Five Years of Him

Amie was nine months and two weeks into her pregnancy. Amie was in bed, and she woke up all wet. Her water had broke.

“Jules, my water broke!” Jules was the father and was so nervous to find out the gender of his kid. He just stood up, got the bag ready, gave Amie a new pair of clothes, helped her change, and they left. He desperately wanted a boy.

Amie was rushed to the hospital in their car. They ran three red lights and made a couple of wrong turns. Jules didn’t do well under pressure.

When they got to the hospital, Jules was out of breath and clearly sweating. Amie was rushed into the ER, and Jules waited outside. He didn’t want to make Amie nervous by seeing him nervous. Inside the ER with Amie, all the usual things happened, the breathing strategies and whatnot.

Three hours later, a beautiful baby girl was born in New York State Hospital named Xiomara, born on August 9th, 1987. Jules was told the news by a nurse, stood up, and walked away.


Twenty-six years later…

Jules knocked on the door of Xiomara’s house and said, “Hi umm. I believe I am your father. Is your name Xiomara?”



Five years later…

The phone rang. Xiomara went to the phone slowly. She was nervous because it was from the hospital that her dad was staying in with stage four brain cancer.

Xiomara was speechless for a while on the phone. She finally said, “Hello, this is Xiomara.”

“Umm. Hello, this is New York State Hospital. I am so sorry. Your father has just passed away. You will have to come by tomorrow to pick him up, or we will burn him and put the ashes in the Hudson River. Sorry, but that is all we can do. We have already told your mom and your brother. They are here at the hospital.”

Xiomara wanted to cry, but she wanted to sound strong on the phone. “But I can’t. I have to read a poem tomorrow at an award ceremony!” Xiomara tried to explain.

“I am sorry. We can’t keep him here any longer. We don’t have the space,” he said as Xiomara hung up the phone.

“Oh, great. Now I can’t find my poem. I worked on that all week. I need a drink.” So Xiomara went to her local bar and instead of having one drink, she had 12 shots of tequila. Xiomara was wasted! There was no way she could find her poem, pick up her dead father from the hospital, and put him somewhere without getting arrested. With all of this on her mind, while being wasted, she walked into the street without looking, and she got hit by a car.

Xiomara ended up in a coma. Her mom, Amie, and her brother, Derek, stayed in the hospital with her and had been with her ever since she got hit by the car. That was last week. Xiomara’s foot twitched. Her mom stood up and started to cry. Xiomara’s brother started running to the doctor and told her that she had started to move. When they got back, Xiomara was sitting up and talking to her mom about what happened, but Xiomara couldn’t remember exactly.

“Hey, Mom. I know I got hit by a car because I was drunk. But I can’t remember anything else. I’m sorry,” Xiomara said in a soft voice.

“Oh, so don’t be sorry for getting hit by a car. I mean, it was your fault and the driver’s fault, but mostly yours. But don’t apologize to me for that. Apologize to you for that. Apologize to me for getting wasted and making me worry about you.”


Two weeks later…

Xiomara was riding her bike to work every day as a poem writer. Even though she didn’t get to read the poem, she still submitted it. Then, the judges got to read it, and they suggested her to a writing company, and Xiomara was offered a job. Now she had a well-paying job. And as for her father, Xiomara’s mom and brother took care of him by burning him and putting the ashes in the Hudson River.


Six months later…

Next week was Xiomara’s first family reunion without her dad. Xiomara was thinking about drinking, and she had been sober six months now, and that was one of the only labels that she wanted for herself. So she decided to go to a rehab class.

Xiomara arrived at the rehab class, paid the Uber driver, and got out of the car. She was so nervous to share her story, but listening to other people’s stories, especially if they were worse than hers, made her feel better. Xiomara went inside. The doors closed loudly behind her and class started.

In the class, Xiomara didn’t feel nervous. She felt lucky to be sober for a whole six months, probably because the other people in there had it harder, but they were sober and they were staying that way.

The day had finally come, Xiomara’s family reunion, the first one without her dad. She was pretty much up all night with her mom and her grandma, cooking her favorite mashed potatoes that her mom had taught her and that her grandma had taught her mom. Every year, three people worked together to make a dish. They always made mashed potatoes. Derek, Xiomara’s brother, her uncle, Jamey, and Xiomara’s dad would work together. But this year, it would just be the two of them, making rice and beans.

That afternoon, her whole family came except for her father. They all met at Fort Greene Park because most of her family lived in Brooklyn. They needed four tables to hold all the food and one other table to hold the plates and silverware. They even had to wash rocks to keep everything on the table. It was a windy and sunny Saturday with only a couple of clouds in the sky.

Xiomara’s uncle, Jamey, walked over to Xiomara and put his hand on her shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry you only knew your father for five years. But I will be here if you have any questions about him or just want to talk.”

“Okay, that is good to know. Thanks, Uncle Jamey,” Xiomara said with confidence.

The whole family ate and laughed, sent a prayer to Jules, and enjoyed life while they had it. And in that moment, Xiomara realized she could live a happy, full life without her father, and she had the rest of her giant family. I mean, she already lived 26 years without him. She’d be fine.


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