As per my request, Alice, who was the policewoman that was in the ‘control room’ with me informed me the date, time and place of the funeral of the unfortunate woman that ended her life because the world was too cruel for her. I wasn’t surprised to see Alice there. Taking the seat next to her, I observed my surroundings although there wasn’t much to see. Doing my quick maths and estimation, I predicted that only fifteen people came to her funeral, me included. “Thank you so much for coming,” an old man told me as his fragile hands shook mine.
“Many people refused to attend after finding out the cause of her demise,” the old man who at this point I presumed to be her father told me in a sad voice. I could only let out an apologetic smile as he walked away. “Religious bigotry at it’s finest,” I complained to Alice who nodded, signalling she agreed with what I have to say. Based on my experience which was watching movies and reading crime books, I knew that I shouldn’t disrupt her much because she was probably spying around, trying to figure who could have caused the demised to have suicidal thoughts.
I stayed back after the burial as it felt like the right thing to do. Alice who left a long time ago told me that the person who pushed the woman is still alive but in a critical state. I would have wished there and then for his death but as it would go against everything that I stand for, I decided against it. “You are in no position to judge who deserves to die,” my philosophy told me a long time ago during one of our heated debates regarding the death penalty.
“Were you a friend of hers?” the old man from earlier asked me. “No,” I said, explaining the actual circumstances of how I got to know his now-dead daughter. “I’m sorry,” I said. “If only I have gotten home sooner,” I apologised to the old man who now lives alone. “It’s not your fault,” he replied before bursting into tears. It took me nearly half an hour to calm him down. “Can you help me with one thing?” he asked and I immediately replied with, “Yes, anything,” while trying to sound as helpful as I could.
“My daughter once told me that if she dies, she wants someone to take her pictures and flow it in the river, deep inside the woods,” he said in a shaky voice. “I would do it myself but I’m too old for that,” he explained. “I would do it,” I said, without even giving him a chance to beg. “Thank you so much,” he said and handed me a box which I presumed to be full of pictures. “I can carry you there if you still want to do it on your own,” I offered but the old man declined, “My heart cannot stand it,”
The next morning, I made my journey into the woods, determined to carry out the wishes of a dying father and a now-deceased person. As I walked towards the calm, and lovely river, I sat at one side and opened the box. Inside, I could see pictures, pendants, and even papers which I presumed to be letters. I took the first picture that caught my attention and placed it on the surface of the slow-flowing river. I could see a smile, a smile that was filled with hope and love, love that could change the world. I let out a tear that dripped into the water, sending out ripples. “If only this tear could bring back this person,” I said to myself as I took the second photograph.
It was her with her father when they were both younger. Just as it sank downwards, my heart sank too, not able to get over the overwhelming emotion that was filling me. With my right hand caressing the box, I didn’t realise that I took out a letter instead. “To my beloved father,” it wrote at the front. Opening it, I began to read the content:
I’m sorry for everything that I did and for what I will do but I have no choice. It’s true that suicide is never an answer but what choice do I have? You are the only one that I have and the thought of you dying before me is unbearable. I knew everything that you have hidden from me. I knew why sometimes you would lock yourself in your room for hours, sometimes days.
You had always told me to not run away from my problems. “Face it like a lion,” you always told me but I’m sorry dad, the lion is dead. Years of suffering, I waited for help to come. I waited for my prince charming. A prince that would take me out of my troubles and pain but that day never did and it will never will. If there’s something that I learnt in life, it’s that it’s never fair for people like you and me.
I admired you, dad, I really do. As I see you combatting your sickness every day since the day mom left us, I wanted to grow up as strong as you. I want to be by your side the day your sickness finally get to you. I wanted to carry on with my life, living the dreams that you never could. I tried to convince myself but I simply couldn’t do it. You are my heart and soul, how could I let you go before me? You had always sacrificed yourself for me dad, now, let me sacrifice my life for yours. I know you hate me now but I also know that you still love me enough to forgive me this last time
Finally, before I let out my last breath, I want to thank you for everything that you ever did for me. Thank you for being there since the first day of my life. Thank you for keep on believing in me every time I fall, even when everyone stopped believing in me. Thank you for-
I tossed the letter aside, not able to finish reading it as I lied on the ground, weeping.
To be continued…