I clenched my fists as I walked up to the roof of my fathers apartment in Brooklyn Heights, New York City. My heart was breaking, but my eyes felt so dry.
For the first time since I became an adult, I wanted to shed tears, but nothing was springing out of my eyes. That only meant that I could go through this and come out victorious. There was no way my father could die just like that, he was going to be fine. Being the only parent I had left meant that he had to stay with me for a long period of time because I wasn ready yet.
My mum had died when I was barely seven years old, and it had been two decades now since she had passed on. I didn even remember her face anymore, and thats why I kept her pictures close to me, so that I wouldn forget about her completely. Now, twenty years had passed and my dad wanted to go ahead and be with her? Hell no. Not now.
The company had been in the top three jewellery companies for several years as number 3, and a few times, it had become number 2. He couldn go till I had made sure the company placed number 1 and was recognised as the best, not just in America, but in the whole world.
I closed my eyes, remembering what the doctor had said to me when I had rushed into the hospital in the afternoon.
”Talk to me, doc. Whats wrong with my father? ” I had asked him.
”He hasn been feeling too well, didn you know? He collapsed while having lunch today, and after running some tests on him, we discovered that hes in his late stage of prostate cancer, ” he had said.
I had become instantly perplexed as my heartbeat had rapidly increased. ”C – – can anything be done about it? ” I inquired, stuttering.
He shook his head in the negative, and thats when I felt it… pain. Immense pain.
”Sadly, no. We can manage the sickness in order for him not to be feeling pains, but we can treat it. Its already in the advanced stage, and our hands are tied, ” the doctor explained.
I staggered backwards and rested against the wall, feeling confused. I was angry, sad and furious. Why did it have to be my father of all people? I had no one except him. I had no sibling, and all my relatives just wanted to realise their ugly ambition of being the next chairman of the company, and were looking for ways to render me unfit for the position. They couldn care less if my father died, but I cared. I was the only one who cared.
”How long does he have left? ” I asked the doctor.
He heaved a sigh. ”He has barely four months to live. From our analysis, it should be around the 15th of November, ” he explained.
”Thats about one hundred and seven days, ” I said.
”Yes, ” he affirmed.
The sound of my phones ringtone jolted me back to reality. When I looked at the Caller ID, I discovered that it was the secretary to a doctor I knew back when I was getting my doctorate degree in England.
”Hello, ” I said, feeling anxious.
”Yes, the doctor is in his office now. Ill put him on, ” the secretary said with a tiny voice.
”Mr Vader? ” he asked in a thick British accent.
”Yes, thats me. Good day. I called earlier, but I was informed that you were carrying out an operation. Did it go well? ” I asked him.
”Yes. Thankfully, the operation was successful. My secretary said you sounded worried over the phone. Is anything the problem? ” he inquired.
”Yes. My father is in his late stage of prostate cancer. I know you
e a specialist in that area and although the doctor has said he has about a hundred days left to live, I believe that you can do something about it, ” I said, hoping that I would get a positive response from him.
I heard him heave a sigh. ”Im so sorry about your situation, but theres nothing I can do to help you, ” he said.
”No, you can say that, please. You haven even ran tests on him or looked at his doctors report, ” I spoke frantically.
”Trust me, none of those matter. You are a wealthy man, Mr Vader. I am sure you wouldn have gone to a quack doctor, and your doctor knows exactly what he is saying. Your father is already old and you shouldn stress him out by taking him to different countries to seek a solution. Im sorry, but youd have to just let him go, ” he said.
”Just let him go? How can I do that without feeling terrible? How? ” I asked, feeling as if my heart had shattered completely.
”The only way you wouldn feel terrible is if you abide by his wishes these last few days that he has left. Spend most of your time with him and make him the happiest he has ever been in life, and when he finally goes, you will be okay knowing that he was at least, happy during his remaining time on earth, ” he said to me.
Somehow, those words calmed me down. He was right. I had known it from the beginning that my dad couldn be treated, but I had called all the doctors I knew just to see if his fate could be changed, but they couldn do anything about it. All I needed to do was to accept reality and make my father happy, so that I didn regret anything when he finally left me.
”Thank you for help. Im grateful, ” I said.
e welcome. I have to go and prepare for another operation right now. Extend my greetings to your father, ” he said.
”I will. Goodbye, ” I told him, then we both hung up.
It was around 8pm, and I just gazed at the stars, thinking about what I was supposed to do now.
”Zane, ” my father called, and I turned around to look at him swiftly.
”Dad, what are you doing out here in the cold? ” I asked, moving towards him.
”I wanted to see you. Ive been here for quite some time, but you didn know, ” he said.
”Why would you stay in the cold? Come on in, Ill prepare some fruit salad for you while you relax in the massage chair, ” I told him, placing my hands on his shoulders.
A smile appeared on his lips. ”Im happy I am sick. I finally get to be taken care of by you, ” he teased.
I chuckled. ”Do you mean I haven been taking care of you all this time? Who employed the nurses and maids in this house? ” I asked, then clicked my tongue.
”You know what I mean. Its one thing to have someone take care of me, and its another to have you do it yourself, ” he explained.
”Im sorry that I haven been fulfilling my duties as your son, but you know why I hate coming home. Ill take care of you very well this time around since you would be in the hospital and I wouldn have to come here, ” I said.
My father pouted like a little child. ”I don want to stay in the hospital, ” he said.
”What? You promised me you would and that we just needed to get your things from home first, ” I said, feeling betrayed.
”Come on now, Zane. You don expect me to spend my remaining days confined to the hospital, ” he said.
I heaved a sigh, understanding where he was coming from.
”Okay, fine. Ill get a team of doctors that would be coming home to attend to you, but don complain when your house starts smelling like a hospital. Just don want any problems from your wife or her relatives, ” I said.
He shook his head, highly disapproving of my statement. ”At least, before I die, make me happy by calling her mother, ” he said.
”Why should I call her something shes not? She can go to hell for all I care, no offence, ” I said.
”None taken, ” he told me.
After a while, I spoke up.
”How come you
e not fazed by this incident? Im still trying so hard to believe it, ” I said.
He chuckled. ”Thats because nothing can change what will happen to me whether we both like it or not. At least, I get to celebrate my 70th birthday. My only regret is that I would be leaving you alone, ” he said.
”What do you mean? ” I inquired.
”Face it, Zane. You
e feeling so terrible because youd have no one when I am gone, and that breaks my heart as well. I would be truly happy if you could get married and start family. That is the only way I can die in peace, because you can count on others but your own family, and knowing that my son has that would make me die and join your mother as a fulfilled seventy-year-old man, ” he said.
I pulled him into an embrace and hugged him tightly. Even when he was about to die, all my father wanted was for my sake alone.
”You didn show up all this while, but for some reason, you believe you have the right to come here and act like you care? ” my stepmother, Susanne said, jarring us from our emotional moment.
I quickly let go of my father.
”Susanne, stop it, ” my dad said.
”She can say whatever she likes. I need to think about what you just told me, dad. I would be right back, ” I said, then left the balcony, purposely hitting Susanne as I walked past her.
Marriage? Was that all my father wanted to make him die happily? If so, I could do that without batting an eye, but the problem was that I didn know anyone… any girl I could get married to, someone who would be the best daughter-in-law ever; someone worth marrying for a hundred days.
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