Fixing My Father's Broken Heart (Short Story)

It was in the bloody year 2006 when she died. It was also the same year died yet living on earth trying to fill the needs of his daughter. And her, a daughter trying to be strong despite what had happened 11 years ago. He was everything to her. And she's willing to do anything for him... to heal his broken heart.

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1. Fixing My Father's Broken Heart

                                                  Fixing My Father's Broken Heart

The girl guide in white gently shook the bowl with different rolled colored pieces of paper written with the names of the fourth year students included in this year’s retreat. On the other hand, another female guide fished a roll from the bowl. “Sushi Bar,” Ms. Maritones read. “May I know who’s Sushi Bar? And wasn’t the instruction clear? We told you to write your names as is written on your nameplate.”

Great. Sushi Bar. Can this day get any worse than this? This is all my father’s fault. All his.

I stood up. “Sorry, Ma’am. T’was my fault.”

“Oh, so you’re Sushi Bar,” Ma’am said. Her face softened when she learned that I am Sushi Bar.

“Yes, Ma’am,” I replied.

“So, can you share something for us? Experience I mean,” she asked.

Instead, of answering her question I just walked in front ready to share my experience.

“Good morning,” I started by greeting them. “As you just have witnessed, I’m Sushi Bar. Well, I was thinking of giving an air of mysteriousness first before knowing who really is Sushi Bar. Why bother? Don’t I love the popularity it will give me? Or some might say that ‘here she goes again’. Well, to be honest I never asked to be popular. It was just given. Being beautiful, smart and rich. I didn’t asked them. It just so happened that I was born with a silver spoon. And as you all know, this retreat is my father’s doing. And I hate it. I mean, I don’t really hate retreats. Actually, I like the idea of opening yourself up. It’s just that… it hurts remembering those things… things that had changed my life forever.”

“Almost every people I meet I heard them say ‘Damn, she’s beautiful’. Others would say ‘She’s a full package’. There are even people who would ask me why shouldn’t I join Bb. Pilipinas, who knows? I might even be the next Ms. Universe. There were even some who offered me a glamorous life. You know lights-camera-action-slash-Hollywood style of living because I can sing, I can dance, I can act, I can paint, I am beautiful, I am smart and all other reasons they keep on telling. And there are a lot more of things they tried to bribe me with. There are too many and I can’t count them anymore. And to be honest that kind of life would have been grabbed by many given the chance. There are also these boys who wanted to court me, be his girl and everything. What they failed to see is that I’m not up for that kind of fun. What others failed to see is that behind this cheerful façade I have every time is a girl whose been desiring for a fatherly love…for a family.  Yes, I’ve been looking for attention and love ever since that one accident but being in a relationship will never fulfill that desire. It won’t and I don’t think it ever will.”

“My mom was 23 when she met my father. He on the other hand was 24, turning 25 in two months time. She was an educator in this same school. Yes, she worked here and I am her daughter. Some of the school staff has been her teachers in her high school years. Some would have known her because her father graduated in the same school. Her name? Allegra. Allegra San Jose,” I heard murmurs from the crowd. “And to make it easier for all of you to picture this wonderful woman, here’s her photo.” And the LED screen showed them the last photo taken of my mom. Some of the staff was having creases on the forehead because they can seem to remember her. “That’s the last photo taken of her. That was 11 years ago. This is her 29 years ago,” and beside her picture appeared a teenager with braided hair smiling brightly. Then I heard murmurs indicating that they remembered her. “My father, on the other hand, was a crew at Dory’s Food House or should I say being a crew of Dory’s is just one of his jobs. Well, he was rich, so why bother being a crew at Dory’s? The answer is simple. She saw my mom in her teacher’s uniform order her food, took a seat at the farthest corner and ate while reading. And that instant moment, he fell in love with her. She was just hungry, she found a food house and ate, and little did she know that by just eating at Dory’s her life would be changed forever.”

“My dad courted her; they got to know each other. They became an official couple. They broke up. Dad went back to Denmark to forget about his feelings for her but not the memories, while mom trying to go back to the normal life she had before she met him. Oh, and by the way, my mom was the one who broke up with my dad. It was because she was just afraid…. Afraid of being broken hearted. Dad can’t move on, he called his parents from the US of A and told them to go to Philippines. They are going to do the pamamanhikan thingy. And so they did. Mom was shocked. But eventually, they got married,” I narrated to cut their love story short.

“Dad took Mom to Denmark and they lived there. After a year of marriage, mom found out that she was pregnant with me. Dad was happy because he will finally be complete. He would finally be a dad and a husband at the same time. Well, he did become a dad and a husband at the same time for six years. And the rest of his life? He was just a mere man who’s trying fill the needs of his daughter,” and my voice broke while tears started pricking my eyes.

“No one’s perfect, right? And frankly, I just wanna scream my head off every time I hear the words ‘she’s perfect’. I mean I’m not perfect. Deep down, deep down here,” and I pointed my heart. “Deep down here, there will always be a wound that only time knows when it will be healed.”

“He became an empty man after that fucking accident,” I bit my lip trying to suppress my tears from falling. When I think, they won’t, “It was in the bloody year 2006 when my father died.” I laughed. “No, no, not really died as in dead as in literally. He died inside. Well, who wouldn’t when you knew that your better half was suddenly taken away from you? He wasn’t ready. I think he was, he had always been ready for that time. It’s just that he was thinking that old age would squeeze the life out of her… out of them. But he was wrong. He didn’t blame anyone for the accident. Even the dumb truck driver is walking freely above earth. If only the driver wasn’t drunk, my mom would still be here. What hurts the most is that when you found out that after a week, only one out of your three daughters had survived the ordeal. My mom and my sisters died out of multiple injuries. And then, after a few days, your brother would hand you a letter. A letter from the girl whom he loved the most. And when he opened it, his shattered heart and world turned into ashes. The letter wasn’t just a letter. It was a sonogram. It could have been one of the best ways a wife could tell her husband that she was pregnant. The problem was that she wasn’t just pregnant with one of his seeds. Not even two. She was having three wonderful babies for him. Imagine, three? They were having triplets. I was supposed to have trio siblings. But everything… everything was all gone.”

“Daddy,” I said. He looked at me and smiled. A smile that I saw for the first time.

“Yes, sunshine,” he said.

“Mommy, will wake up, won’t she? Even Lily and Iris would, right Daddy?” I said. He smiled. “They’re just having sweet dreams that is why they won’t wake up,” I said.

“Yes, sunshine. They’re just having sweet dreams,” he agreed and kissed me on the forehead. Afterwards, I fell asleep on his arms.

Tears fell down to my cheeks. “I was just six during that time. I was not greatly affected that I had just lost my mom, my twin sisters, and my three supposed to be siblings. We were six in all. We could have been a big and happy family. Everyone would be jealous on how tight our family would be. Everyone would praise them for what wonderful kids they had. My father won’t eat anything. All he would do would drink and smoke. His best friends tried to comfort him but it was to no use. He even had to go to a rehab, psychiatrist, and some even suggested mental hospital. I cried. I pleaded them no. I pleaded them not to take away my father. My daddy. The only person left in this world from me. I know there are a lot of person who would gladly take me. But I said no. and it’s because I believed that he would someday wake up and be what he used to be.”

“No! Don’t take my daddy away from me!” I shouted as I watched two men in white haul my daddy.

“No!” I screamed once more. I struggled, but it was to no use. The man holding me was too strong. He won’t let me near him. Even my uncles, aunts, and grandparents didn’t stop them.

“We’re just going to repair him,” the man behind me comforted. “When he gets back, he’ll be good as new.”

“No! No! He can be good as new here! I can repair my daddy!” I screamed at the top of my lungs while kicking my feet furiously on the tiled floor.

“No!” I shouted once more. This time, I dug my nails real deep on the arms of the man and bit him. When his hold looses a bit, I kicked him in his balls.

I ran towards my daddy. I hugged his right feet.

“Be a good girl,” he whispered as tears fell from his eyes.

“No, I won’t! I want you daddy. You can’t make me stay here! I’ll go with you!” I said as fresh tears fell from my eyes.

The man on his right removed me from my dad’s feet and held me. I kicked him and hugged my daddy once again.

“Alright, stop it. We’ll just be asking for a daily visit from a psychiatrist,” grandmere said.

I looked at her. She smiled at me. “Just promise me, that you will repair your daddy, okay?”

I nodded repeatedly and hugged her tightly. “Thank you,” I whispered.

“He managed to somewhat get back to himself. But yesterday’s bitterness was still evident on him. He was never the same man he used to be. He may have moved on in some ways, he may have been a better father after what happened. But you can never hide the toll of what happened yesterday to him. My uncles told me that he was a ladies’ man.  It was proven. But I never saw him with another girl without asking my mom’s permission when she was still alive. He would always see to it that he won’t make his woman think that he had another. But that changed after the accident. Yeah, he moved on. Others might even think that I might be having sweet dreams while sleeping on my queen size warm soft bed, I should be. But how are you going to sleep when you know that beside your room, your dad is having sex with I-don’t-know-her-name-is. Yeah, I might not hear them, but wouldn’t that what you would think when you saw him from ‘work’ then shows up the door with a slut looking girl in his arms while acknowledging your presence for a while and then goes upstairs. It’s funny actually, they forget to lock the doors and I saw him having sex with another woman. Afterwards, he’ll be smoking and drinking. Even so, he makes sure he’s the one who prepares my breakfast and my baon. I really appreciate that. He might be doing ‘it’ trying to find the satisfaction he had with my mom.”

“There would even be a time when he will come home late or won’t even be back home. I do not know why. And when I found out, he was at their favorite park. Staring at nothingness. Yeah, I might hate him for bringing girls, but scenes like this… it’s just heartbreaking. Especially the way he looks at me. He told me I am clearly my mother’s daughter, from the looks, attitude, and the way I act. Well, talent, I got them mostly from my father. It just so happened, as what my dad told me, I bloomed early. Meaning my beauty was a lot noticeable earlier.”

“There would even be a time that my dad won’t care if I maxed out my supplementary credit cards, or drive his car in the pool or break anything as long as it won’t get me into jail. Lucky eh? I don’t think so. I want him to scream at me… to scold me for those things but he won’t. All because he was trying to fill the gaps… to fill what he wasn’t able to provide… to fill what was taken from me. Little did he know that I don’t need those material things. I just want quality time with him. I just want him to fill those gaps, those needs through his fatherly love. Nothing less. Nothing more.”

“Actually, he’s doing better now. He found a new girlfriend. Well, she looks innocent and she’s nice. But when I asked him if he loves her, I was answered by silence. I knew it, he was just trying to replace mom, or maybe trying to find me a mom even if it means sacrificing his happiness. I don’t need her. I need him.”

“There are a lot more I have to share but, this is where I’ll end it. Oh, and to those who’s asking me why I won’t have any boyfriend? It’s simple because I’m not yet done fixing my father’s broken heart. Wounds may have healed in my heart but his won’t. Thanks for listening,” I ended. And when I looked at them, some were teary-eyed while some were red. From that moment I knew that people’s perspective on mine had changed. They won’t look at me as a spoiled brat anymore as I let them have a glimpse of my life.

I promised to myself since I was healed, I will fix my father’s broken heart. And I will. I will fix his heart. His broken heart.

THE END

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