I belted out an uncontrollable scream and demanded to see him.
My father was in his bed. His complexion was gray. His eyes were shut. He looked peaceful, almost happy.
The pungent scent of rubbing alcohol filled the room. Pristine white sheets lay crisp and smooth upon him. His arms were at his side. He did not move a muscle or crack a joke. I touched his hand. It was cold.
I wanted to cry. I could feel it in my throat but the tears would not fall. He was gone all right.
My sister walked in. Tears streamed down her cheeks. I was jealous. She said mom did not want to come in. I knew she had to.
I sat on my father’s bed. His body shifted. My heart jumped inside of my chest. For a moment I thought he came back but I was wrong.
My sister and I sat silently with our father until there was a knock on the door. I knew who it was. I could not bring myself to open it.
I grabbed my dad’s hand. I asked him to come back. For the first time in my life he did not respond to me.
The door opened and a nurse entered silently. I did not look at her. She whispered something but I ignored her. My sister stood up and left me alone with my daddy.
I pulled my father’s hand and poked his arm. I shook the bed again. He moved but didn’t say a word. I wanted him to tell me, "cut it out!"
My sister returned, “They’re here.” She held her hand out to me. I stood up and shook the bed again. I told him I was sorry I didn’t take him home last night and walked out.
The corridor was silent. The normal hustle and bustle of nurses and staff did not exist that evening. Down the hall, a gurney sat draped in midnight blue. A tall man in a dark suit and tie stood beside it.
The wing doors were still shut. In fact, every door down the hall was closed. I passed the vacant nurses station feeling just as empty.
The drive home was silent except for Nana blowing her nose. I dropped her off and returned home. My sister and mother were sitting on the couch. I went to my room.