LOSS by Umair Azfar Khan

[highlight style=”1,2″]>>>Trigger Warning: This story contains references to abuse. Some readers may want to skip it, or proceed with caution<<<[/highlight]

“I am sorry for your loss”, Mr. Banks said as he put a hand on my shoulder. I knew that the concern on his face was genuine and he meant every word that he said. One of the few individuals I have known my life that were truthful in their manner and in their character. His forehead was white as that of a man gone sick and a bead of sweat trickled down on to his brow that he quickly wiped off with his handkerchief. Even though his words were sincere but they sounded meaningless to me. What loss was he talking about when he said that he was sorry for it?

My father had died 3 days back while I was enjoying my summer vacations on a Florida beach. I had just taken a swim and was sunbathing when I got a call on my mobile phone. I knew that I should have left the phone at my home and left without it but my compulsion to update my Facebook status every hour made me keep it with me. It was my brother who was calling and I felt strange receiving his call after a silence of 6 years ever since I left home after a heated argument. I let it go to voice mail as I did not want to talk to him once more and get a sermon about my duties towards the family.

“Hi Susan, I have some bad news. Dad left us this morning. His funeral is in 3 days. Whatever you had against him, please let it rest and try to come if you can.”

For some, this can be a heart wrenching message but for me it was just another mundane happening in a normal day’s life. People die all the time and my father was no different. He was just like any other person who breathed his last breath and left us for good. We say that he is at peace but what about all the other people that he had left in distress?

“I am sorry for your loss, he was such a gentle soul.” said aunt April as she held the tea cup precariously on top of a saucer that was shaking in her hands. Old age is unforgiving! It first makes us weak and takes every comfort from us one at a time. Memory, strength, health and finally life as the time comes. We know that it will happen eventually but when it does happen no one is ever prepared for it. I had a friend who was a professional e-gamer and received the phone call of his mother’s demise while he was playing one of his matches. He uttered the word, “What!?” put down the phone and continued playing. When I asked what had happened, he did not respond and kept on playing for 3 hours. When the news finally sunk in, he broke apart in his room and cried himself to sleep. Me, I was different, I was only sorry about the vacation days that will be missed while I go to my father’s funeral. Does that make me a bad person?

Everyone is sorry for my loss, but they are 20 years too late. I lost something then when my father and I were alone in at home and my brother and mother were away. I lost something when my father told me about “our little secret” and my whole world changed. At that point in time I lost my innocence which has scarred me for the rest of my life. I am sorry myself, but only for not getting the chance to confront my father about the harm that he did to me all those years ago. I am sorry that I did not get his apology and I am sorry that I was unable to expose him for the monster he really was!

“Extremely sorry for your loss, I cannot imagine what pain you must be going through.”, said another concerned individual while my heart screamed out, “NO! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH!” But all that I could say was “Thank you!”