Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Realities of Life.

Written By: Zobia Akhtar 

I love you mother, please don’t leave me. I promise I will be a good girl, the best daughter ever. I’ll take care of the house, even father! Go to the church everyday! Will do anything! Just, please don’t leave, stay strong mother…please!” Alison exclaimed as she tried to force her tears to stop. She was holding her mother’s hand tight, sitting next to her, as she looked her in the eye, teardrops rolling down her face. “Mother! Say something! PLEASE!” Alison shouted out, still holding back her tears, her mother could not respond, not with the oxygen mask on her mouth. The two were sitting in the operation theater, Alison’s mother had a drip running through her veins in her hand, she had a dressing on one side of her neck, there was a screen which was monitoring her vital signs attached to her. The doctors were using all means possible to keep her alive, but in the end, no effort was enough.***

“Honey? How’s it going?”Darrel, Allison’s father asked as her walked into her room. She was on her bed, lying upside down, clutching her mothers picture, tears were flowing down her face uncontrollably. There were bottles of alcohol on the floor Darrel couldn’t help but flinch, he had a sinking feeling in his heart. Decided best to leave his daughter alone for now, she’d get over this loss eventually, he hoped.

“When will this girl pick up!” Darrel shouted to the walls as he felt the urge to throw his phone on the floor. “One last time, and she better pick up this time…”He exclaimed as he dialed his daughters number for the sixth time in a row, all unsuccessful. It was half past midnight, way past Alison’s curfew. “WHAT DAD?!” Alison screamed into the phone when she picked it up, her annoyance was evident from her tone. “Alison! Oh Thank God! Where are you right now? Plan on coming home anytime soon?” Darrel replied, he was anxious, but tried not to show it. “With a friend, I’ll be coming soon. Just go to sleep.” Alison muttered in irritation as she cut the call. Darrel sighed, this sort of routine was not new anymore, decided to go to bed after all.

*Ringggg ringggggg* “Wha…what? Phone, where….where is it?” Darrel muttered as he woke up, his eyes not accustomed to the dark, he held his hand out looking for the ringing device, and managed to get his hand to it and flipped it open. “He..hello” He answered. “Hello, sir. Your daughter, Alison is here with us at the Kent police station. We request you come here as soon as you can” Replied the man on the phone. “I’ll be right there officer” Replied Darrel, as he got out of bed.
“Alison! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!? You need to keep this alcohol intake under control now!!” Darrel shouted as he entered the house along with his daughter, in the middle of the night. He’d bailed her out of jail, but the officer said this was his last warning to her. “Shut up dad! I’ll do whatever I want!”Alison replied at the top of her lungs while she ran up the stairs to her bedroom. “Stop right there miss! I’m talking to you! Listen to ME!” Darrel shouted back furiously, he was boiling hot now. “WHATEVER!” Alison exclaimed and banged her room door shut. Darrel grabbed a chair, and threw it on the floor. He had to do something quick, and he knew it, Alison was getting out of control.

“ Alison’s going through a terrible phase right now, she’s a mess. I don’t know what to do about her, I just don’t….” Darrel managed to exclaim as he started tearing up. ‘Ahan, I see, could you come up with any certain reason for her strange behaviour of late?” Suze, the counselor asked. “I don’t know, I wish I did, she hasn’t been the same ever since my wife died. That loss shook her terribly.” Darrel explained. Suze nodded, and thought for a while. Before she could speak up, she noticed the wall clock. “Oh, looks like our time for now is finished. I don’t have a free window till the next week. If you would like to talk on this further we could schedule an appointment then?” Suze asked, she felt the guilt for not being sble to comfort Darrel this session, but there were others waiting outside. “How about we talk about this over dinner instead? Not as a date, but just to, discuss things..” Darrel suggested. “Sure” Replied Suze, “sounds good to me”.

“I need a 20.”Alison said as she walked into the living room in her goth outfit, had someone been meeting her after five months or so, they would barely recognize her. She stood next to her father and started tapping her feet grumpily. “What for?”Darrel questioned as he took the notes out of his pocket, and Alison snatched them before answering. She was walking away, before Darrel started talking. “I won’t be home for night, going to dine-out with a friend” He exclaimed, hoping to get some sort of a positive response this time around. “Whatever dad, just don’t go around making affairs with random woman” She snapped and left the house. Darrel sighed, went up to his room and started dressing up for dinner.

“That morning, when the police found her at the alley surrounded by drink bottles, I knew this had now turned into a serious problem, and now, I just don’t know what to do, how to respond to her, everything I say, do, seems to irritate her! Oh, I feel so helpless..” Darrel exclaimed. He was at dinner with Suze, who was listening patiently, nodding to each sentence. “Well, its clear that e death of your wife has had a massive effect on her attitude. I would like to meet her, sometime. What do you think?” Suza suggested, and Darrell relented, he liked the idea. He held out his hand to one of the breadsticks, and Suze did at the same time. Their hands met, and both held back, blushing. All of a sudden, both caught each others eyes, and looked straight into them. “Woah, she’s beautiful….”Darrel was thinking, he had never noticed her looks before, was an electrifying moment. Both looked down all of a sudden, blushing like watermelons now. “So, um, tell me about yourself” Darrel exclaimed with a smile, realizing he suddenly wanted to know everything about this charming lady in front of him. The next hour was spent in story-telling, laughter, smiles.

“I had a wonderful time, thank you.” Suze exclaimed when Darrel stopped the motorbike outside her house. “It was my pleasure! Will you be coming over to meet Alison tomorrow then?” Darrel asked. “Indeed I will!” She replied, then there was silence, an awkward moment for both of them, as they just looked down, fiddling with their fingers. “So, its goodbye for now….then” Darrel managed to speak. “Yes, see you tomorrow..” She replied, and the next thing both of them knew, they were just staring at each other, and their lips met. Five seconds, which felt like forever to both of them. Suze just smiled, waved, and entered her house. Darrel couldn’t remember feeling this good in months now. He just couldn’t stop smiling!

Darrel entered the house, reminiscing the moments of the past hours. He heard a loud bang from upstairs, must be coming from Alison’s room, he thought, what’s she doing home? Then, he remembered. His promise to her, he’d broken it. He’d fallen for someone. Took a chair, and sat down, head in his hands. He thought about having the relationship, but keeping it going secretly. No one, not even Alison would know the truth about him and Suza. And, yet, she was his daughter! He couldn’t lie to her. He knew, that if she finds out, she’ll feel stabbed. Alison wouldn’t be able to bear the thought of someone replacing her mother, and in the condition she is in now, God knows the consequences. Darrel chose not to think about it further, grabbed a drink, and went straight to bed.

*ringggggg* Darrell got up as he heard the doorbell, opened the door, and Suze stepped in. Both greeted each other with a smile. Darrell invited her in, and she sat down on the sofa. Both were sharing smiles, glances, but no one said a single world. Suze had a look around the living room, she flinched at the size, even her house was thrice the size of Darrell’s. “She’s upstairs, I’ll call her” Exclaimed Darrel as he broke the silence, Suze nodded in reply. “Alison! Come down! There’s someone down here to meet you!” Darrel shouted out loud. Alison stepped out of her room, looking like a rag doll. Her alcohol breath could be sniffed all the way downstairs. She trudged down the stairs, looked at her dad, and exclaimed, “What do you want now?!”. “There’s someone here to meet you” He replied, and pointed to the sofa where Suze was sitting with a smile on her face, she waved. “Hello again, Alison” She said. “You!? What are you doing here?!? Dad! Get this woman out of our house NOW!” She shouted at the top of her lungs, the sight of Suze had triggered her anger. “Calm down Al. She’d here to help you, help us.”Darrel replied, trying to sound as assertive as he could. “No, dad. Get her out of here NOW! You don’t know her! I’m coming back down in five minutes, and this person better be out. Period.”Alison stamped her foot, and walked up the stairs afrer making this statement.

Darrell sat down on the chair, sighing. Suze got up and kissed him on the cheek. “I’m sorry from her behalf. I told you, she has been acting up lately, but this behaviour..to you…was unacceptable..i’ll talk to her..” Darrel managed to mutter, he felt helpless now. “Darrel, honey. Calm down. She has good reason for hating me, I can’t blame her for that. I used to teach at her college, and once, I failed her on purpose. She deserved it for being caught cheating, but after that your wife came in the picture…she protested…and I lost it. Never mind the details, but don’t be too hard on her for this” Suze told Darrell, who just stared at her. He didn’t know how to respond, how to react. “I don’t care. We’re in a relationship, and she’s going to have to deal with it. We’ll fix her together..” Darrel replied, and called Alison downstairs again.

“She’s still here dad.” Alison muttered as she saw Suze was still standing downstairs. “Al. Me and Suze are together. A couple. We will help you to get over mom’s loss. We promise. You’ll be the same old Alison soon, just give us a chance.”Darrell exclaimed assertively, his heart was beating rapidly as he expected a sharp response. “No” Said Alison, she bit her lip, “this is not happening. I’ll…I’ll leave the house! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! REPLACING MOM? HOW COUD YOU? AND WITH HER? HOW COULD YOU DAD? HOW COULD YOU!”. Suze got up, and placed her hands on Alisons shoulder. “One chance Alison” She said, trying to sound as soft, as loving as possible. “DON’T TOUCH ME! GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE NOW! BEFORE I KILL YOU!|” Alison shouted and gave Suze a hard mean look, she backed off. “Suze, go.” Exclaimed Darrel, Suze did just that. Suze had hardly gone out the door when Alison exploded again, “Unbelievable dad. Unbelievable. You marry that woman, and I swear I will leave this house forever. That is a promise.” She stated, and stamped off.

Darrel felt as confused, as powerless as ever while looked out the window, saw the raindrops falling. He couldn’t marry Suze, Alison meant what she said. She would never survive a day on her own, not in her current condition. Yet, Suze…she brought the only spark of happiness in his life the past few months, he wanted to have a new beginning, revolving around her..
Darrel picked up his phone, and dialed a number. “Hello? Suze? Oh…it’s on voicemail. Listen. I’m sorry about what happened earlier, but I have an idea. We could still be together, we can have our relationship but as a secret. Alison is so indulged in her own life, she would never suspect a thing, cheers”

He felt like a child, having to do such a thing. Was barely a second after he’d left the mail that he received a text from Suze. “Darrell, it’s over. You have a motorbike, live in a house which is the size of a barn, you don’t have a job, and with this whole Alison deal, I don’t think it’s worth it. I will be available for therapy sessions. Cheers!”

Darrell just held the phone in his hands, reading it over and over again. What he had done to deserve this, he wish he knew. He got up, and decided this was not all about him. No point in being selfish, others are hurting as well. Darrell knocked on Allison’s door, “come in” a croaked voice replied.
Darrell stepped in, Allison was lying on bed, clutching her mothers picture to her chest, sobbing softly. Had been a long time since he had entered his daughters room, the stench of alcohol filled his nose the second he walked in. There were empty bottles lying all around. “Al? Hey, honey. Listen to me. We’re over. Forget that Suze woman. It’s just us now. “ He exclaimed, as he put his arm around his daughter. She laid her head on his chest, and kept sobbing, “It’ll be alright sweety, I promise…”

“I now pronounce you, husband and wife” Alison smiled, and hugged the man in the suit in front of her. Darrell handed her a flower, she looked him in the eye, “Thank you” She said. Darrel kissed her on the forehead in reply.
There was a huge wedding party, after that she left on her honeymoon to Paris. Darrell felt a bit of satisfaction, perhaps he had done alright with her after all. He was grateful that she managed to get over her addiction, and he had been right there with her throughout.
Now, Alison was living her life. She was independent, living happily with the one she loves. Darrell recounted all this, as he rode his motorbike to the therapy clinics. There was someone he wished to meet again, in the hope he could start a new beginning, just like his daughter.