No Promises

A 16 years old girl lost her father in a car accident. She lives with her mother and her stepfather. After being shot by her drunk mother, she is made to choose between living and staying with her mom or dying – which means being reunited with her father.

It was sort of like floating in an ocean of gold.

Everything was a little fuzzy at the edges, a little blurry, but the world around me felt warm and soft. I am yet to find any reason to complain. I could feel fingers run gently through my hair, ant it was nice.

“You’re making it hard to leave, dad,” I mumbled, tilting my face against the warm hand that moved to brush my cheek. Dad smiled, in the same crooked way he had always smiled.

“I can stop, if you like”

“Don’t you dare,” I told him, though it wasn’t very convincing; every word came out as a broken whisper, my voice stuttered and quiet and barely there at all. Dad always seemed to hear me though, because he nodded, and he didn’t stop.

“You know you have to choose soon,” he said. “And you know that you have to choose.”

“What if I choose wrong?” I asked, more for the hell of it than anything. He shrugged, fingers pausing for a moment.

“You won’t” he replied. Strongly. Surely. I let out a sigh. He was right.

“I miss you,” I said, and this time my voice was quiet because of the emotion stuck in my throat. It didn’t help when he leaned down either, press his lips gently on my forehead. He was warm, unlike the last time I had seen him.

“I missed you too,” he replied, when he leaned back up again, peering down at me. I had woken up like this, only aware of my head resting on my long dead father’s lap. It wasn’t the strangest thing I had experienced in my short life, but it hurt a bit more that I had expected.

“I wish I could stay,” I whined to him, and I meant it. his smile was sad.

“Your mom needs you.”

“And sometimes I need you, but you’re not there,” I complained. The words were meant to come out harsh but they didn’t. He sighed. I could feel him shift under me – my unmoving body. I discovered my arms and legs were too heavy to move the moment I opened my eyes to this golden world. Dad chalked it up to the fact that I was still – in whatever way – attached to my currently unconscious, immobile body.

“You’ve grown,” he commented, a blatant change of subject. ” You’re beautiful.

“The Scars must have not transferred with my subconscious,” I murmured. dad grinned, giving his head a little shake. I smiled back, wishing for a moment I had the capability to reach up and touch his face – to feel his warmth on my palms, his smile on my fingers, to feel him alive, or at least as alive as he could be when he was dead.

“I think I loved you,” I finally declared after prolonged silence. I told him because I hadn’t before – way back when he was still alive and on the run – but I could now and he deserved to hear it. His grin fell a little, replaced by something serious, somber. He nodded.

“I think I loved you too,” he responded and grinned. “I met your stepfather.”

“Oh, Merlin,” I choked out, a laugh willing itself out of my chest; although, never quiet escaping. ” I’m sorry -“

“it’s okay, it’s okay”, he hushed, while still smiling. “hr told me your mother was rooting for him and I wasn’t such a bad second option.

“You were always my first,” I answered firmly. “if you were alive, ” ” I don’t know”  ” things could’ve been – “,  I gagged and stumbled on words, desperately trying to convince him that he meant more than that to mom.

“don’t play that game,” he warned me. “You’ll never win it. Things are how they are now. There’s no going back.”

“Time traveling”, I protested. Dad rolled his eyes.

“You’re being particularly obstinate.”

“I am told I get like that when I’m dying.”

“You’re not dying”, he hushed. You are fading from my arms by the minute. You will be awake soon.”

“I know that’s supposed to be comforting but it just kinda bums me out,” I muttered, using what strength left in my to tilt my head into him. “Death seems kind of peaceful at this point. If I was selfish, I’d stay”.

“The living still needs you. you’ve got a war to help finish, I’m afraid,” Dad said, “And am sure your mom would miss you.”

“I would miss her”, I admitted. I glanced at him with a frown. ” I do miss you. It’s all very frustrating. To have a heart torn between the living and the dead.”

“Does she love you?” dad asked, looking at me with a small frown. One of his eyebrows had raised a little, his expression genuinely curious. I let out a sigh.

“I don’t know. I think so. I don’t care. I love her”

As I was about to move, a sharp pain pierced through my abdomen – I let out a gasp. Dad’s hand gripped me a little firmer. ” I think-” another gasp, groaning when the pain spasmed through me. “I’m waking up”.

“it’s okay, It’s okay. Stay alive Fight. Stay alive, Okay?

“Thanks for being here and am sorry I couldn’t save you.”

“Make it up to me by saving yourself”, he said to me fondly.”I better not see you for a long time after this.”

My laughter was choked. “No promises superman.” I could see him smile, eyes crinkling in the way I was fond of before everything whited out.


In the next moment, it all went inconveniently dark.






my eyes












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One thought on “No Promises

  1. Dear Maryam,

    I always enjoy reading your work, and this one did not disappoint. You described the scene with such clarity that it was like watching it unfold before my eyes. Thank you for such an enjoyable read



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