This story I am about to tell was a real story about my darkest past. I had a hole in my heart for five years but only now it started to heal. I was only fifteen when my father left us and he was only forty two when God called upon him to take him away. It was the time when a boy needed his father the most to guide him through his life. He was a loving father with a good sense of humor. He loved to joke and do silly pranks with us and everyday there would always be a new story to be joking about. The whole house would then filled with loud laughter, especially my second older sister, she would laugh like the world was hers. My father used to be in the army, he was one of the navy back then. As many years he served in the army, then came to conlusion in later years that he was suddenly fell sick. He had a heart disease. It forces my father to quit serving the army.
My mother had to company my father come and go every two weeks to the main hospital in the city. He had to take his medication and always needed bodily check up, blood and urine test. It's getting worst. Not only my father had a heart disease but he also had diabetes, high cholestrol level and high blood pressure. Upon hearing the statement from the doctor, I saw my mother broke in tears. As I was remember I was about eight at that time. I could understand how would my mother felt, but my father he was a tough man. He would just laughed at the statement the doctor gave him about his health examination. He even joked about it. But I know by watching his eyes there were thousands of sharp thorns piercing through his heart to hide those sadness.
Driving children to the school in a bus was his daily routine except on the weekends. He made some new friends as a bus driver. All his friends seemed to be comfortable with him around. I remember one of his friend came to me and asked for my name. He told me that he liked to have him around, understanding, telling me how he would cheer up the day for them and the most respected of all was that his generosity helping others in times of difficulties. He said he was a good mechanic that he fixed most of his friends car. But it was only for about three years he worked as a bus driver. He quit, as he got a new job as a security guard and look after at one of the primary school in the town.
It was a bright sunny day when my father and I travel by car to the town. There was a river next to the road where the river goes along with the same direction as the road as it was like in parallel line. Next to the river I saw medium size graveyards. It was at that time my father took my attention and started to talk. "The river looks nice, it would be wonderful to be living near to this river so we could go fishing!", he smiled as he watched me glancing to him without any words. "Dad, can I have a new school bag? I've been wearing the same school bag for more than five years," I replied to him. "Sure son, we will get a new one for you." The conversation was still clear in my mind as if like it was only yesterday I talked to him.
That Fateful Night
Father brought me along with him at his work place that night. He told me about the school being haunted that he wasn't alone there. Sometimes he heard footsteps and even the sound of someone immitated him coughing. But he said he was already used to it. Nothing to be afraid of in fact you need to respect the invisible creature because he had lived in the building for more and much longer than us. It was his home. Probably he was lonely and needing friends, he said.
The time showed half past ten in the evening when I started to laid on my back on the floor. I played Tom & Jerry Food Madness game on my old Nokia phone. I did not realised that my father actually watching me playing the game from the back. "That game looks stupid, Jerry should not be able to lift up that 5 metres tall cheese," he said to me in a low soft tone. But I did not answer him at all. He joined me and started to laid on his back on the floor just next to my left. My eyes seemed heavy, so I watched my father already fast asleep.
"Ringggggg!!!", the clock buzzing so loud that I almost throw it out the window. Eventually, I managed to press the stop button accidentally. I woke up and the time showed exactly three o'clock in the early dawn. It was my father who set the time on the clock. Usually he would have woken up before the clock rang. But he did not wake up this time. I thought that he must be tired. But it was unusual for him not to wake up before I woke up. I have a very mixed feelings at that time. So I shake my father's body to wake him up. There was no respond. I thought he was joking. "Dad wake up the sun will rise soon. Come on wake up stop joking around", I convinced myself that everything was alright. He did not reply or even moved at all. I took a deep breath and started moving my fingers just below his nose. There was no activity of breath going on, then I hold his wrist to feel his pulse. I could not feel any activity of pulse beating. I sat next to my father's body, frozen, did not know what to do, while fear started to overwhelme me.
I was back to my conciousness, I phoned my mother immediately and told her what happened. She arrived at the school about ten minutes later. I saw my mother did the CPR thing to my father but it was useless, too late, he was already gone. My mother mourned over my father's body, she was very sad. I know that my mother loved my father so much and I could not bear to see my mother like that. But I did not shed any tears at all. Everybody mourned in a different way. Then I saw my mother trying to move my father's body in a comfortable position. To our surprised we both saw blood on my father's pillow that was actually coming out from his mouth earlier. But it was not that much. About a baby spoon size if a person spilled a coffee. My mother phoned the ambulance and soon after the ambulance arrived. They confirmed that my father died due to his heart stop functioning while he was sleeping.
10th December 2005
All my cousins, my relatives and friends came to visit our home on that day. Everyone prayed over my father's death. My father's body was put in the lounge so that everyone who came to visit could see his body. I thanked everyone who came to visit. It was already the time to bath my father's body. As his son I joined the few men who came to bath my father. It was the last time I saw his face. Even in his death, his face looked as if it was full of light and smiling. Like a person who was guaranteed a paradise. After all the bathing done. He was put back in the lounge.
A man told me to grab a bag that he put at the corner. As i touched the bag, I saw white clothes. It was used to cover up my father's body. I suddenly recalled about I am wanting a new bag. "I guess this is one of the signs," I thought to myself. The bag I wanted was not suppose to be the bag that I really wanted but a bag with white clothes to cover up my father's body! I wanted to cry but I just could not do it and I have to controlled myself in front of everyone else.
It was the time to send my father's body to the grave. I followed those few men who helped to take my father's body to the grave. We travelled by van owned by one of those men. On the way to our destination I saw the graveyards again next to the river. Father will be buried there. We have to go around the town to reach to the other side of the river. At instant flash I remembered what my father said. "The river looks nice, it would be wonderful to be living near to this river so we could go fishing!" Another sign before my father's death. Now he was going to be buried there and he could enjoy an everlasting stay and fishing privillages. Forever.
We reached our destination and my father's body is getting ready to be buried. It was my family and I last goodbye for him. I looked to my mother's eyes from my father's grave. She was sitting on a bench just outside the graveyard areas. Eyes that showed a broken hearted woman who has been sacrificing everything in her life just hoping to see my late father living as a normal man with a healthy body. They started to lower the coffin. As the coffin reached to the bottom of the grave, that was when my tears started to fall down on the very top of the earth ground for the first time. There would be no more laughter as it used to be. The grave has been fully filled up and I could saw the white tombstone with a name and years on it, Khalid Bin Abdullah, 1963 - 2005.