I lie here in the darkness, crying my eyes out while listening to Never Too Late, by Three Days Grace on my phone with the earplugs jammed in my ears. This was her favorite song, right before I lost her this was the song she was always begging me to play on the radio.
It was exactly one year ago that I lost the most important thing in my life, all because of one single person's actions she had her beautiful life cut short. Way too short.
I can't get that awful day out of my head, I try so hard to forget it but some things just refuse to be ignored.
"Daddy daddy! Play it again! Play it again!" my beautiful little girl begged.
"Again sweetheart? We've listened to it five times already," I smiled.
She did that one thing that I couldn't say no to. She stuck out her bottom lip and gave me the most irresistible gaze. I sighed and hit the play button on the radio again. And she sang her sweet little heart out.
"Even if I say! It'll be alright!" She sung.
I pulled up to the red light at the intersection. I couldn't keep the grin off my face, she was my world. I couldn't help but smile when she sang.
"You hungry Copeland?" I asked.
"Yeah!" She replied from the backseat.
I smiled and knew where she's want to go to eat. McDonald's of course, every kid's favorite place to eat. She continued on with her singing while I kept driving, trying to beat the traffic that would soon be hitting the roads.
I pulled up to another intersection, just across from McDonald's. I was pulling out into the street after the light turned green when it happened.
"Now and again we try! To just stay al-" she sang.
Her beautiful voice was cut short by the force barreling on the car. I tried to swerve the truck driver that ran the red light, fearing more for my daughter's life way more than my own. But he ended up hitting us anyways.
He ran into the side of the car and we went flying into a street light. After a few seconds the initial shock wore off and my fatherly instincts kicked in immediately. I whipped my head to the back of the car, and I saw the most horrific sight a parent can imagine.
My daughter was still strapped to her pink carseat and her eyes were closed. A little bit of blood was on her blue dress and her face was extremely pale. I jumped into the backseat, ignoring the pain that shot through my leg, and felt her pulse.
It was still beating, but very lightly. I screamed at the top of my lungs for help, knowing my little girl needed help now or she'd only have minutes left.
I saw an ambulance and a few people in doctors coats ran up to our car, it turned out somebody already called 911, a bystander I think. I didn't care at the moment.
One of the women carefully removed my daughter from her carseat and gently placed her on a stretcher. She wheeled her to the ambulance while I limped behind, totally oblivious to the huge amount of pain it took to walk. I then felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Sir we need to get you to the hospital," a male doctor stated.
I slapped his hand off my shoulder in total rage. I didn't care whether or not I lived, just as long as Copeland did,
"Get off me! And go help my daughter!" I yelled.
I continued limping and eventually made it to where they were. Someone helped me up onto the back of the ambulance and it quickly sped off.
"She's slipping!" A blonde female cried.
They worked on her for a few more minutes, she was completely conscious and was watching me with fear in her beautiful eyes. I cried and cried until I had to stop to take a breath.
"I'm sorry sir. She's too injured to make it. She only has a little bit time left, you might like to say goodbye," the blonde female whispered to me with a sad look in her eyes.
I pushed past all the doctors and sat on the stretcher, I pulled my baby girl into my arms. I had to be strong, I couldn't scare her.
I wanted to scream and cry and even die in that moment, but I had to compose myself. She was only three years old and didn't yet understand the meaning of death.
"Daddy what's happening?" She whispered.
"Nothing baby. You're only going to sleep," I lied, for her sake.
I held her as close as I could, mentally screaming for god to not let this be the end. I knew watching my daughter die would scar me for all eternity, but I had to hold her one last time. I couldn't bare the thought of her being alone through this.
"When will I wake up?" She asked.
This only made tears roll down my cheeks, tears that I tried to hard to stop but just couldn't pull off. I felt a huge lump in my throat, as I tried to answer her question.
"Soon baby. And when you wake up you'll be in a beautiful white place with a very powerful man," I croaked.
She looked up at me with a small smile on her perfect face, and I couldn't help from smile back, even at a time like this. I knew the next question she was gonna ask, it was one that I didn't know how to answer.
"Will you be there?" She asked.
I didn't want to lie to her about that, I despised that. But I couldn't tell my baby girl we were gonna be torn apart. It would crush her, especially since she'd never known her real mom.
"Yes. Now I love you princess," I whispered.
"I love you too da-"
She never finished her sentence. Her eyes started to lose light, and I held her to my chest as tight as I possibly could. I was forced to watch her draw her last breath, and that's when the sobbing escaped me. I held her as she died, and when her small, fragile little frame became deathly still, I couldn't help but scream.
The doctors kept their distance, knowing I'd lash out on them if they tried to tear me away from my baby. I looked down at her pale, lifeless body and started shaking like crazy. I took my trembling fingers and used them to close her eyes.
The pain would hit me out of nowhere. I could be practicing with my band and I'd suddenly collapse to the ground in a fit of sobs.
When the trial went up in court I found out that not only did the truck driver run the red light, but he was also completely drunk while it occurred. I never thought I'd wish anyone dead, until that day I saw him in court.
I so desperately craved to see the light drain from his eyes and unlike Copeland's death, I would be enjoying every second of it. I know it's a terrible thing to want but I just wished I could watch him die so slowly, so painfully. This one man was the person who took everything I ever loved away from me, the one man that caused my world to come crashing down.
The jury deliberated for only two hours. And when they came back they found him guilty of second degree murder. He was sentenced to forty years in prison, no parole. The man was fifty years old so even if he was alive by the time he could be released he'd be ninety years old.
I knew justice had been served for my daughter, but that wouldn't ever make my pain vanish. I lost the only thing that kept me alive.
The next six months were completely miserable. I considered suicide a few times but I couldn't do it, I knew if my daughter was old enough to comprehend death then she would want me to keep living my life. On that sixth month I decided that I wanted to adopt.
I wasn't trying to replace my daughter. I knew that nobody could do that. She was one of a kind, and just irreplaceable. But I just wanted somebody to keep me company in that house that felt so empty without my Cope.
It took a long time to get through the paper work and background check with the adoption agency. Six more months later was when I was allowed to pick a child and take them home.
When I saw Holly I knew right away there wouldn't be a better child in that room to choose from. I saw that empty, depressed look in her eyes that I was very familiar with. It was the same look I'd had for the first six months I lived through without Copeland. It was the look of a person who had been treated so harshly by the world that they felt was crumbling apart.
So when she asked why I picked her, that was the exact reason. It was the fact that I knew we could understand each others pain. I just have to wait until I'm ready to talk about that day with her. At the rate things are going I know it will probably be soon.