Chapter 8: Forgave
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Hearts & Colors- Lighthouse [acoustic version])
That’s all I knew.
That’s all I could do.
Lightning cracked across the skies followed by a roll of booming thunder.
“Come on, come on-” The station comes in view.
Next to it is Saint Peter’s Church.
The diamond-like glass surface shone under the glistening rain and already a small crowd has began to form before it.
Was I too late?
Before I can swallow the dread, I spot him on the roof.
“Dad?” Some of the crowd turn back at the sound of my voice but none of them made any move to help me.
I was in my own world.
"Dad? Dad! It's me! It's Vanessa-" Practically shoving against the crowd, I elbow my way forward so I was at the front.
A police line had been drawn and I notice Jackson with several other officers withholding a barrier.
No one could get in.
I was locked out.
Gripping onto the barrier, I began to push myself over but was instantly halted by a pair of strong hands.
“I’m sorry Miss but this is a restricted area!”
The hell it is!
I wanted to scream. I wanted to demand for him to let me go and the more I struggled the more he held on.
“Let me go! Let me go, I have to stop him!” My nails dug onto his luminescent jacket. “You don’t understand! That’s my-”
Thunder erupted and the ground shook making everybody yelp at the sudden sound.
My eyes find my father’s.
I can’t see him properly from where I stood but I know it’s him.
I recognized that figure anywhere.
His usual brown orbs are dull. Like he’s there but not there.
He’s already gone.
“Dad!?” I’m shouting again, hoping to capture his attention.
It doesn't work and I search the scene for a familiar face.
If the officer didn’t want to let me through surely Jackson would?
“Jackson!" His back is to me and I can barely make out the outline of his lips as he says orders. "Jackson, let me through!”
“Let me through-” I cut myself off because the figure above us has just shifted.
My father takes one step forward.
The cries from the crowd alerted me to the change.
"Jackson, please!" My words fall on deaf ears. Nobody could hear me.
Why wouldn't they hear me?
The crowd is shouting at my father not to do it.
That it’ll be okay and he just has to come down.
No matter how loud they shouted, no matter how loud their pleas are, my father ignores it.
He ignores it just as I ignored him.
Razor sharp pain sliced my chest and it took everything inside me not to burst there and then.
The goddamn words.
I didn’t mean it.
“The next time you’re in someone else’s arms, just know that you had us.”
I was wrong.
I was wrong, he did have us.
He still does.
“I’m sorry,” My voice chokes in my throat. ”I’m sorry! I’m sorry, Dad! Please-”
“Watch out!” Someone shouts.
The world slowed down.
Rain hit the pavement in slow strokes.
I watch him step off the ledge before there was a winding blur and a sickening thud silenced the crowd.
The sirens die out.
The chatters turned cold.
No one spoke.
There was a scream I realized.
It was coming from me.
“NO! NO, DAD! NO!” The tears burst free, I jump over the barrier and evaded the police before collapsing on the pavement before my father.
For a second, I’m suspended in time, hands hovering inches away from where his mangled body laid.
Guilt prowled through my heart and my soul ripped itself into pieces.
I reach out for his chest and left it there, hoping to feel a heartbeat, hoping to feel, anything.
“Please...” I’m sobbing. “Oh god,”
His head laid in the same position, brown orbs stare up into the skies, glassy and blank.
A pool of blood leak beneath him and washed down the drain.
The agony that spreads numbs my torso.
Surely this was a dream? A twisted nightmare.
“I-I got you’re note.” My voice is hoarse and in denial. “I got you’re note, so you can come home. You can come home now everything’s okay.”
“We’ll fix things. Mom will understand, I know she will.” Swiping away the tears, I push myself up so I could look at my father.
He's too still.
“Why are you lying here? Why are you not moving? I told you that everything’s okay. You don’t have to hide anymore-”
“Vanessa,” A warm hand enclosed over my shoulder and I pushed it away realizing it was Jackson.
“Get up.” Coldness wrapped my words. “Get up, Dad."
He doesn’t move.
My sadness turns to anger.
My anger turns to frustration.
My frustration turns to rage.
"GET UP! Come home with us! Come home with me-"
“Let him go," Jackson tore me away from my father and I writhed against his hold, twisting and turning, screaming like a banshee. "Vanessa, come on.”
I know Jackson's doing this for my own good.
I know he's doing this to protect me.
But how can he shield me from what I just saw?
A group of first responders are suddenly leaning over my father’s body.
One of them holds a stethoscope to my father’s chest, the other times his watch.
They shake heads.
“No! Not like this!” Kicking my foot up, I land Jackson on the shin and he lets go with a startled grunt.
The act gives me the momentum needed to reach my father once more just as they draped a white sheet over him.
“You can’t be here.”
“Don’t leave me!” I fall to my knees, their words not registering in my grief-filled brain.
He can’t be dead.
He can’t be.
A flash from the crowd makes me wince and I realized it was someone taking pictures.
“Get him out of here!” Jackson shouts, from behind me. Another officer joins him.
“We have to move the body-”
“Let her be,” I hear the strain in his voice. The heartbreak. “That’s her Dad.”
That’s my Dad.
Suddenly it all seemed so pointless. The fight I had before he disappeared. The grudge I held against him.
"I'm sorry... I'm so, so sorry..."
No one protested when I broke down.
No one protested when I cried my eyes out.
No one protested when it became clear I was never going to be the same ever again.
I threw myself onto his chest, weeping for the father I abandoned.
I never got to tell him I forgave him.