121 comments

Aug 28, 2020

Drama

I woke up floating and saw my own body lying down on the back, eyes tightly shut, and hands put together on top of the flat stomach.

Filled with curiosity, I flew around, observing my body that was in a black dress. The long sleeves covered my entire arms, hiding all the scars. The scars that were also on the pale face, making me stretch my hands to touch it. Yet, I couldn’t feel a thing. 

Letting out a deep sigh, I had no choice but to keep observing my own body. 

Until this one man came.

A man that I knew very well. The man who wore the black robe, the one whom I always saw for the last eighteen years. The man who gazed at the body lying inside the nicely engraved wooden box with neither a smile nor words.

I stared at the man, knowing very well that he couldn’t notice my presence. I observed his wavy red hair and dark brown eyes; the same one as mine. I examined the shape of his lips, his nose tip and his high nose bridge, then turned to see the face on my lifeless body, only to realize how similar we were.

Yes, similar, in terms of physical appearance. Ironically, our relationship wasn't that great.

I remembered that he was a busy man. He wasn't there when I needed him, even from when I was a kid.

"Papa, play with Bella, please?" 

"Maybe later. Papa is busy preparing a sermon."

"Sermon? What's that?"

"Papa's work. Now, go and play by yourself, okay?"

Change the sermon to midweek worship practice, church leader meeting, morning prayer, group bible study, Sunday service, and funeral service. You get the point: he was never available to spend time with me.

Also, he was overly strict. He expected me to obey everything he said, although he was asking for something unreasonable, to the extent that it annoyed me.

“Pa, just letting you know I’m going to a party with my cheerleader squad tonight,” I messaged him during my lunch break.

“You are going nowhere tonight, my dear. Stay at home.” In just a few minutes, the man had sent me a text back. The text that made me boil in anger. The text that made me excuse myself from my friends, walked to the secluded area behind the school building and dialled his number.

“What? Why can’t I go to the party?” I spoke as soon as I heard his greetings.

“I just feel it’s going to be unsafe. I can imagine your friends getting rowdy, drinking all night until you’re all wasted.”

“I can assure you it’s safe, Papa.”

“Hm…, well, I’ll let you go as long as you come back home by 10.”

His reply made my jaw drop in disbelief. “What? You're unreasonable, Papa! The party is going to start at 8, and you want me home by 10? They're going to call me a loser! I might even get bullied for this, you know? Do you want me to suffer?”

“You're the one being unreasonable! You’re comparing me to your friends; some strangers over a family member who took care of you since you were born?” He continued his nonsense preaching about my ungrateful behaviour. I rolled my eyes at his long reply, cursing him inside my mind, waiting for him to stop talking.

“Ugh, you never understand me! Fine, whatever you say, I’m still coming to the party tonight!”

Change the party to trivial matters like my cheerleader uniform, the length of my shorts, my newly bought swimwear, and the new piercing that I got. You get the point: debates, arguments, and fights were common occurrences between us.

To top that, he didn't even bat an eye when I told him I got a boyfriend.

“Sure, Kevin has a good attitude and looks trustworthy,” he commented, then glued his eyes back to read his book as if it was nothing special.

This reply made me realize a lot of things about our relationship.

This man never worried about my feelings; he only paid attention to how I acted toward him.

This man couldn’t care less about what’s going on with my life; he didn’t put me as his top priorities in life.

This man simply didn’t love me, his one and only daughter. At least that’s how I felt.

But what I saw today proved that wrong.

Because the man in front of me stretched his hands, gently caressing my pale face, slowly moving his fingertips from one cut to another.

Because the man who never looked sad for as long as I could remember, removed his hands from the cold body, covered his eyes with his right elbow, and started shedding tears. 

Because the man finally calmed down, dried his tears, then took the powerless hand of the girl into his and started talking to the dead body in this white-walled room.

“I never thought you would pass away before me.” Oh, neither did I, Papa.

“The past four days after the car accident, I started to think more about you, and realized that I knew nothing.” Same, Papa; I also feel I knew nothing about your actual feelings.

“Life introduced us. Yet my busy lifestyle was stopping me to know you more.” I’m partly at fault; I was busy partying with my friends and going on dates with my boyfriend instead of getting close to you.

“I’m sorry.” I’m sorry too, Papa.

“Pastor Gerald?” A familiar voice called the man in front of me. My eyes followed the source of the sound, only to see my sweetheart, Kevin, dressed in a black shirt and pants.

The man gave a faint smile to the boy, gestured him to wait at where he stood. The man then kissed the weak hand, placing it back, and looked at the girl inside the coffin for one last time.

"Goodbye, Bella, my beloved daughter. May God be with you until we meet again in Heaven.”

And the man in the black robe twirled the purple sash around his neck, walked towards Kevin, ready to start my funeral.

And with a heavy heart, with an inaudible voice, I muttered a reply.

Goodbye, Papa.

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121 comments

08:37 Sep 01, 2020

Great story. The relationship between daughter and father and how sometimes we realize the importance too late! Nice job!

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Deborah Angevin
09:28 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for checking it out, Michelle! Sure, I've seen this in real life too actually... :(

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Estelle Westley
05:37 Sep 01, 2020

Very well told. Sounds like it's from the heart - I loved it.

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Deborah Angevin
09:28 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for enjoying it, Estelle! :D

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Maurice Mullen
02:34 Sep 01, 2020

Great job! I will have to read the other stories in the series.

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C.j Dunstall
01:53 Sep 01, 2020

Aww, this is such a sweet story. It almost made me cry. You definitely have a way with your words. There were a few mistakes with the grammar/ punctuation/ whatever it is called but I'm not really one to judge on that. Keep on writing -CJ

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Deborah Angevin
09:28 Sep 01, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed the story, CJ! Thank you for checking it out!

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D. Jaymz
00:04 Sep 01, 2020

Another great story, Deborah 👏 You have been able to create a distinctive narrative voice. I like the two places where you used, 'Change the sermon...' and 'Change the party....' and then listed other points. It was abrupt and gave us some insight into the character. Great work! ~~~~~~ In the clause, 'I’m still coming to the party tonight!”' I think you meant, 'I’m still going to the party tonight!”' ~~~~~~ Keep up the good work 😊

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Deborah Angevin
09:30 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for the feedback; I really appreciate it! :D

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D. Jaymz
15:16 Sep 01, 2020

You're welcome 😊

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21:44 Aug 31, 2020

Deborah, I really liked the sentiment of this piece, the relationship that you build between the father and the daughter and the way in which you set us up for the ending by building up how resentful Bella is initially. One thing that I couldn't look past though, was the use of the word "the", especially in the first part of your story. Always referring to her father as This Man or The Man was okay prior to knowing that it was her father, because it sort of sets up the reveal, but afterwards, I found it a bit distracting. That sai...

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Deborah Angevin
09:32 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for the honest feedback, Jeremy, I appreciate it! I didn't realize that I was using "the" to refer to the father even after the reveal until you mentioned it :O

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13:51 Sep 01, 2020

I'm so glad that you feel that way. I never know if I'm being too harsh in my comments. I've always appreciated other writers being honest with me, even if it's brutal, it's the only way that I find that I'm able to improve my writing.

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James Offenha
21:02 Aug 31, 2020

I enjoyed this story. There were some unnecessary details though. Like why does how the boyfriend looks matter? I understood why she described the way she was dressed and their last argument, which I liked. I’d just cut out any details not necessarily in the story. Great job!!!

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Deborah Angevin
09:34 Sep 01, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed it, James! Haha, I know it's unrelated, but I purposely described the boyfriend's look so it connects to the next submission/story in the series :D

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Tori Routsong
20:51 Aug 31, 2020

I really enjoyed this take on the prompt!

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Deborah Angevin
09:34 Sep 01, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed this, Tori :)

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Ankita Chaurasia
18:38 Aug 31, 2020

Beautifully describes the father-daughter relationship... So many relatable moments, amazing!

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Deborah Angevin
09:34 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for reading and enjoying the story, Ankita!

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Pamela Abwao
18:22 Aug 31, 2020

This a sweet series. Did you realize that we take our loved ones for granted until we lose them, but realize too late. I love this Good Job

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Deborah Angevin
09:35 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for enjoying it, Pamela :)

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Charles Stucker
16:15 Aug 31, 2020

" I observed his wavy red hair and dark brown eyes; the same one as mine." think about "one" as "color" instead. Maudlin bit of closure for Bella. Is your continuing story an attempt to wring something salable out of all the Reedsy prompts? I ask because I do a lot of that- western shorts which can be pieced together as parts of a novel, superhero bits which fill out background for my WIP, etc. I understand that quickly shifting POV is currently in vogue with New adult (18-25) so this would be the time to strike. On average, it takes arou...

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Deborah Angevin
09:38 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for the support, Charles! Yes, I was thinking of piecing all the short stories together into a novella/novelette of some kind. I'm not familiar enough with how the publishing work (e.g. the manuscript submission, pitching the story to the agent, etc.), but I would love to see it happen if possible! (If not, I'll put the series in my Wattpad instead, I guess).

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Keerththan 😀
16:09 Aug 31, 2020

Wow!!!! Amazing story. The emotions were conveyed wonderfully and that is your plus point, Deborah. I think this is a sequel before red, yello, green. You have justified Bella's part too. Well written. Waiting for your next eagerly...

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Deborah Angevin
09:41 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for reading and enjoying this, Keerththan! Yes, this is the continuation from the Yellow Lights :D

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Keerththan 😀
09:42 Sep 01, 2020

Welcome, Deborah.

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Keerththan 😀
17:36 Sep 04, 2020

I have posted a new one. Would you mind reading it and sharing your views? Thanks :) I checked your Wattpad too ;)

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Deidra Lovegren
15:50 Aug 31, 2020

Mystical :) Loved it!

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Krishi Norris
14:52 Aug 31, 2020

I love this! The relationship between the daughter and the father had a lot to teach. A lot of people says that this is a sequel to the Color series; I'm inspired to check them out!

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Deborah Angevin
09:42 Sep 01, 2020

Will appreciate it if you check the series out! :D

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Lata B
14:38 Aug 31, 2020

Oh i love this! You did such an amazing job here!!

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14:03 Aug 31, 2020

Impressive...This is an interesting take on the prompt!

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Deborah Angevin
09:43 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for checking it out, K!

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T.c Morgan
13:54 Aug 31, 2020

Great job!! A really unique idea. I haven’t read the other stories in this series, but I’ve been inspired to check them out. :)

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Deborah Angevin
09:43 Sep 01, 2020

Really appreciate it if you do check them out! Thank you for enjoying this one ;)

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B. W.
13:01 Aug 31, 2020

Okay i really liked this story and you did a good job with it ^^ i think i might go and look at some more of your stories later after it. you should continue to make more stories they'd be great like the other ones. you know what? i'm going to give this a 10/10

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Rayhan Hidayat
12:39 Aug 31, 2020

Oh this was quite tragic. Passing away before your elders always sucks. Solid and concise writing, the message really came through. Now I have to go back and read the stories in this series that I missed 😅 Keep it up!

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Kristin Neubauer
17:40 Aug 30, 2020

Great job, Deborah! Your last story, about the traffic lights, was so strong that I understood immediately that this was a sequel. I love how you are weaving these elements all together, especially the back story of Bella's life. It gives her such dimension. Can't wait for the next!

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Deborah Angevin
09:42 Aug 31, 2020

Thank you for enjoying the stories, Kristin! Glad to see you enjoy this Bella's background story :D

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