Monday morning, I had gone to work and told Cheryl about my dad being in the hospital. What surprised me that she expressed her concern and allowed for me to take my leave. I had booked my flight for Tuesday at 10am. I wasn’t sure how long I would be staying in Virginia. Cheryl had given me the rest of the day off, which allowed time for me to pack. “You’re home early.” said Zayn. He was just leaving his apartment to head to work. I didn’t know he took note of when I left and came home. I had always thought that he paid no attention to me. “Yeah, something came up.” I told him. When he asked, I said that it was a family matter. He nodded and told me to have a safe trip. I headed into my apartment and closed the door. I packed my bags and by the next morning, I was off to the airport. When my plane touched down in Virginia, Rebecca had picked me up. She told me that Hannah was at the hospital, keeping my dad company and Chloe was back at the house. I said that I wanted to see my dad.
Of all times that dad and I talked on the phone, why didn’t he ever tell me that something was wrong? We arrived at the hospital and I got out of the car. I went up to the front desk and asked for my dad’s room number. The woman asked me what my relationship was to him. “I’m his daughter.” said I. She told me that his daughter was already in the room. “His biological daughter. I need to see my dad.” I was in no mood to argue with her. She gave me the room number. I went straight to the elevator and pressed the button for the third floor. The doors opened on the floor. I stepped out and looked for the room 304. The door was open. I saw Hannah inside beside him. She exited the room. Guess she wanted me to have some privacy with him. “Daddy?” It was hard to see my dad like this. Dad opened his eyes and smiled softly when he saw me. The smile didn’t fully reach up to his ears, but it was enough. I walked over and sat down on the chair beside his bed. I took his hand and held it. “Hey Rosie.” His voice was waning.
“Why didn’t you tell me something was wrong?” I asked. I could see it in his eyes why he didn’t want to tell me. I knew he had been holding something back for so long. Guess he didn’t want to burden me with this kind of news. “I know… I know I should’ve said something hon.” said he. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t like the idea of losing him. He was the only family I’ve got left, excluding Rebecca and her daughters. I continued to hold his hand. I didn’t want to let go, just like I didn’t want mom to go. There was a knock at the door. The doctor had entered the room and asked to talk with me. I knew what the doctor was implying. Years ago when my mom was in the hospital, the doctor asked to speak with my dad. I was only five years old, but I knew. The doctor walked me out of the room and went over the results. He explained to me that this case was serious. There was nothing they could do. He went over the whole speech that they tried everything, but it was my dad who refused to take the medication. “He stopped?” I knew that dad always took his medication.
He had been taking it for a very long time. “He stopped taking it about 12 years ago. He would reduce his dosage, and it finally caught up with him. He had been suppressing it for so long. Rosie, I know how much your dad means to you and your mom too.” The doctor was an intern at the time when my mom passed away. Guess he still remembered me from when I was just a little girl. I didn’t recognize him at first, but now I saw the resemblance. He was a young man at the time, but features changes over the years. “It’s your call to make, nobody else’s.” he added. I nodded and asked for more time with him. The doctor said I can take as much time as needed. I thanked him before entering the room. Dad and I had one thing in common. We were both stubborn. “I can’t lose you like I did mom.” I told my dad once taking my seat next to his bed. “Why did you stop?”
“I wanted to keep you happy Rosie. I wanted to be there for you because that’s what your mother would’ve wanted.”
“I have nobody else.”
“You have Reb-“
“Don’t even say her name. You know she and I don’t get along. You know she’ll never be able to replace mom. She never cared about me, not once. You’re all I have left dad.” I interrupted. “You stopped taking your medications because you don’t want to be here. I know you. You want to be up there with mom. I miss her too, but this isn’t right. This doesn’t feel right. I still need you dad.”
“Rosie, it is time to let go. It is time for you to make your own decisions. You’re a grown woman. You’re living in Los Angeles. You have a job. You stopped asking for my help since the day you left for college. I see a lot of her in you.” I couldn’t fight back the tears any more. They fell down my cheeks. I shook my head. I wasn’t ready to give up losing my dad. I walked out of the room and went into the waiting area on that floor. I took out my phone. I had to call someone. I took out my phone and dialed a number. “Hey Rosie.” Harry’s voice came through on the other end. I felt so relieved to hear his voice.
“Is everything okay?” he asked. Harry had known me the longest. Although I did feel comfortable talking with Zayn about family matters, I just wasn’t ready to open up to him about this. I told Harry that my dad was currently in the hospital. “I flew out to see him today. The doctor said he can’t do anything to help since my dad’s been off his medication for 12 years. The doctor will give me a few days, but it would be my call to make on whether or not I should pull the plug.” I leaned against the wall and sunk down to the floor. The glass windows overlooked the small city. It was hard to imagine my dad so fragile. I was so used to seeing him full of life. He was always so happy, but I guess these days you don’t always know what secrets people keep behind closed doors. “Are you ready to do that?”
“No. I don’t think I ever will. As much as I know that doing so is best for him to end his suffering, I’m just not capable of letting my father go.”
“If you want, I can come down. We can talk things through.” The thought of Harry come back home felt like high school all over again. It would be good to see him. I told him that I’d appreciate it, but it wasn’t necessary for him to. We talked for another five minutes before hanging up the phone. I walked back down the hallway to my dad’s room. Dad was still lying in bed. He wasn’t going to get any better. I just knew it. “I’m not ready to say goodbye to you dad. I’m not strong enough.” I took his hand. He had closed his eyes, which led me to assume that he was resting. I sat down on the chair. I hated this.
I went home that evening with Hannah. Rebecca decided to stay in the hospital with dad for a few more hours. Chloe reached out and gave me a hug, which was a surprise to me. “I am so sorry about your dad Rosie. You’re his favorite.” said she. I always thought Chloe would take after her sister or their mom. I nodded and gave a small smile before heading upstairs to my room. Being home felt nostalgic. I knew that the house wasn’t going to be completely the same. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I was worrying over my dad. I was weighing out the options, but there weren’t any. There was only one decision that I had to make. I had to call the shots. I had to be the one to let my dad be free. The next morning, Rebecca was in the kitchen making breakfast. Hannah and Chloe were already downstairs waiting. A knock came at the door and I went to go answer it. I opened the door and saw that it was Harry. “What are you doing here?” I asked him.
“I know you said you didn’t want me to come, but I did. I wanted to make sure you were alright.” I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him into a tight hug. I thanked him for stopping by and asked him if he would like to join us for breakfast. He nodded and entered the house. I closed the door behind him. We walked into the dining room when breakfast was ready. I introduced him to Rebecca and her daughters. “Wait, you’re that rich guy.” said Chloe.
“Didn’t you used to go to school with us?” asked Hannah.
“I don’t remember you, just Rosie.” said Harry. The four of us sat down at the table and ate our breakfast. I invited Harry with me to go to the hospital. He agreed to come along. After breakfast, I went to get dressed and make the drive with Harry to visit with my dad. “Tell me you’re not interested in them.” I said.
“No, just you.” A smirk spread across his face and I rolled my eyes. Harry acted the same as he did back in high school when he’s not being all CEO-like. We arrived at the hospital and went up to the third floor. We walked to my dad’s room. The machine was still monitoring his pulse. Harry wrapped an arm around me, rubbing my shoulder like he used to when we dated. “Can you get the doctor Harry?” I looked over at him. He nodded and exited the room. When I was finally alone with my dad, I could only think of the days when I lived back home. I can remember his smiles, his laughter. I remember the way he would lift me off the ground when he hugged me. I remember when he would read to me at night. I remember when it was just the two of us before he married Rebecca. “Dad you always told me stories when I was a little girl. You were always there to cheer me up when I was feeling down. You helped me get through all my boy troubles, even when I was afraid to open up to you about them. You were the best dad a girl could ever ask for. I know we both aren’t perfect, but I can’t imagine anyone else being my dad. I’m glad these years have been good to you. I know I wasn’t always around and vice versa, but we were one phone call away. I should’ve called more. I should’ve asked about your health. I didn’t know what you were going through because I was going on and on about my life.
“I guess you were just trying to distract me from the inevitable. Well, it’s finally caught up to you. I may not be ready to say goodbye because my heart is too stubborn to realize it. I wish I didn’t have to lose you like this. I wish it didn’t have to end this way. I love you daddy. I’ll always be your little girl because no man in my life can replace a great one like you. I know you’ll be with mom. After all, it’s never a goodbye with us. I’ll see you soon.” I leaned in and kissed my dad’s cheek. The doctor was waiting patiently with Harry. I told the doctor to take my dad off of life support. When my dad’s heart rate slowed to a stop, I saw the line flatten and heard the doctor call the time of death. 1:44pm.