I remember the last time I saw you
Before I packed my bags and ran away to a world of regrets.
I remember that day like a nightmare in slow motion-
The sound of sobs, prayers and hurried footsteps buzzing in my ears,
The smell of disinfectants and death,
The air of anxiety, ominous and nauseating
And the parade of sad faces that passed me by
As I walked down the hospital corridor to see you.
I remember it like it was just yesterday.
Ironical it was!
I had always believed you immortal.
Too hateful to be bedridden, too cruel to be taken ill.
The fire that ceaselessly burned in your lungs
Only seemed to make you indestructible.
Never thought it would swallow you someday.
But it did.
You lay before my eyes, scorched by the fire you had fed for decades.
I had wished you dead so many times daddy
Yet my heart shrivelled at the sight of you…
Reduced to skin and bones, run by wires and machines
Too weak to even breathe, too pitiful to hate.
I looked on at what was left of the man who broke my heart
Before I could even spell the word “love”,
And for a moment there… for a moment
I wanted you back.
I wanted you to be mean again.
In silence I stood taking in your face, your sunken cheeks
Desperately trying to find you underneath the dwindling body,
Waiting to see that look of scorn and indifference.
But as our eyes met, I saw a man in pain
And I saw how much I actually loved you!
So much that I was ready to let go of my grudges and forgive you.
A part of me was hoping you’d say something to relieve me of
All the heartaches you had caused.
But quietly you stared, your chest wheezing with every rise and fall.
I saw a dying ember in your eyes.
I saw weakness and exhaustion.
I saw defeat. I saw surrender.
And to my horror, I saw a question. A question that
Moved the ground from under my feet.
As much as I wished I was wrong, I knew it well in my heart.
I felt it like a gunshot.
So as your pallid lips parted into a slit, I waited with bated breath…
“Who are you?” You whispered.
And I died a thousand deaths.