Should I go to him? No, he will be mad at me, if I disturb him. I will stay in my room as he always orders me to when he is at home.
Laying on my bed, with a big grin I clutch my bunny tightly.
“Buns, daddy is at home and he didn’t leave even for work, can you believe?” I kiss my blue bunny, “I am so so happy.”
“He is at home with me,” I whisper looking at my room door with a smile, “He has never spent this much time at home, this is the first time.”
“I will not trouble him at all if I will be good, then maybe he will stay more at home,” I say to myself while seriously nodding my head.
Quickly, changing into my new white dress, which Pops has sent me for my ninth birthday last week, I walk outside the room.
Daddy forgot my birthday, he didn’t wish me.
I sadly think to myself, then instantly my sad expression brightens, thinking that he might be making up for forgetting my birthday by spending time with me.
Throughout the day, I quietly go into daddy’s room to watch him sleeping.
“I love you, daddy.” I lightly kiss his hand fearing he will wake and get angry with me for disturbing his sleep. “Sleep well,” I whisper.
My daddy works a lot, he never gets proper rest. Maybe that is why he is sleeping for so long. He must be really tired.
Tiptoeing I walk outside his room. Just want to make him happy, I cleaned the house as much as I can. Our housekeeper took two days off, so the house is not very tidy.
Growling in my stomach reminds me I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday afternoon. I don’t know how to cook, most of the meals are cooked by Martha, our housekeeper. Since she is on leave, there nothing much.
Maybe daddy ate at night without waking me up, because he thought I must have had dinner.
I will wait for him, then we will eat something together.
Sighing, I just drink a glass of milk and return to the living room to watch cartoons.
The sound of the doorbell ringing forces me to wake up. Squinting my eyes I look around to find myself on the couch, while TV is still on. I don’t even realize when I have felt asleep. The bright sun rays are scattered throughout the room, which makes me frown.
“Oh, God! I slept for so long.” I slap my forehead quietly laughing, remembering falling asleep on the couch while watching cartoons in the evening, and now it is the next day morning.
“Like father, like daughter.” I smile while scratching my head. My smile brightens when I find daddy’s car key hanging on the wall.
He is still at home.
Thank God! I have let him sleep and didn’t wake him up. Otherwise, he would have left me.
The front door opens revealing Martha, our housekeeper, she closes the door behind her as she enters.
“Good morning, honey.” She leans down and hugs me.
“I saw Mr.Anderson’s car in the driveway, so I thought he is home that is why I rang the bell.”
“Yes, he is.” I happily nod my head, “But he is sleeping, he has spent so much time with me, Martha.” I open my arms wide as I tell her how much time daddy has spent with me. Although he has been sleeping all the time, still, he is with me.
Normally, I hate to wake up... I hate mornings because mornings put end to my dreams. Dreams in which I have my mommy with me, in which daddy plays with me... dreams in which I am really happy. It is not that I am not happy now, but in dreams, I am a little happier.
But today it is different, as I can’t stop smiling.
“He really loves you, sweetie.” She laughs, “He must be feeling bad about missing your birthday, that is why now he wanted to spend time with his little girl.”
“I will make some breakfast for you and Mr.Anderson.” She walks into the kitchen, with me following her, “Did you eat anything?” She asks as she washes her hands to start preparing breakfast.
“No, I will eat with daddy.” I smile.
She starts to make breakfast, in the meantime, I freshen up quickly. Hoping to greet daddy, first, as soon as he wakes up.
“Avery,” Martha calls from outside my door, then after a moment enters.
“Is Mr.Anderson at home? I mean did he go on a jog?”
I shake my head in the negative, slightly frowning as even yesterday daddy had not gone on a jog. He never misses morning jog.
“I knocked on his door a couple of times but he didn’t answer.” She takes a brush from my hand and starts brushing my hair.
“Maybe he is in the shower.” I shrug.
“Yes, maybe, I will check on him again,” she says, as she finishes braiding my hair.
“Daddy suddenly became really lazy.” I laugh running my hand on my braid, “All the time he was just sleeping, so now he must be taking a long shower as he hadn’t bathed in two days.”
“What?” She asks in confusion, “He has been sleeping all the time.”
I nod in reply.
“I will be back.”
After a few minutes, Martha comes back into my room and closes my door. Her eyes are red and it looks like she is about to cry.
“What happened?” I ask in puzzlement noticing Martha’s distress face, “You went to wake up daddy, is he alright?” Suddenly, I feel like something is wrong.
What if he is not well?
“Oh, my poor child.” She sniffles and hugs me.
“Martha, why are you crying?” My heart beats fast in fear.
“Listen to me, honey.” She pulls back and caresses my face, “Stay in this room, until I ask you to come outside, okay?”
Then she quickly stands up and goes outside my room closing my door when she hears the doorbell. But not before warning me not to come outside, until I am asked to.
Walking to the corner, I slide down the wall, wrapping my arms around my knees. Something bad has happened... very bad. I no longer feel happy.
The sound of sirens surrounds the house then I hear unfamiliar voices outside my room, I can’t understand what they saying, but whatever it is I don’t like it. I want them out... I want everybody out of my house.
But Martha told me not to come out until she tells me to and daddy tells me to listen to her. So I will wait for her.
I don’t know how long I have waited, but then the door opens revealing Pops.
“Avy,” he quietly says, his face is not having his usual smile like every time he sees me.
I don’t like it.
He slowly comes inside, as I simply stare at him. He picks me up and hugs me tightly against his chest. Familiar warmth and security encase me as I hug him back. I feel his body shaking as he rocks me back and forth.
“Are you feeling cold, Pops?” I ask keeping my head on his shoulder.
“No.” His voice is shaky.
I pull back to see tears running down his face.
“We will be fine, Avy. Together we will be fine.” He kisses my forehead and takes me outside my room, where Martha is standing covering her mouth with her hand as she silently cries.
Pops walks past daddy’s room, but he is not there. There are some other people inside his room.
“Where is daddy?” I squirm in Pops hold, trying to get back to my feet, “Get out of my daddy’s room, he doesn’t like anyone inside his room.” I glare at the people inside his room.
They look at me with a small strange smile, then they continue to do whatever they are doing.
“Where is daddy?” I look around frantically as Pops tightens his hold on me.
“I want my daddy,” I shout angrily, kicking my feet to touch the ground.
“Calm down, Avy,” Pops quietly says as he blinks rapidly.
“I am taking you to your daddy.” He kisses my head.
Then he takes me to the living room, there also I don’t see daddy.
“Where is daddy, Pops?” I ask him quietly, as fear consumes my heart for an unknown reason.
“I will tell you where he is, but remember one thing, we will be fine.” He puts me down and keeps his hands on my shoulders, “You will be fine.”
“There is your daddy.” He holds my hand in his, as he takes me further in the living room.
I see a white sheet covering something placed in the center of the living room floor.
“Your daddy is gone.” Pops falls on his knees as tears run down his face, “He is dead.”
“No.” I try to pull back my hand from Pops.
“No, he is not dead. He was sleeping,” I shake my head and look around to find people looking at me with strange expressions.
“What did you do with him?” I yell angrily at the people who come out of his room, along with some cops.
“Tell me!” I scream as my chest constricts making it difficult for me to breathe.
Nobody answers as if they can’t hear me.
“I want my daddy.” I swallow, my throat painfully tightens and I scratch my throat with my both hands, trying to breathe.
“You have me, Avy.” Pops wipes his face and makes me look at him, “You have your Pops with you.” He hugs me.
“Poor girl didn’t even know when her father died, maybe he could have been saved if she would have done anything or called someone for help on time.”
I stiffen when somebody’s whisper reaches my ears.
He died because I could not save him. He is also gone because of me?
First, mommy had gone, now he is gone. I killed them.
“Gone... both gone.” I stare at the white sheet beneath which my daddy is, as the realization sets in that now I am orphan. Today I have lost both of my parents and both are gone because of me.
There are no tears in my eyes, but the ache which I am feeling inside my heart is indescribable. Suddenly, I feel so suffocated like somebody has snatched all my oxygen.
One word ringing in my head, when darkness consumes me.
After blinking for a couple of times, my eyes focus back on the words in front of me, each seems slightly blur at the moment. Keeping the book face-down on the bedside table, I rub my face.
This was not a dream, which I can forget with the passage of time, these were the moments that I have lived. Maybe that nine-year-old girl is still there somewhere inside me, who is still living these moments.
The familiar feeling of suffocation starts to consume me, as my heart squeezes painfully. Throwing the covers off of my body, I rub my hand over my chest trying to get rid of this ache which slowly spreading over my heart.
There is no urge to cry, just pain... unbearable pain. Clenching my eyes, I hit over my heart with my fist to stop the pain. The weight of earlier events come crashing down on me, along with triggering all my past painful memories.
Grabbing my keys, I just run out of the house, trying to find the escape from this pain. My mind keeps pulling me back to that day, making me live those horrible memories all over again.
Starting my car, I start driving without any specific destination in my mind. The scenery changes from houses to woods, but I keep on driving trying to get far away from the pain which is tearing my heart from inside.
Pressing the brakes I find myself standing outside the place which I hate the most, yet at the same time, it is the place where a part of me lies.