I am sobbing. I glance over and see my mother’s face streamed with tears. I know I can do nothing about it. You can’t control the death of someone, can you? My father is lying on the hospital bed in front of us, his eyes half open and his face pale.
‘Dad.’ I manage to control my helplessness and call father.
He opens his eyes and focuses on me and manages a weak smile. Then he turns to mother.
‘Emma.’ He calls her anxiously.
My mom looks up, also trying to conceal her tears.
‘It’s okay.’ My dad comforts her.’ Should we tell her. I really think I should.’
I glance at mom and at dad.
‘What are you talking about?’
My mother nods at father and looks down.
‘Dad?’ I ask, my voice becoming louder.
‘Now listen, Rachel, carefully. I cannot guarantee anything about myself but me and your mum are just guests in this world right now. You will need a guardian after we are gone.’ My dad told me.
‘You remember the time on your 13th birthday, you had a great birthday party. You remember the man who was dressed in the black suit? Mr. Samuel’ he asks.
And I do. How could I forget him
It was my thirteenth birthday. Everyone was enjoying, eating sweets and congratulating me. In the meantime, the bell rang.
‘Rachel dear.’ My mother who was busing talking to my aunt, asked me. ‘Open the door please.’
I open the door and find myself looking at a man dressed in a black suit. He had a kind face with a short beard and light brown eyes.
‘HI!’ He greeted me in a jolly voice. ‘You must be Rachel’
Before I could answer, my dad came from behind me.
‘Who’s there?’ then he saw the man behind me. “Samuel?’ he asked, his voice ecstatic.
‘Hello there, Henry.’ The man, or should I say, Mr. Samuel hugged my father and gave me my present. My father shooed me away as he started talking to Mr. Samuel as they were old friends.
After a while, Mr. Samuels came over to me and talked about school and my hobbies. He even told me the mischief he had done as kids. It was fun, talking with him as though I knew him and he me. We played games and ate together. I couldn’t see how I could’ve become so informal with that guy because I was usually introvert.
To sum up it was my best birthday party ever. I had waited and hoped that he would visit me in the next birthdays too, but he never came. I asked my dad one day about him and he told me that Mr. Samuels was very busy and couldn’t come but he’ll visit me someday.
And, now. Even when I was eighteen, I waited eagerly for that ‘someday’ to come.
‘Yes dad. Of course I do remember him. why?’ I ask, wondering if he was alright.
‘Well, you see, when we were in school, we were best friends. And even afterwards, he helped me out of tight corners, gave me a job and was there whenever I needed him.’ He pauses, glancing at my mother. ‘On your thirteenth birthday, we had met after, say, three years and that was when me and your mother decided.’ he hesitates.
‘To make Samuel your godfather’ My mother speaks suddenly.
‘What!’ I whisper, astounded.
‘Yes dear. We wanted a guardian for you. One who would accept your responsibility happily and we thought that there can be no suitable man than Samuel.’ My dad tells me.
‘So where is he now? Why hasn’t he contacted me. Huh?’ I ask, suddenly angry.
‘He had his problems. I’m sure he’ll contact you once he finds out that I am de- ill.’ He says, shaking his head.
‘Whoa-you said dead. Meaning he’ll contact me once you are dead?’ I ask, angrily.
‘No! I said ill. When he will know that I am ill, he’ll come.’
‘And who’ll tell him?’ I ask, furious
‘He has his own means’ My dad mumbles.
‘Yeah right. His long lost best friend is dying and he doesn’t even know.’ I unsettle on the hospital bed, clenching and unclenching my fist bitterly, urging the desire to do something.
The thought that Mr. Samuel was my godfather. That would have been the happiest thing I’ve ever heard except my mind was blocked by anger.
There is an unsettled silence as I glance at my dad and realize that I had gone far. He is pale from the worry now. I have made him feel uncomfortable about his best friend.
‘Dad.’ I call him. ‘I promise I will find him and convince him to take care of me and mother. I promise.’ I say, smiling.
‘It’s okay. Everything is fine.’ I tell myself. ‘Except your dad is dying and your mom is hopeless at taking care of you and your Gad father doesn’t even know that your dad is dying.’
I am freaking out at the thought that I won’t have my dad with me now.
I have just received a call that has scared me out of my wits. The thought of losing…. I shudder thinking.
Finally, I reach the hospital. I hate these places with their depressing environment. I ask for Samuel. I am directed into a room where I see my godfather lying on the bed. Looking weak.
‘Sam. Wake up wake up. Are you okay? Don’t leave me alone.’ I scream wildly.
My godfather opens his eyes, and smiles weakly. ‘I’m okay. They say I’ll live.’
I collapse on the chair and bury and head into my hands, grateful to have a chance to live with my godfather again.
After my dad had died, Samuel turned up. He had apologized over and over again but it was his turning up that gave me another life as we took care of my mother and lived together.
I take back all the things I said about him the night my dad died.
You can’t judge anyone until you are standing in their place.
Today, I received a phone call alerting me of my godfather’s accident and I realized I could not afford to lose another beloved soul.
I know it was my lucky dad when Samuel became my godfather.