I remember getting the call that my father was dead. His body was found floating near an abandoned boating dock that extended into the river. He had a large bullet wound in the back of his head. Skull fragments and pieces of brain were found nearby so the bullet must’ve exploded out of the other side when it was done destroying the last moments of his existence. No trace of a weapon but the fatal round was located quickly. This was certainly the most painful thing I could endure.
He was a troubled man. Not by the things that would bring problems to a normal man; money, bad relationships, addiction, no, not him. My father was troubled by his own urge to make things better but wound up always making them worse for not only himself but the entire family. He once tried to pay off a loan shark by selling my little brother’s bike, cheating the guy he owed and ended up with a kid who hated his father and a broken nose from a much bigger man.
Mom always did her best to persuade herself that he was trying his best and doing all he could for the family. With every new fuck up, I could see the lack of faith slowly drain from her face. She began to realize that there was no hope for him or hope for our lives to improve by his undesirable methods. She would never say it but she started to fall out of love with him. I sensed it, I even caught her almost saying it out loud. The once daring and spontaneous man she loved she now found to be impossible to love.
I watched my little brother continue to tell me how he wished dad would die. The first time he told me I was stunned. This ten-year-old lost his innocence when Dad was first getting into trouble. Selling our things, canceling vacations planned months in advance, missing birthdays, and those were just the things that we forgave him for. My little brother came home hysterically crying one afternoon after my Dad picked him up from a friend’s house. Apparently, my Dad was beaten pretty badly after not paying another loan shark. Instead of going to the hospital and miss picking up his already hateful son, he decided to go embarrass him and get teased that his Dad is a pussy who can’t fight.
Despite how my family felt about my father, he really did care. You often hear of people aspiring for more due to selfish, materialistic reasons. That wasn’t like him at all. He wanted to make us all happy. He wanted to give us all a better life that he was never able to have for himself. He looked at us like we were all he ever had, and to be honest, we were. Nothing ever seemed to work out for him other than us turning out healthy and happy until he started to ruin everything for us.
I didn’t hate my father. I respected everything he did. Before he was ever into pushing the limits, he was a kind man. Loving, inspiring, hardworking; all of the aspects I wanted in a father. He had given me great memories that I will never forget.
The most painful part of it all was forcing myself to do it. It was hard to convince him to go fishing when I knew it was one of the last times I would see him. I held back my nerves when I saw him smiling, happily spending time with me. With everything going on, I don’t believe he smiled in weeks, months even. I couldn’t find peace in accepting how much safety our futures would gain without him. It needed to be done though. Before he could make anything worse for everyone. Before he could get any one of us hurt.
The sound of erupting flesh helped me forget momentarily. The blood splashing on my face and neck made me forget about the initial problem at hand. The chunks of his head soaring into the air repressed the fear of danger coming towards my family. Worst of all- the love, memories, hope, and ambitions of my father- were lost forever as his frail body collapsed into the water that carried him away. He was no longer. In a brief moment that felt like hours, my father died a violent death.
He was a great Dad with good intentions. Sadly, I can accept he is gone as long as our troubles are too.
He was gone as soon as he hit the water; washing away all that he ever was.
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Patricide Washed AwayMystery / Thriller
A young man's retelling of his father's troubling ways.