Dad


Hannay’s dad was a chain-smoker.  She hated him smoking and she knew what the consequences were.  One day, when she was sitting inside watching television, she heard him wheeze and cough.  “Lets go for a walk.”  he suggested.  Hannay nodded.  She was worried about her father.  The wind played with her hair for a while, before dancing off to ruffle some grass.  Her eyes were fixed on the path in front of her. She heard him cough again, and glanced at the hand that covered his mouth before he hid it behind his back.  It was encased in red liquid.  Blood, a voice in her head told her.  She studied her father’s face.  When it was usually weathered and sun tanned, it was alabaster pale.  “Dad?  Are you okay?  You don’t look so good.”  Her father didn’t reply.  Instead he just stared into the distance.  “We should be getting home.”  he said finally.  Hannay nodded.

When they got home, Hannay’s brother Dominic jumped on her father’s back.  He groaned.  “You’re growing too big!”  he joked.  Later that night, when Hannay was in bed, she heard her mother and father talking in hushed voices.

“You need to see a doctor Robert.”

“I will see one soon Jeanine.”

“I’m going to book a doctor and that’s that!”

There would be no arguing with that.  Robert knew it.  Hannay had learned about smoking in school.  She knew the symptoms of lung disease.  She heard a loud ragged cough as her father peered into her room.  She closed her eyes, pretending she was asleep.  “Goodnight, Hannay.”  he whispered softly.  Hannay half opened her eyes, to see her dad before sleep claimed her.  Standing there in the doorway.  The moonlight made him look so frail.  The next time she closed her eyes, she didn’t open them till morning.

In the morning, when Dominic was watching T.V. in the lounge, Hannay stayed in her bed for a while.  She could her her father still asleep, breathing rapidly, as though he had just run a marathon.  She didn’t want to hear the short, quick breaths, so she took her blanket with her, and walked quietly to the lounge.  It shocked her to see that her brother didn’t seem even remotely worried about her father.  “Aren’t you scared, Dom?”  Dom shook his head.  “About what?”  Hannay spoke so quietly, it was barely audible.  “About dad.”  “Why would I be scared about dad?”  “Haven’t you seen him Dom?  Haven’t you seen his pale white face?  Or heard his ragged coughing?  Or his rapid breathing?  Or don’t you care? Are you too absorbed in yourself too even notice?”  Now, Hannay’s voice was so loud she was nearly shouting.  She could only just make out Dom’s response.  “I do care.  I just want to try to stay cheerful.”  The conversation ended there.  Two days passed before the doctors appointment came.  Jeanine came back with Robert, teary eyed.  “What’s wrong with Dad?”  Hannay asked, even though she already knew the answer.  “Hannay, Dom, your father has…lung cancer.”  replied Jeanine.  She let out a sharp sob, that she was obviously trying to suppress.  Over the next few days, Hannay saw her father pull out a small bottle and drink a few millilitres from it.  “What’s that?”  she asked, trying to sound curious.  “Just a special medicine to help me get better.

The special medicine didn’t help.  Her father was in hospital a few weeks later.  When Hannay went to visit him, she almost didn’t recognise the man in the hospital bed.  His eyes were sunken in.  His face looked like paper.  He had drips and tubes in his arms.  Hannay wanted to cry, but she knew she needed to stay strong for her father.  Dad?  Is that you?  She wanted to ask.  Instead, she said, “Hey dad!  I brought you some flowers.”  Robert groaned as he leaned over to kiss the top of his daughter’s head.  “Thank you, sweetheart.”  At that moment, her father looked just like his old self.  Like he had before he g0t lung cancer.  Then the nurse came.  “It’s time for Chemotherapy,”  she said sweetly, “You have to go now.”  she waved Hannay off with a flustered wave of her hand.  “I’ll see you later.”  Her father said.

Her dad got out of hospital two months later.  The doctors said he would never recover.  They were wrong.  He survived lung cancer, and had given up smoking forever.  Wouldn’t you?

2 Responses to “Dad”

  1. bonjour love your blog take a ganders of mine

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