I stand up quickly grabbing my mom’s sweater and heading downstairs. I take her by surprise when I slam her sweater and the photo album down on the kitchen table. Her eyes widen in horror when she sees the name on the cover. I feel rage build up inside of me and I can’t hold it in any longer I snap.
“Do you want to tell me who the hell this is?” I yell pointing to his name on the cover.
“Hazel don’t take that tone me with me” My mom says with a shaky voice.
“No! you don’t get to tell me how to act. You don’t get to tell me how to feel” I scream out at the top of my lungs as I point to his name.
“Please Hazel listen to me! I didn’t know how to tell you. Your father and I we loved Harry with all our hearts. I was sick and we couldn’t afford to raise him and pay for the hospital bills on our own. We would have lost our house and been on the streets. We made sure he went to a loving women who would raise him with all the love we had wanted to. A few months after he was adopted the cancer it had gone away with the cemo and I got pregnant with you. We wanted Harry back but we couldn’t take him from that woman. She loved him so much and he seemed happy with her. We didn’t want to take that away from him. We kept you because we couldn’t bare to give up another child. We both agreed to love you with all the love we wanted to give you both. Harry is happy and that is all I ever wanted for him” My mother cries looking to the floor, to ashamed by their secret to look at me.
“Why mom why would you keep him from me for all these years” I plead with her to make me understand.
“We couldn’t take the pain of seeing Harry again and if you knew him we would be around him all the time and we couldn’t handle that” She says trying to make her way toward me around the kitchen table.
“Then you should have given me up too. Now I get to suffer with you being sick all on my own. I get to watch you fade away until there is nothing left. Until I have nothing left and I end up on the streets all alone. At least if I had known my brother I would have had someone who could relate to how I felt when he died who could relate to how I feel everyday when I wake up hearing you dying in the next room. Why does he get the happy life why does he get to have a mom and a family while I have nothing left! I am all alone in this and when your gone I will be completely alone. You both lied to me for my entire life and kept someone from me that should have been there my whole life I hope your happy” I say sobbing into my hands as it all becomes too much.
“Hazel…..” My mom says reaching out to comfort me.
“Don’t touch me!” I yell slapping her hand away.
I grab my jacket and head out of the house without looking back. I run and run trying to get away from everything. I board the bus and sit with my eyes closed trying to calm down to forget that my life has just been turned upside down. I get off a half an hour later at the cemetery. I clench my fists as I make my way to my father’s grave. I fall to my knees in front of him trying to grasp what I want to say.
“Why would you and mom keep this from me dad. I deserved to grow up with my brother in my life. I deserve to not be alone in this. You left me all alone to take care of mom and it didn’t have to be that way. She is going to be with you soon. I don’t think the treatments are working anymore. Dad please I don’t want to be alone I don’t want to lose mom. I didn’t want to lose you. I can’t do this on my own.I need you dad. Please please come back. you didn’t need to go out that day. Mom and I could have gotten home just fine. You didn’t need to come get us” I say burying my face in my knees.
“I think that’s enough shopping for one day” My mom says we leave the store with a few new bags of clothes. Mom had been feeling better and I went with her shopping to get her out of the house.
“I am gonna call your father and ask him to pick us up” Mom says pulling out her phone.
“He doesn’t need to come get us it’s only a twenty minute walk mom we will be fine”
“I wanted us all to go to that ice cream parlor around the block anyway. How long has it been since we all hung out on a family outing together?” She asks me smiling as she dails his number.
I didn’t argue with her anymore. It had been awhile since my mom had been well enough to out anywhere so we hadn’t been able to go out as a family in awhile.
“He should be here soon” Mom says as she hangs up.
We wait by the edge of the road for him to show up but he doesn’t. We decide that he must of been held up after a half hour of waiting. We start walking home after mom text dad telling him we decided to walk.
We were curious when we got a few streets closer to home and stopped to see why the police and an ambulance were pulled to the side of the road. Only when we made our way through the crowd of people that had gathered did we realize who’s car was in front of us. Laying in pieces before us was his car smashed into two other cars. I scream in horror as they pull his lifeless body from the crushed remains of his car.
“Daddy!!!!!!” I scream running past security tape toward the horrors in front of me. He couldn’t be dead. He can’t be dead.
I hear my mom yelling for me but I ignore it running forward. A police officer holds me back as they zip up the body bag. I cry into his shoulder as he tries to comfort me. He pulls me away from the scene but that won’t make it go away. My father’s lifeless body was still in my head. He still was going to be dead no matter where I went. He wouldn’t be coming back. I wouldn’t be able to talk to him again.
(End of flashback)
“I am so sorry dad. If it hadn’t been for us you would still be here. Then I could tell you how mad I am at you in person instead of talking to this stone. I love you dad and I am sorry for getting mad at you and mom too. i hope that you can forgive me” I say running my fingers along the stone and the letters of his name.
“He already does” I hear someone say behind me. I turn to see my mom sit next to me.
“I already have forgiven you too”
“I am sorry mom it was wrong for me to treat you like that” I say feeling terrible for the way I had treated her. She surprises me by pulling me into a hug and holding me against her. I wrap my arms around her and just let her hold me.
“No Hazel you handled it the best way you could. Your father and I were wrong. I didn’t think of how much this would hurt you until after you came into the kitchen with the photo album. Seeing you in so much pain made me realize how much we have deprived you of. Tomorrow you and I will look up Harry’s foster mom and have her take us to see him. I may not be able to give you back all those years with your brother but I can give you a chance to to know him now” She says holding me tighter for a moment.
“Thank you mom” I say pulling her up with me and walking us carefully back to the car.