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My mind is often flying. And when it returns, it brings me these remarkable strings of words.
Papa Is Dead
Kev goes to bed before ten without being told. Father’s voice does not get louder at night. I go outside all by myself. The house is in perfect order. Papa is dead, and our home does not seem to exist anymore.

Papa is dead. I wonder why it seems difficult for my family to grasp that fact. Kev, without being told, brushes his teeth and takes a bath regularly. Father, all alone, would raise his glass and smile at the air when he drinks his whiskey. It seems I am the only one who has broken out of Papa’s routines. I go outside all by myself when night has fallen and everybody else is asleep. Papa used to call me back. Nobody calls me back now.

How many months has it been, anyway? Six? No, how foolish of me! It has been eight months. I remember the night Father walked into the house while Kev and I watched TV. He walked his usual walk into the house, but he stopped and paused behind the couch where my brother and I sat. Father hugged us both and whispered, “Papa is dead”. None of us cried back then. Kev and I sat still, staring blankly at the TV screen. Both of us waited to believe Father’s words, I think we’re still waiting until now. If you ask me, I doubt Father believes himself either. Nobody in my family believes Papa is dead. After that, Father kissed our temples and left for his room, their room, Father and Papa’s room. We could not believe it either. Father rarely hugs and kisses us. Then Father joined us again in front of the TV, he sat between Kev and me. I noticed he did not change out of his office clothes. Then I saw mist gather on Father’s glasses. Maybe I was not meant to see that mist because he took off his glasses and pressed his wrists against his eyes. Father cried, I knew it, he cried because Papa is dead.

I am Papa’s only child. I was the only one allowed in his funeral. Father and Kev did not go. Instead, Father took Kev to the amusement park. My mother was there. I never liked her. She never liked me either, but Papa’s family likes her and I have no idea why. Father does not do drugs. Father does not go out with other people. Father does not beat me or Kev. My mother does all that, that’s why I do not like her. I knew the tears she shed were fake. There was no warmth in her embrace. Just because she was a girl and ‘straight’, Papa’s family likes her.

I saw Papa’s coffin being lowered into the ground. Perhaps, it is the reason why I am the only one in our family who accepted Papa’s death. Or have I? Maybe I go outside every night to see if someone calls me, to try if I could hear Papa call me back. I know Kev does what he has because he thinks he can hear Papa. I know Father smiles and tips his glass because he thinks he can see Papa. Then why can’t I sense him? Why can’t I hear Papa call me back? Why wasn’t he blocking the door when I sneaked outside tonight? It was only me who was allowed to go to his funeral. It was only me who his siblings allowed to see him at the hospital. Then why is it only me who doesn’t sense him now? Is it because I saw the mist on Father’s glasses? Is it because I listened to them in bed at night? What have I done? I feel abandoned.

Do I need to hear Papa’s voice calling me back in order to return? Kev doesn’t need reminders to do what he has because Papa always reminded him. Father doesn’t need someone else to drink with because Papa was always with him. Papa always called me back. Maybe I am the one who can’t accept his death, after all. I’m so stupid. Do I need him to call me back? No, I guess not, but I can already hear him. I must be going back now.

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