It was a Sunday. My daughter, my little baby girl Elise, was the only thing I had left to me. To call me mine. Her mum died at childbirth and left this beautiful pink baby.
When I heard the news of her death, I was torn inside out. My wife was no more. After the second tour in Iraq, I was back and honorably discharged. I had a small splinter in my knee that made me unfit for war. They wanted to hold me with a desk job. But it was time to let go. So I took my wife with me and moved to my father’s hometown, where I had a farmhouse that I inherited.
Only after a short couple of weeks, she broke the good news in front of me. She was pregnant. We were going to have a baby. I grabbed her and danced around the house for hours after hearing her say that. I was going to be a father.
After I stopped, we were panting but still smiling while looking at each other. Then she came closer to me, held my face in her hand, and said, “I love you, my man child”.
We made love for hours that day.
The only strongest memory of her I can go back to. Only 10 months later, she was no more. I put her into grave myself, just beside my father and my family. Living a little space between all those other graves, for me.
My grandfather was a down to earth farmer. He built his keep slowly throughout his life. The 53 acres of land was put together piece by piece with his blood and sweat wetting the dry and harsh land in these mountains. I was the only child of my family left. I was in my boarding school when their plane crashed.
The only one who's alive. I never understood why everyone around me kept dying and I was the only alive. Like some divine justice for the sins, I've committed in another life.
And my daughter too now.
That god forbidden Sunday. I took my daughter with me to church. It was so many years ago since I've been there.
Usually, my maid/ babysitter looks after Elise until I get back home. That day, she called in sick. So I thought, It’s OK, let’s spend a good father-daughter Sunday morning. So I made her pancakes. The beautiful angel with her green dreamy bright eyes was so happy. I was proud to be a hero to someone.
I organized our day with plans chronologically with the first thing to go to the church, then the mall, buying groceries and then Elise’s favorite raspberry ice-cream. She was so excited to go with me.
While everything was done as planned, I almost forgot about her ice-cream. She reminded me-
“Dad, what about ice cream?”
“Sorry, my little bunny. Daddy forgot” “it’s so hot today, you will catch cold. How about another day my sweet baby?”
“No Dad, you always say that. And then you always forget.” She showed her anger filled with cuteness while throwing her fists in the air.
“You promised. If you don’t get me the red ones ill not love you anymore.”
My princess had made a valid point. So, there we went.
The ice cream parlor was on the left side of the road. I parked in front of the mall to avoid parking tickets. I still had not stopped the car and she jumped out and ran towards the stand.
“Wait for dad baby.” “don’t run, you’ll fall”
i screamed. But all in vain. She went ahead as fast as a Hare and asked the vendor for two red lolis. And then excitedly waved at me to go there faster.
My phone rang. It was from Admiral Kevin Macmillan’s office.
“Hello sir, this is from Admiral Macmillan’s office. He would like to speak with you. Please hold”
“Hello, my boy. How’s your farming life going?”
That deep voice. When he was my sergeant, it was a thing of nightmares.
“It’s going, fine sir. Your assistant said you wanted to talk with me? What’s this about?”
“Well my son, I have a piece of good news for you, how would you like to be in the field once again?”
“I don’t understand.”
“We are putting together a special task force. An elite team.” “with your kind. You know. The gifted ones.”
“Sir I do not think I’ll be able to do it. My daughter has no one except me. I have to take care of her. I’m the only one she’s got”
I replied as politely I can.
“Well well, you don’t have to put your panties in a bunch right now. You have until the end of the week.”
“I still do not think…..”
“I said, you have until the end of the week. Tell me about your decision then.”
He hung up. While leaving me puzzled. While thinking about it, I started to cross the road and with a loud screech from the tires, an eighteen-wheeler braked just a foot from me.
“Oye, you fucking moron. Get out of the road your junky bastard”
I apologized. And then another screech and a thud on the other side of the road. Something had happened there. A lot of people crowded together on the road just beside the ice-cream shop. I couldn’t see what was going on. A dark omen inside my head started playing like a police siren. I ran. While I went through the crowd, I saw what had happened. It was too late. She was nothing more than a flesh sack, lying there like fish chum. The only thing recognizable was her yellow and pink dress.
I woke up. From the nightmare again. Where am I? I can’t recognize the place. It seems like a hospital. How did I get here.? And then I remembered it all. A bullet in my face. Shot by Floyd.