Author's Note: This was inspired a little by a story that I had read earlier. It was so heart-wrenching and so touching, I felt I needed to write something like it.
This was based on a true story.
"Pa!" Oscar cried, jumping on his lap, and giggling.
Pa swirled him up into the air and kissed the top of his nose. "My little Ossie, how was school, eh?"
Oscar's eyes lightened up like glowing fireflies as he recited a tale about his poem in class and how his teacher had praised him profusely.
Pa's lips broke into a wide grin and his eyes shone with pride. "That's my Ossie!" he beamed.
"No, no! Pa! We forgot the Jongo Dance!" Oscar frowned.
Pa grinned. "Ah, of course, my Ossie wouldn't forget it, wouldn't he? Come on."
They kicked their feet together and danced around the hall barefoot, arm in arm as they clapped hands and threw themselves into a hug.
I smiled. Pa and Oscar were as thick as thieves and inseparable. They always went everywhere together. Never did one do anything without the other.
Being Oscar's older sister, I knew how much Pa meant to him. I was ten years older than Oscar. Oscar was four. When Ma died, Pa meant the world to Oscar. And I mean the world.
They would dance silly dances all the way back home from school, call each other about a million times when Oscar was at home, and Pa was still working. Pa would stay in his bedroom until half-past three, telling him stories and pretending they were pirates and sword thieves, slashing the air and pretending to rope up each other.
Once, we stayed up late watching Anne of Green Gables. Oscar stood up and declared, "That's me and Pa. Bosom friends forever and ever."
But I'll never forget that day. The day when our lives changed and took a turn for the worse. Pa didn't come back home one night. Oscar sat on the couch, waiting in anticipation for Pa to come back so they could do their "Jongo Dance" together.
"Oscar, come and sleep. It's late. Pa - he ... he will come back tomorrow morning." I promised him shakily, as my eyes brimmed with tears, wondering what could have happened to Pa.
But Oscar shook his head firmly. "No. No, no, no! I'm gonna sit here all night waiting for Pa. I'm not gonna sleep. No!" he yelled, his eyes red and puffy.
I bit my lip, dragged my blanket to the living hall, and slept with Oscar, doing a silent prayer.
The next morning, none of us went to school. Oscar woke up, rubbed his eyes, and looked at the door still waiting.
Then the telephone rang. I slammed it down and ran to my bedroom in tears.
Pa's heart had collapsed. He was diagnosed with cancer. But it was too late. Pa's heart stopped beating. He had died.
I didn't know how to break it to Oscar. They'd - they'd been so close. So close.
That afternoon, Aunt Olive came to take care of us momentarily while Pa's funeral was being sorted out. She didn't care about us. She read the Beauty Magazine and never bothered to cook for us, or even babysit us. She rarely talked to us.
Oscar sat in my lap in my bedroom, looking out on the window waiting for Pa's familiar red jeep to honk by.
"Ossie -" I tried to say, but my voice cracked and the tears streamed out readily.
"He's dead - isn't he?" Oscar looked at me.
I nodded, sobbing as I shed tears over him.
We spent the rest of the evening hugging each other and sobbing, our eyes puffy and red. "Why did Pa have to leave?" Oscar asked me.
"I don't know, Oscar. I don't know."
Every night, even though Pa had left us, he'd cry out from the windows, "Good night Pa! I love you Pa!" and then sink into his bed, sobbing with fresh tears.
One month later
Oscar was in the kitchen, washing his plate as I did the dishes. "Yeah me too, Pa! I love you Pa." Oscar whispered.
I stared at him. "Ossie - who - who are you talking to?"
"I'm talking to Pa." he beamed.
"But - Pa's dead, Ossie," I told him gently.
"I know. He's up in heaven, and he's talking to me! He tells me that he loves me every day. You just don't listen for him." Oscar told me grinning.
That's when I knew.
Whether Pa was dead, or not, the two of them were inseparable.
Nothing could ever separate them from each other. Even death.