My alarm went off at 6:45am.The date on my calendar seemed to be huge. March 16th, 2006. I didn’t think much about it. I got up and headed for the bathroom and took a shower. I was feeling a little better actually. Finally I thought, “I might be over that stupid fever.” As I was getting ready I listened and heard my mom and dad talking softly.
“I need to talk to her. I know she was not feeling well but, she’s getting out of control. Her temper is not ok. I’m tired of this constant attitude. I know she’s angry about Emily, and Sam, but she can’t take it out on me.”
My dad nodded, “I agree with you. We need to speak with her.”
Once I was dressed I headed to the kitchen to grab a banana, and headed towards the front door. My parents stood in the living room.
“Leah stop, we need to talk.”
I looked at my mom, “Well it’s going to have to wait. I have to get to school. This little chit chat can wait until I get home.”
My mom put her hands on her hips, “You know this is what our chat is about. I won’t wait. Your mood swings, are horrible. I don’t know what’s going on, but it needs to stop. We understand if you’re angry still about, Sam and Emily.”
I put my hand up pausing her, “I’m not angry. I hate them both. I may have apologized to her, but honestly Emily got what she deserved. They both lie, and are dead in my eyes. So as I was saying I’m going to school.”
My dad stood up beside my mom, “Young lady you need to lose this attitude. I’m getting rather tired of it myself. We didn’t raise you to speak to us like this.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “Oh well deal with it. Now I’m leaving.”
My mom raised her voice, “Leah Sky Clearwater you’ll leave when I tell you to.”
Out of nowhere my entire body started trembling.
“Leah what’s going on?” My mom asked nervously.
I growled and all of the sudden, I was standing there looking around. The couch we had was torn up. My dad was clutching his chest.
“Is dad okay?” I tried to ask, but howling was all that escaped my mouth.
He was standing there beside my mom unable to speak.
He was sweating and holding his chest. “Su....” was all that came out.
In slow motion I watched as he fell to the ground. There was a thud as he landed. I just whimpered, and whined. I kept trying to talk, but nothing would come out.
“HARRY! OH MY GOD HARRY. PLEASE ANSWER ME!”
He was lying on his back on the ground. She was beside him. She started to do CPR. Seth had come running into the living room and saw our dad,
“Dad talk to me please.” Seth cried out. My dad’s eyes were closed.
“SETH CALL 911!” Seth scrambled inside and was on the phone.
“911 what’s your emergency?” asked the operator.
“My dad he just fell to the ground. He was sweating and grabbed his chest.” Seth answered.
“Is he breathing?” she asked.
“I can’t tell.” Seth answered.
“Is there anyone with you?” The operator asked.
“Yeah my mom is. She’s a nurse.” Seth quickly answered.
“Ask your mom if he’s breathing?” replied the operator.
“Mom is he breathing?” Seth called out.
“No he’s not. Tell them to hurry.” my mom was frantic
“Please hurry he’s not breathing.” Seth pleaded.
“The paramedics are on their way.” the operator told Seth.
Seth quickly hung up the phone and ran back into the living room. That’s when my dad started to shake.
“Oh my god what’s happening to him?”
Seth started to cry. My mom and I just held his hand.
“Harry please stay with us.” My mom gently stroked his forehead.
“Dad I love you. You’re going to be ok.” Seth spoke to him.
We heard the sirens coming down the street. I was able to phase back quickly, then took off outside and into the woods before I phased again. I had to watch from a distance. The sirens became closer, and closer. The paramedics were beside my dad hooking him up to monitors and attaching tubes and bags of fluid to him. He was trying to talk but nothing was coming out. He was just laying there blinking. My mom just held his hand until they got him on the stretcher. She let go of his hand when they put him in the back of the ambulance. She stood there and watched as they drove off. Seth started to tremble as well. My mom stood there watching, backing up slowly. Where my brother once stood, clothes laid strewn across the grass. There was a sandy colored wolf standing there. My mom had turned white.
“Seth go into the woods. Find your sister. I need to call Billy.” She went inside and called Billy, and Sam explaining everything that had happened.
I was able to calm down relatively quickly once again. Seth was even quicker then I was. We walked back inside to where my mom was. She just looked at us. “Are you both alright?”
We nodded quietly. There was nothing else we could say.
“I’ve called Billy, and Sam. They’re aware of what happened with both of you. I’ve also called Charlie.” I couldn’t hear a thing except the thud of my dad hitting the ground over and over. Before I realized we were at the hospital and parked. We arrived at the hospital, and I ran inside to the main waiting room. Charlie and Seth were inside after a few minutes.
My mom was on the pay phone talking to Emily. “Hello Emily the kids and I are here at the hospital with Charlie.” My mom stopped speaking as Emily asked questions. “Sweetie I don’t know anything yet. Can you call Billy please?” She stopped and then answered. “Ok I will call you back.” My mom hung up the phone. Charlie walked over and hugged her.
Before I knew it Sam, Emily and Billy were just walking in entrance. They joined us in the waiting room.
“What happened to him?” Someone asked.
“There was a disagreement between, Leah, and I. All of the sudden he collapsed. They both saw the whole thing happen.” My mom told them.
Emily came over and hugged me. I wanted to so desperately pull away, but I didn’t. She was trying to be there for me, and I had to let her. It was the least I could do.
“He’ll be ok. I promise.” She was desperately trying to reassure me.
Seth was just sitting in one of the chairs staring at the floor.
“How are you holding up? I know this is scary?”
Seth looked up to hear Billy speaking to him.
Seth’s cheeks were stained where the tears ran down and his eyes were red. “I don’t want him to die.” Seth put his head back down. The tears started to stream down his cheeks again. I just wanted to protect him from all of this.
The minutes ticked by. It seemed like forever. We were finally brought back to this much smaller waiting room. There were a few chairs and a lamp in there. The small room also had a small fridge with a sink. I need a moment to escape all of this just a moment for myself. I slipped away to the bathroom. When I returned Charlie was sitting beside my mom holding her. Billy was sitting near them. Emily and Seth were sitting together on a set of chairs. Sam was pacing back and forth. I leaned against the wall. I surveyed the room. It was a creamy white color on the walls. There was a picture hanging up by some famous artist. I don’t know who drew it but I had seen it before.
After some time a nurse came in the room and a doctor followed. “Mrs. Clearwater.” He said.
My mom looked up. “Yes I’m Mrs. Clearwater.”
The doctor pulled a chair up in front of her. I started thinking that; he was going to end up in the hospital for a long time. That he didn’t just have a heart attack it was something worse. I thought maybe he wouldn’t be able to come home. Maybe he was going to be living in a nursing home after this. We were all very quiet.
“Mrs.Clearwawter, I’m Dr.Krauss. I was the doctor who took care of your husband. When he came in he wasn’t responsive. There was no pulse or heart beat. We tried for over half an hour to resuscitate him.” The doctor inhaled deeply. “I’m so sorry but he didn’t make it.”
I stood there in disbelief. “Wait! What? Where is he?” I asked looking between the nurse and the doctor.
“We can take you back to see him.” The doctor said standing up and put the chair back.
Charlie stood up and put an arm around my mom. Emily was with Seth. Sam stood on one side of me and Billy took the other. I was the first one out of the room.
The nurse was talking as we walked. I don’t know what she said. I couldn’t hear anything. It seemed to all move in slow motion. It seemed like forever until we go to the room.
Then there was the room. Above the doorway was a square plastic sign that read 15. The glass doors were open but there was a curtain pulled across so you couldn’t see in. I opened the curtain a little and was the first to see him laying there. He was motionless. There was a sheet that covered from his feet to waist. His eyes were closed and his mouth was slightly open. His arms were to his side. I went right over to him and started to gently brush his hair with my hand. “Dad no, this can’t be real. Why?” I could hear Seth right beside me. He was holding my dad’s hand.
“Dad you can’t be gone. No. No, please.” He was crying.
My mom was on the other side of my dad holding his hand and gently touching his forehead. “Oh Harry. Why Harry.” She was teary eyed.
Charlie stood beside my mom and put his arm around her shoulder. I rubbed Seth’s back and he leaned against me. My dad’s skin was so cold. It was like he’d been outside with no jacket on. I pulled the sheet over his arms and up to his chest and tucked him in. “Sorry dad but you feel cold to me so I need to cover you up.” As I stood there I started to sway a little.
“Leah let’s get you some fresh air.” Sam spoke gently.
“Dad I will be back in a few minutes.” I kissed his forehead and Sam put an arm around my shoulder and we walked out of the room.
We walked quietly down the hallway to the exit. Once we got outside I just collapsed on the ground. My legs wouldn’t support me anymore. Sam was beside me in a second and pulled me against him. There was no use in fighting him.
“Sam I don’t understand.”
He sighed. “Leah none of us do.”
Sam and I sat there for a while. While he held me for that short moment my anger towards him wasn’t worth the energy. He was being a worried friend. After some time of us sitting there we headed back in the room.
Seth was sitting down when we came back in and Billy was beside him. I took the seat on the other side of Seth. Emily was standing by my mom now along with Charlie.
I leaned over and whispered in his ear. “I promise to take care of them. I will make sure Seth graduates high school.”
The nurse brought in a couple of boxes of tissues. “If there’s anything you need, please let me know.” The nurse smiled and left the room.
I just looked at my dad and said it out loud without any thought. “I want a lock of his hair, just a small piece.”
My mom looked at me and I looked up making eye contact with her. “We can do that sweetie.” I will take a piece for Seth and myself also.”
The nurse came back in. “Excuse me. May I borrow a pair of scissors and could I have three plastic bags?”
The nurse smiled and nodded.
“Thank you. My children and I would like some of his hair.” My mom smiled as she continued to gently brush his hair. My mom was not allowing herself to cry in front of us.
The nurse left and came back with the scissors and three bags. My moms carefully cut his hair and placed it in the bags.
Billy looked at Sam and spoke softly. “I hate to leave but I need to get home.”
Sam nodded. “I will take you home and then come back.”
My mom looked at Billy. “Thank you so much for coming.” My mom walked over and hugged him before he left.
“I will call you tomorrow.” Billy smiled.
“I will be back shortly.” Sam said and pushed Billy’s chair out of the room.
Seth sat there quietly sobbing softly. “I...I ne...need to...to get...some fresh air.” He stood up and left the room.
Charlie didn’t move at all he kept his arm around my mom’s shoulder. I sat there just watching my dad’s chest hoping to see some movement.
“Leah, Charlie and I will be back in a few minutes.” My mom hugged me tightly and left the room.
I leaned over and just hugged my dad. I couldn’t cry. I was still in too much shock. Emily was so quiet I forgot she was there.
“Leah he’s in a better place. He feels no pain anymore.” She gently leaned over and hugged me as I hugged my dad.
Sam came back in with Seth. A few minutes later Charlie and my mom came back.
“Seth and Leah, I know this is going to be hard. We should get going and head home. We all could use some rest.” My mom said looking at both of us.
I hugged my dad one last time. “Dad I will always love you. I miss will miss you so much.” I slowly pulled away and let go of his hand. I looked back once and then left the room and walked down the long hallway. I felt so empty.
Seth hugged my dad one last time and through the sobs said, “I...I...love...you...Dad.” My brother never cried.
Everyone else said their goodbyes then lastly my mom. “Harry I will miss you so much and I will always love you.” She leaned over and kissed his forehead then walked out.
Charlie wrapped his arm around her shoulder and walked. Emily walked with Seth putting her arm around his shoulder.
Sam ran to catch up with me. I was in the parking lot walking towards the cars.
“Leah, please wait up.” Sam called out. I didn’t respond so he grabbed my arm. “Leah stop!”
I spun around and shoved him. “Get away from me.” I shoved him again and again.
Then I fell to the ground landing on my knees.
Sam came over. “Leah I’m so sorry. God I wish I could take the hurt away.” Sam held me.
Even though I still hated him for breaking my heart, he made me feel safe for that moment. The others walked outside and hurried over.
“Is she ok?” Charlie asked squatting down.
Sam nodded. “Yeah she’s just upset.” Sam helped me to my feet and helped me into the back of the cruiser.
Seth climbed in the other side. Charlie opened the door in front for my mom.
“Thank you Charlie.”
She slid in and he shut the door and climbed in the driver’s side and the engine roared to life. Sam and Emily got into her car and headed home.
The ride home was quiet. Charlie pulled into the driveway. We all got out of the car. Everyone headed inside. I stopped for a moment beside my dad’s truck where he’d collapsed and I looked up. Just then there was a shooting star and the wind blew ever so gently through my hair. I smiled and went inside. When I walked in I looked over at where my dad usually sat but the seat was empty. I sighed. Seth hugged my mom and Charlie which was different and went to his room.
I said my goodbye to Charlie, and my mom and I hugged her so tight. I was so afraid at this point. I didn’t want to lose anyone else.
I quietly sat down at my desk and pulled out my journal. I had a picture on my desk of my dad and me in a frame that said, “Friends Forever.”
My mom looked around. “It’s so strange not seeing him here.”
Charlie just stood quietly looking around. “It’s going to take some time Sue. Listen you and the kids need to get some rest. I will be back in the morning to help you with arrangements.” Charlie hugged my mom.
“Thank you so much.” He smiled and left.
My mom looked one last time around the living room before shutting off the lights and went to her room and cried.
I can’t recall a time I heard my mom cry. It pained me to hear her. Seth sat there listening to, “Angel’s Son by Sevendust.” He kept it on repeat. I sat there with my journal. It laid there open ready for me to write. I picked up a pen and this is what I wrote.
March 16, 2006
He’s gone. I couldn’t save him. He’s gone. He’s never coming back.
I shut my journal and laid down on my bed and curled up into a ball and fell asleep.
Note: The song I chose to have Seth listen to was suggested to me from a friend when my grandfather died. It’s an awesome song.