once in a while I still get questions about the scar on my arm. Reluctant to answer, I say that it’s a long story. The sessions helped me a lot. I developed a closer relationship with my mom and Hailey. My grades are okay but not perfect. I was really moving on with my life. The pieces of my unfinished puzzle were finally starting to fall into place.