I must have been eight years old when I rode my first

I must have been eight years old when I rode my first bicycle. It was a bright warm afternoon. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, as the rays of sun filled the blue sky. My dad pulled into the driveway, opened the trunk of his car and pulled out a bicycle. I can clearly recall it. “You ready Sweetie? The training wheels are coming off today.” My father said. He grabbed my hand, as we began walking to the park. The feeling of learning to do something for the first time was a bit frightening, as I felt my legs trembling. My father instructed me to sit on the bike and place my little feet on the pedals. The bike was a pink, white seated two wheelers that had a basket in the front. “Pedal slowly!”, my father advised me as he held the back of the bicycle and ran slowly along. The asphalt on which I was learning was smooth but curvy. “Dad, I’m pedaling!”, I said in an excited voice. He did not reply. I turned my head back to see why my father wasn’t answering. He was approximately four meters away from my bike. I felt quite unstable, as I was scared that I was going to lose my balance, fall of the bike, and hurt myself. My mind went blank from peddling. I forgot to press the brakes, lost control and fell right off the bike. “You did great love.” My father said proudly. Back then, everything was perfect. Those good days have a way of implanting themselves deep in our memory, and then burning like a bitch as pain creeps up on us later. Everything good, would soon turn ugly. We thought later was a long way from us. Unfortunately for the Daher family later is today. It all started with “Your father is diagnosed with a brain tumor.”’ At first I didn’t believe it. I assumed they have mixed up the results with a different patient. Being as stubborn as I am, I questioned the doctor certainty. He slowly slides the results towards me and my eyes read the letter of my father’s name before they formed it all together. I didn’t want to believe it. Tumor. My father, Peter Daher, has a brain tumor. Dr. Kiss stares at me blankly. He insists my father needs to start radiation as soon as possible or the tumor will take over his optical nerves, leading him to be blind. The tumor has been growing in my father’s head for approximately 15 years. Since I was 3 years old. Dr. Kiss informs us that my father needs to go through the process of radiation for exactly 6 months. In that 6 months’ period, he will monitor the tumor and see if the radiation is killing the mass of abnormal cells in my father’s head. Page BreakAs the second hand keeps lingering clockwise, it seems as the white walls keep getting closer and the screams are slowly beginning to fade. The freshness of air becomes firm and the words brain, growing, 15 years, diagnosed, blindness, tumor, I’m sorry I’m sorry, I’m sorry just keep getting louder and louder like a jammed recorder on repeat. The durable smell of disinfectant intrudes my nostrils. I witness the tension in the waiting room where everyone seems to wear restless looks with over a million prayers that passes their chapped lips each second. 6 months have passed. Today is the day, we know if the beaming laser are killing the silent killer in my father’s head. We sit on the chair, as we anticipate our turn.  I gaze at the silver-framed, circular, wall clock for the tenth time this hour and analyze the second hand, which seems to delay an extra minute at every passing second. I take my eye off of the clock, silently promising myself to not look at it once more until absolutely necessary. I pull out my tattered stack of flashcards as I browse through the smeared out graphite stained words, which were quickly jotted on top of the repeated solid blue lines that ran across the card. After glancing over the same words repetitively, I unwillingly glimpsed at the clock as the second hand remains to move in its relentless manner. My attentiveness is interrupted from the clock, as the nurse gripping the clipboard calls out my father’s name. He elevates his hand, “Here”, he says with a lack of eagerness. The nurse faces my father, “Doctor Kiss is ready for you.”He glances at my mother beside him, who gives a promising smile. We stand up and head towards the door. The same brown door where we discovered my father’s brain tumor. My father and mother walk into the room hand in hand and take their seats. I stare at the door. “Please don’t fail us for the second time.”, I thought as a silent tear makes its way down my cheek. I wipe it away quickly, before my father can make out my sadness. “I need to be strong for him”, I tell myself. I inhale deeply and enter the room. An empty seat lays beside my father, but I couldn’t gravitate myself to sit there. Instead I make way to the silver, metallic window ledge. I perceive the door screech open and someone’s feet being dragged along the floors. I look up and see Dr. Kiss enters the room, with a white coat and a brown file. With his kindhearted smile that doesn’t balance his worn-out eyes. His ginger her is levelled back evenly. “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Daher! How are you this fine afternoon.”, Dr. Kiss asks, as he shakes my parent’s hands. He stares at me and smiles. I respond with a blank smirk. Dr. Kiss places my father’s file on his desk and takes his seat. He sits up straight and leans forward closer to my parents, with his hands clasped tightly on his desk. The doctor didn’t have to tell us the results, the silence and his posture already did. The radiation is not working. My mother, cries her big brown eyes out as the doctor informs us about what is going to happen and what the first step of this life threating surgery is going to be. I’m not listening, it seems as the words that the doctor is mumbling are distant, like I am underwater. I look intently out the hospital window at the sun’s rays and the colour blue that makes up the sky, aren’t bad days like this expected to be rainy and cloudy and gloomy? I thought to myself. My heart throbs in my chest and my breathing becomes imbalanced and everything appears to distort away in that very moment. Tears form in my eyes. I wipe them away quickly for the second time. It’s irrational how a lot can be transformed in a restricted time period. People, homes, health, and what is even crazier is it took my father’s diagnosis for me to realize this.“When is the closest date you have for the surgery?”, my Mother asks, as her brown eyes turn from my father to the doctor. Dr. Kiss strokes his hands together before he extends for my father’s documents about his cancer. He files through them. “Well…”, he says as he snatches an individual piece of paper out of the pile of many other papers. “We want to complete this procedure as soon as possible; we should schedule the surgery for today. Before the tumor takes over Peter’s vision. But there is a chance of Peter not surviving the surgery or he might become blind, we all need to consider that.”, my mom nods, as she cries quietly. Hiding her face from my father. I went back to spacing out and being in my own world, a world without cancer or brain tumours. My father must be fatigued. Exhausted from this battle that feels endless and impossible. Almost like fighting a shadow.

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