In this story... I am Angela. Trigger Warning- This is the story of losing my step-father... and thoughts of losing my father before that. Written many years ago, edited in 2016, performed in my acting class a couple of times.
Mom- “Angela!!!,… Mike!!!!!!! Angela!!!!!!! ,… Dennis!!!!!”
Mike- “Angela wake up, Dennis is having a heart attack.”
Angela- I had laid there in bed as I listened to my mom yell my name, my brothers’ name, and my step fathers’ name. I just, laid there. I was afraid of her screams. I pretended that she saw a mouse and was just freaking out, yeah she just afraid of a mouse, why else would she scream like that? But she was freaking out for a bigger reason. The one I was afraid of.
The day before was Thanksgiving, and we prayed. Yeah I know people pray but we never did. Dennis initiated a prayer that afternoon, we all bowed our heads and asked God to bless us and our food. Later that day, God killed him.
God killed him is what I thought after walking into my mother and step fathers room. It was like a hazy dream watching all of this after being ripped out of my room. I don’t remember going down the hall before arriving. My mother and older Brother were now giving my step father CPR. As my step fathers’ naked, bloated body lay there, I just starred.
Mom- “Angela, I called 911, go out side and wait.”
Angela- And that’s what I did. I waited. I didn’t cry, I didn’t do anything but stand there in the cold until the ambulance showed up. Eddie walked out of the ambulance, the side of it read Gold Cross, Dennis worked for them and Eddie was my step fathers partner. He worked tonight so that Dennis could be with his family. Eddie was also his best man. He didn’t realize it was our house until my brother came out in tears.
Mike- its Dennis man… Dennis..
Angela- My brother didn’t really have a father. Dennis was all my 28 year old brother had. My brother’s father left the family years ago when he was younger and my father died 2 years earlier.
I never cried. I didn’t cry when his lifeless body was carried out of our house. I didn’t cry when we were in the hospital. Everyone knew Dennis. He was the paramedic with 9 lives. He survived 3 crashes in an ambulance and a few bee stings, he was allergic to bees. He had a big Santa belly; it was his belly that saved his life in some of those crashes. Now it was his belly that killed him, or was it God.
Back a few years
Dennis- There is a, higher power, if you will, that will be there for you. You don’t need drugs to live. I’m here for you too, but there is only so much I can do. I can’t make you stop I can only help and guide you. But remember the Higher Power.
Mike- Thank you. Rehab sucks but I can get through it knowing that you’re around to help me out. You know its funny, I’m actually afraid of bringing laundry detergent in here. But no really, thank you.
(should this be mike talking about Dennis, instead of witnessing the talk, because sometimes it means more when the details are left out, because what he said to Mike might not have the same impact on the reader)?
Angela- Dennis did a lot for our family, he helped my brother fight his drug problem, he became a father figure to me, and he made my mother happy. Thirteen was a bad time for a girl to lose her father, not that there is a good time to lose a father but, well, I really needed him around. I lost my father, now my step father and I replaced them with boys. The first whom raped me later that year. A seventeen year old senior when I was only a thirteen year old freshman. I needed attention not sex. Hell I didn’t even know what was going on. It started with just some making out, which led to some general, touching. Then we were on the couch and he was in me. I remember my facial expression, I remember wondering what the hell. You know that god damn 17 year old should have fuckin’ known better. I didn’t know better. I knew better when 3 boys took me to the baseball field bathroom and 2 of them convinced me to have sex with them. I knew better, but I didn’t stop them because I needed to be loved. Touched. By a man. I don’t understand why…hell maybe Freud does. For six years I had sex, sex was a blurr, when I had sex it was like I wasn’t even there and I would cry.
But I didn’t cry in the hospital. I got a little choked up when I heard the heart monitor go dead when they unhooked him. (beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep)
It was like getting a visit from the ghost of Christmas past. My father died in this same hospital 2 and half years earlier. Dennis was mostly there for Mike. Everyone who has a parent pass away wonders what life would be like if they never died. I think about the lessens that I missed out on. My father never just gave you a quick answer to your questions. He made you experience the answer. I remember asking my dad how my blind Nana was able to get around. Instead of trying to explain this to me, he walked to his drawer and got a bandana and blind folded me and took me out side. I remember being 4 years old and wondering what the hell my dad was doing. Then I was set up, my dad let me walk around then said he was going inside. He made the footsteps loud, opened and shut the door, then silence. I had a feeling that he was still there and I went against my instincts. I took a peek from under the blind fold and there he was to catch me. I really appreciate the time he took out to answer such a simple yet complicated question. He always explained why we did things. Simple things, like choosing the better side of wood for the dog house, brain teasers, and taught me how to play chess. My favorite brain teaser was when he put 10 match sticks in the shape of a cake or pyramid and challenged me to reverse the shape moving the pieces a maximum of three times. He would drill me in chess, putting a piece in the middle and teaching me every move it could make. After he died I remember thinking of my father as being asleep, for a long time.
I don’t remember my real fathers’ funeral. But I do remember my step-dad’s mostly because it was huge. There were 5 ambulances there, 9 police cars, and 3 fire trucks, the whole cemetery was packed. I don’t remember the wake, just the funeral. But I still didn’t cry. So many people hugged me and my mother. I was hugged so many times my ear ring cut the back of my neck. They played taps, did the gun salute, and presented my mother with the American flag and the bullet shells.
I didn’t cry then, but I’ll cry now. And I’ll tell ya, there is no god. No great powerful god takes away from a thirteen year old their father, twice. No nice god. I blame at least 15 of my unprotected sex partners to god. The only thing I thank god for is not catching anything. It’s a fucking wonder I didn’t. Never got an STD, never got pregnant. Hell with the way my life was going God might not let me have children. I blame God for letting me hurt myself. I thank him for not giving me the will to pull the trigger. But I blame him for letting me put it to my head. Can you tell, I’m a little bitter. Wouldn’t you be. Its like the Hurricanes in Florida. ( should this be updated to current Hurricane) What kind of god creates a hurricane lets them clean every thing up and then say “haha just kidding here’s another one”. It’s like giving a Somalian a steak, taking it away, replacing it with spam, waiting until they’re about to take a bite, and then take that away. Then all there left to eat is dirt.
So I will always be bitter at God. I resolve this by not believing. I cannot believe that the being that made things so beautiful and make the nicest people is the same being that can create and let such horrible things happen. I still have my issues, but I’m glad I can Identify my problems and seek sanity though meditation, smokin’ a bowl, and having a gin n’ tonic with olives. I will always have a spot missing from my heart, but it’s a big part of how I’ve been molded. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, I may have been worse off, I may have been better off, but at least I’m happy. If I sautéed myself in my pain then I would never be able to see the better in life, someone is always worse off than you, help them. So I’m… I’m going to be ok. I’ll be Ok.