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Take a sad song and make it better
"Take a sad song and make it better." Those were the last words my father said to me, with a foot already in the train's carriage. I tried to answer, but I helplessly choked beween my sobs.
"No!" I recall myself pleading in a whisper, but the train didn't hear me and it started to pull out of the lonely station, away from me, taking my dear Dad to a dangerous war, from which he might not return.
The following week was probably the longest I ever lived. I crawled into a shell and tried to keep isolated from the world. Mom understood me, and left me alone, doing all the housework herself, despite her state of pregnancy.
I was sick with dispair; I couldn't look at something or talk to someone without thinking of Dad, the moments, thoughts and dreams we had shared...
But then I remembered Dad's words, and found another meaning in them.
"I'll make the most of every situation to become a better person. He'll be proud of me when he comes back," I decided, with my eyes gleaming with excitement.
Without delay, I did my best to help Mom and do my household chores and school work with a smile...
But then, in less than a heartbeat, my world crashed to my feet.
The letter came one April twilight, while my Mom was quietly sewing and I was studying. She opened it, anxiety shown in every movement and expression on her face. Suddenly, she gasped and collapsed.
I glanced over her shoulder at the letter she was still clutching in her pale hand. The black letters danced threateningly in front of my eyes informing that Dad was "Hurt and Missing".
I managed to drag Mom to her room. She had a hard night: she had a high fever and was delirious; and as if this wasn't enough, she was having her baby prematurely! When the doctor examined her, his face was grim. Suddenly, reality overcome me: there was no hope... no hope at all.
When the cold morning arrived, a new life had entered this world, but paying a high price: Mom's health. I knew she was dying, and there was nothing I could do. This feeling of impotence was almost umbearable, but soon it was over. Mom passed away at dusk, leaving me alone and unprotected, alone with a little sister to take care of, alone.
I don't know how I managed to survive The following months. Many things troubled me, especially in the sleepless hours of the neverending nights.
Little Lily took a lot of my time and energy, but I didn't complain, for she was my only family now. Luckily, my parents, had saved some money, so I hadn't been forced to work - yet.
My main problem was psychological. What had happened to my family, now destroyed? Where was Dad, was he alive? How would I get along the following months, years, decades?
I yearned for a family, someone to understand me, to protect me, to pat my head lovingly and whisper softly in my ear, "Don't worry, everything's all right. I'm here for you."
Then, one August afternoon when I was feeling particularly devastated, I went for a walk with Lily and watched the blood-coloured sunset. In its way down, the sun seemed to dye the sky and clouds of crimson, orange, pink and golden, but near the rising moon, the stars began to shine shyly in the darkness around them.
But then the monotony broke. A voice was calling my name, a male, familiar voice, the one that in my dreams kept saying, "Take a sad song and make it better".
I turned around, and there he was, walking towards me, with his arms wide open, ready to hold me and protect me.
He was back home. The song was no longer sad.