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
“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
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.
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