It has been seven years since the day my father body was buried. Yet when I woke up this morning in my rent apartment, spacing out into the window, seeing yellowish sunlight teasing gray linen curtains; the image of the day became vividly real. It was a hot dusk in late April. It was uneasy when it came to the dry season, especially when it was expected to have the first rain . I had felt sleepy all the way during the funeral mass, holding my father’s portrait in the transportation and shed no tears when the tomb disappeared under the 6-feet ground. My grandma shouted and cried exaggeratedly when my mother and my siblings didn’t even cry.
“That’s what the majority of Northern people behave” I thought, “They put their reputation above. My grandma must think of how our neighbors judge if no one cries when a family member dies”. No one ever gave my father such many flowers his entire life. They were amazingly beautiful and ironic.
After the funeral, there were a small gathering to eat breakfast which some people might actually hope for the most. I sat there by the table of my high school friends, boringly listening to their stories of how they had gone through during those three years. I was a class reunion. My ex came to. I didn’t even remember whether he spoke to me. I left. I wanted a sleep. The sleep was so long to the extend that when I woke up, everything was just like a bad dream, not even a nightmare. It was like one of my dreams I used to have now and then, and I would woke up in the next morning, feeling my cheeks with tears.
“Why do I recall this event out of the blue?”, I wondered while getting up to grab the cup of water, “Probably because I am leaving this country soon.”
I checked my phone. It was late in the morning on Monday, no alarm, no more rush to work, no more traffic jam and noise. And no more fear and hopelessness, hopefully. I was leaving this country. No more back. Because even now when I stood on my own motherland, I could no longer felt rooted and stable. The “so-called” home eventually became a strange land that I didn’t feel belonged and missed. The land was also buried deeply in the dark corner of my heart at the same day when my father’s body was buried. There was no more joy, only sorrow and hopelessness. No one was waiting for me at the place. No one wondered why I hadn’t come back. No one was going to say “Welcome back” or “Welcome home”. No one.
I grew strong and fragile in a close parallel. Like a kite soaring in the wind, I was brave enough to reach to every corner of this world alone. It seemed, however, like the rope which connected the kite to the earth disappeared. I came to battles alone with the fear of no one backing me up.
Dad, for years, you’re always “Dad” to me. I’m not familiar with your real name. You’re only “Dad” but also the only Dad. Thank you for giving me a life without worries for the future. I took the shelter, food and your love for granted. I was slow to recognize your greatness. You may not a dad that my brothers dearly missed. It doesn’t matter. You are my big tree, love, comfort, and support. You are also my pain, regret and anxiety. No matter how long time passes, you are still my most favorite, greatest dad. I will never forget I was the last one you fought to wait for, that I was the last one holding your hand when you embarked.
Dad, mom usually asked why I didn’t love any other man. I cannot. No one ever gives me as much tenderness as near to yours. Thank you for treating me like a princess. Are you proud of me now? I’ve tried to collect every single piece of happiness to carry on. I hope that mom and my brothers can do the same. Keep the faith and move on. 10 years. Who can know that we could be this far? And I can still cry like hell whenever writing about you, about us.