It has been a month since you’ve been gone and every minute in your absence seems tedious.
I wish I had said these words before, but as you always said, “Better late than never”, Giusto, amore mio?
It’s the middle of the day and a storm is incoming. Thunder ceaselessly rumbles through the sky and the thought of you in my arms makes me want to cry. My baby Angie, my sweet little girl, I vividly remember you as a baby. My baby. It pains me to know that you will no longer run to me when a dog chases you; no more tranquilizing you by laying on my chest, complaining about how loud my heart beats. My arms were your lair Angela, my heart your playground.
You had the most beautiful set of eyes I have ever seen. I never believed in God until I looked in your eyes because I'm sure it took nothing less than the Almighty to make the most beautiful creation in all of mankind. They were windows to heaven, possibly the closest I could get to it in this lifetime.
My whole world resided in those eyes mon chérie. Why did you take that away from me?
Let me rephrase that.
Why did I impel you to take that away from me?
You grew up. I caused you pain, I made you suffer, I terrorised you till you lost faith in yourself, in the world, in the sheer goodness of humanity and I wish I knew that earlier. I wish you grew up to me driving you to your Homecoming Dance and telling your date, “Be careful or you better be ready for what’s coming” instead of walking in to me breaking china, the T.V, and your jaw because I was a useless drunkard - under the influence and way in over my head.
I was a sinner, you were the sinned.
I wish I knew that my love was so traumatising and that my concern would occasionally give way to my wrath that you bore oh so patiently, without a single complaint. I wish I held you when you cried yourself to sleep three nights in a row and I wish I wasn't the reason you did so in the first place. I wish I wasn’t the reason why waking up felt like being in an intensely grotesque movie starring me as the repulsive transgressor, a little like the otherworldly fatal creature who Sandra Bullock and everyone else kept running from in ‘Bird Box’. Remember? Our favourite movie? Did I make you want to run from me like that Angie? Could you not meet your eyes with mine in the same exact way?
I wish I wasn’t the reason you killed yourself and wasn’t the reason I wished to do that to myself too.
I wish I was a little more accepting. I wish I was a little more understanding of you, a little more understanding of your choices and your feelings that I left invalidated for so long. So many things I could’ve done right, so many things that could have prevented you going away from me forever. I regret every word I screamed in your face. I feel like a monster, and I abhor myself for what I did to you, the things I put you through.
I Am A Monster.
There was so much left for you to see in the world. So many places I wanted to take you, so many experiences I wanted to live with you. You didn’t procure a driver’s license and you hadn’t even attended a Post Malone concert with me, just as I had promised I would take you.
I was to take you on a camping trip. We would have had roasted marshmallows on a stick and looked up at the stars, talking about life.
I was to see you graduating. I can picture seeing that black mortarboard with the tassel flying in the air, just like you would soar in your life. The smiles in the crowd - contagious, like the one mine would be when you got your first paycheck. I know you would’ve taken the world by a storm. You would’ve conquered whatever you did, and I would’ve stood right by you through it all, picking you up when you fell. You would have been an independent, strong and successful woman and as always, you would've made your old man prouder and prouder each day.
You deserved to see all this and more, Vita Mia. The world is dull without you and I am daft to have created this void in my heart by driving you to take your own life.
I wish I was the father you deserved to have.
Forgive me for not showing you the love that you deserved.
I am angry. I am ashamed and I am embarrassed of being called your dad. Not because you weren’t a good daughter. God no, you were as amazing as they come. No, because I was a horrendous father to you.
No wonder you gave up.
Why did you do it baby? I have so many questions to ask you. I feel perplexed, dazed, numb, angry, hurt, sad, and most importantly, guilty. I feel so helpless. I feel so crazy. Come help me Angie I beg of you, come help me for there is nothing but a prospect of a bleak, emotionless life without you, a life unworthy of living.
It’s pouring now.
The rain, my tears.
It’s all the same to me, nothing matters anymore.
My daughter, my beloved baby girl is no more.
I want to scream, but nothing comes out as I open my mouth. A sigh escapes my lips, a wasted breath that I could’ve possibly invested in talking to you, but all that I am left with now are memoirs of you.
I want to hold you Angie. I want to hold you and press you to my chest once again. Maybe one last time.
I miss seeing you smile Angie. I would sell my soul to the Devil in a heartbeat just to see you smile again.
What’s this rotten soul worth anyway?
Come back and call me to dinner one more time please. Come back and call me ‘Papa’ one more time, I plead to you. I long to hear your voice, the most harmonious melody to my ears. Talk to me Angie, please talk to me, will you?
As the storm outside settles, the one in me unfolds. A tornado of emotions are unable to find an escape, and I deserve this.
I failed as a father, but more importantly, I failed you. I’m not sure if you ever can, but please forgive me for failing so very miserably. To you, the apple of my eye, the sanctum of my heart, I apologise sincerely. From a father who is direly looking for you in every piece of humanity, every iota of the human race and every state of matter, to his eternally beautiful daughter, I hope God treats you like I should always have.
Like the angel you are.
I miss you.
This Loud Heart will always beat for you.
Author: Aryaa Shah
Editor: Amrita Pillai