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  1. Chapter 1: A Simple Wish


    “Shut up you worthless piece of trash! I’m sick and tired of you telling me what to

    do all the time”, James’s father bellowed at the top of his lungs.

    “Pathetic excuse of a man! Stop drinking and wasting money! We’re barely making

    the rent as it is”, his mother retorted heatedly.

    “What I do with my money is my concern. If it bothers you so much, then why

    don’t you get yourself a job or just get the hell out of my house.”

    This conveys a typical situation in James’s home. Despite not being an alcoholic,

    James’ father would come home every Saturday night after some drinks with friends,

    and would repeatedly cause an argument with his wife. This night was not

    different. Up in his room, his brother and he had already woken up and began

    entertaining themselves with video games they had received for Christmas.

    “Hmm, they woke us up at three this time”, his brother whispered quietly while

    checking the alarm next to the television, “I wonder how long this is going to last.

    I’m thinking this is a new record.”

    James, turning his head toward his brother, replied, “Maybe, you could never

    predict these fights”,

    Returning both their attention to the games, the two brothers glanced over at

    each other and through their eyes was a mutual understanding. Come morning,

    neither would speak of this fight again for fear of igniting the shortening fuse

    between their parents. Just like that, all through the night, their parents would

    argue constantly and the two brothers would pretend nothing was wrong and

    continued to play their games.
    -----------------------------
    As the light of dawn permeated the house, the atmosphere changed from what

    it was during the night. The fight had ended as a silent curtain enveloped the

    house.

    “Hmm, they stopped just long enough for mass”, James snickered to himself.

    “Kids, get dress! It’s almost time for church,” yelled his mom as she broke the

    Sunday morning’s silence.

    Like every Sunday morning, the two brothers slowly stood up and proceeded

    to raiding their closet for some half decent attire. The closet was always a mess.

    Clothes were everywhere, mixed among the study materials and mountain of toys

    that they receive every year. After some time, John, the younger brother, found a

    nicely folded shirt hidden in the farthest corner of the closet and a jean that he had

    on the night before tossed on the computer. He hastily threw the clothes on

    himself and dashed out of the room, down the stairs toward the family car waiting

    on the front porch.
    James however remained in the room digging through the closet, searching for

    something that would suit his taste. He saw a pile of shirts stacked upon each

    other within arm’s reach but he simply ignored them. Five minutes later, he finally

    noticed a shirt hanging on a rack and a jean that accompanied it. As he reached

    for it, he finally remembered why he separated that outfit from the rest of the

    clothes in his closet. The outfit was special. It was the outfit that he had reserved

    for his first date. However, sensing the urgency of the situation he tossed it on

    and strolled toward the door. As he exited the room, he noticed a piece of paper

    slowly falling onto the wooden floor from the religious altar placed above his

    television. Immediately, upon impulse he rushed forward and picked it up with the

    utmost care. He looked down at the paper in his hand as a smile appeared across

    his face. This paper was his greatest treasure and despite having most people

    ridiculing him for it, including his friends, the paper gave him hope. He had received

    it from a friend of long ago and upon it was a simple question,
    What is your greatest desire?

    to which he had written an answer for.

    Taking great care as not to damage it, he placed the paper back upon the altar.

    The desire was something James had always wished for, something he hopes

    to come true one day.

    As he descended the stairs leading to the front door, he saw the family car

    parked on the front porch, and his brother playing the PSP patiently waiting. He

    then saw his mother in her Sunday dress, her hair neatly folded back, and a purse in

    her hand waiting for him on the lawn.

    “Come on, or we’re going to be late”, his mother called to him

    Her voice was calm and peaceful, completely different of what was heard last

    night. Then he glanced over at his father and was immediately filled with dread. His

    father was slumped over on the steering wheel; his eyes bloodshot and red, evident

    of a lack of sleep. He was also murmuring incoherently under his breath, and his

    clothes were in complete disarray. Coming closer to the car, he could smell the

    scent of alcohol in his father’s breath, and in his heart he knew that his father was

    still drunk. Hesitantly, he got into the car next to his brother and put on the seat

    belt. His mother, after locking the house door, got in next to his father and buckled

    up her own. The car then backed out of the driveway and moved slowly down the

    road leading to the church. James sat quietly in his seat, and watched as his

    father drove past several stop signs, without yielding to other drivers.

    “Typical”, he thought to himself, “I’m going to die one of these days cause of

    him.”

    After his father passed the fifth stop sign without slowing down his mother

    finally had enough. In a loud voice, she exclaimed, “Would you drive more carefully!

    You’re putting this entire family in danger with your reckless driving!”

    “IZ NOT DOUR CON CEN, HOW I DIVE”, his father blabbered.

    “Look at you! You’re so drunk that you’re slurring your speech. The only

    person that could possibly understand a drunkard like you is another drunkard”, his

    irritated mother continued.

    Just like that, another fight erupted between them. His mother would criticize

    his drunken father, and his father would stupidly attempt to respond. While the two

    adults argued, their car was swerving back and forth on the road while approaching

    an intersection at a tremendous speed. Back in the car, the two brothers were

    desperately hanging on their seat for dear life as the car raced down the street and

    the only two people with driver license were continuing their heated battle from the

    night before, neither of them paying any attention to the road ahead. Then before

    anyone of them realized what had happened, the car was struck violently by the by

    a truck right as it was passing the intersection. The sheer force of the impact

    along shattered the windows, and left a crater on the side of the family car. As the

    car skid uncontrollably down the street, tires were ripped for their axles and rolled

    to the side walk. When the car finally came to a half, James opened his eyes and

    saw the wreckage that he was in.

    “Mom! Dad! John!” he cried frantically, “Are you guys alright?”

    Hearing no response, he began to panic, his heart tightened the moment he

    saw the pool of blood on the floor. His mind was in complete disarray, as he tried

    to recreate what had happened. Looking around the wreck, he caught a glimpse of

    his parents. His mom’s arm was limp as it hung from her body; the dress she wore

    just this morning was heavily stained with blood. Though most of her body was

    hidden by the passenger chair, he could see pieces of glasses protruding from her,

    draining massive amount of blood. Not wanting to believe his mother was dead, he

    called out her name, yet the only response was the sound of blood dripping on the

    ceiling of the car. Taking a second to look over at his father, he saw his hands still

    gripping tightly to the car wheel. His head smashed against the horn. Then as he

    reached for his parents’ bodies, he feels the head of his brother’s body falling on to

    him. Turning to the side, he saw blood flowing from his mouth, and his forehead

    was split open, due to the impact against his mother’s chair.

    Suddenly, he sees warm blood oozing down from his head to the floor. As he

    tried to move his left arm toward his head to identify the source of injury, the pain

    from a broken left hand abruptly shot through his body, immobilizing him. His left

    arm had been broken by the impact, blood flowing from the wound that been ripped

    open by the shattered glass. Realizing his right arm was in a slightly better

    condition, to say that it was still movable; he reached up and touched his head.

    Then he realized the danger of his condition.
    Blood was flowing profusely out of head and before realizing it, he was

    slowly losing consciousness. Forgetting all about his parents and his brother and

    fearing for his own life, he tried desperately to stop the bleeding the best he could,

    but it was to no avail. After only a few minutes, he gave up. Blood was still

    dashing out. His mind was no longer racing as he sat waiting for death. As his eyes

    closed, he detected a faint scent of cherry blossom in the air amidst the carnage.

    He felt strangely calm.

    “I forgot, it was spring”, he ironically smiled, “what a funny way to die.”

    Sighing, he murmured, “If I die like this then its okay I guessed. Too bad,

    there are still a few things I wanted to do”.

    As his eyes were closing, a gust of wind swept the cherry blossoms from the


    trees onto the debris. Dazing away, he slowly surrendered to the darkening silence.