He was there when I graduated high school, standing in the shadows. He was there when the doctors told me I may have cervical cancer. His name, well I call him, Deces. Strange, I thought, for someone to pay that close attention to me. Deces would show up when I was really sad. Once he stood by as I had taken an entire bottle of sleeping pills. He also stood over me in the hospital. I asked looking in his direction,
"Who are you?" His lips grew ice across them. I didn't think anything of it at the time. It was just a bad dream from all those sleeping pills I had taken.
My daddy came over to see me today. I could smell the alcohol on his breath. Giving me a hug for the first time, he placed five dollars in my hand. That was the only thing he had ever given me. Mama cursed him from the kitchen. That pissed me off.
"He's trying mama!" Shouting from the top of my sore lungs. I had caught a virus from somewhere. Hoarse with snot falling every two seconds, I grabbed my daddy and squeezed him tight. Deces met me in my bedroom after my daddy had left. I told him about how mama talked to daddy.
"He was trying to make amends. She's so bitter!" Daddy had never done anything for me, but for some reason, I accepted his offer to bond. Deces looked away then back at me. His bald head reflected a life I had not known. There was a little girl wearing a pink dress with a red ribbon tied around the waist. Her long braided pigtails bounced as she danced to groovy tunes softly exploding from an old guitar.
"Ariona." He said with a toothless grin.
"Let's go bake some cookies." After that, I saw a woman laying on the floor with a needle in her arm. Her stomach was bigger than as an obese woman, but firm. When the little girl lifted her arm to wipe sweat from her brow, there was movement in the woman's stomach. Again, the little girl moved her arm to wipe sweat. Again, there was movement in the woman's stomach.
Deces lifted his head and smiled. He held my hand really tight.
"You are going to be reborn." Those words hit me like a brick wall. I backed away and pulled my blanket over my face. When I pulled it down again, Deces was gone. Nothing could have prepared me for the days ahead. Daddy came by again with a present for me. Wrapped under a wooden crafted Christmas tree, were seventeen gifts for me.
"One for each year I missed!" Hugging my daddy made me feel like a child again. As I opened my gifts, I noticed that daddy had gone off and sat to himself. His face resembled a veteran of war that had fought his last fight. My last gift was an apology card with a check for seventeen thousand dollars! With a huge grin on my face, I turned to thank my daddy but when I looked for him, Deces had him over his shoulders walking down the driveway. Daddy's shell laid on the porch stiff as a board.
"You! You're the one that took me away from my daddy! He wanted to be there for me!" Spitting in mama's face, caused me to be slapped to the floor. Nothing hurt as much as
being lied to. Hatred filled my heart like a bag of stones! I watched as mama went to the table and loaded her needle with her fix. She showed no regard for my well being. Turning away, I picked up a few of my gifts and took them in my bedroom. Out of the side of my eye, I saw Deces standing right beside mama. She was so high, she paid him no attention. He gently touched her on the shoulder and soon after, mama had a stroke. Deces walked toward me as I backed away.
"You are going to be reborn."
Two years had passed since the death of my daddy. I had since enrolled in to college and was dating the love of my life. Mama was living with me as I was the one caring for her.
"You hungry mama?" She nodded softly as I lifted the spoonful of mashed potatoes to her twisted mouth.
"Is that good?" She nodded again. Mama could no longer speak. She could barely even move without help. A nurse watched over her as I attended class. For hours the nurse would tell me how sweet mama was. If only she had known.
With finals coming up, I began to get really nervous. My appetite faded and migraines plagued me almost everyday. My boyfriend, a pre-med student, suggested that I go to the emergency room. As I waited for the results of a urine, blood, and pelvic culture, the urge to vomit bombarded me. Vomit involuntarily poured from my mouth just as the doctor walked in.
"Congratulations, you're pregnant!" It took awhile to gather my thoughts. Before leaving the hospital, I saw Deces standing by another patient's door. Members of the hospital staff walked through him as if he weren't there. Deces turned his head from me.
"See you soon." Then he walked inside of the room, where the mourning began.