Short Story, last assignment.

Love, Your Daughter

A young girl climbed into bed but she could not set into her dreams until her dad tucked her in and read her a bedtime story. She needed something to dream about. The bedside lamp was being switched on and off as she toyed with it, seeing stars being shone on the cloudy blue ceiling.
“Settle down now love. Will you please stop playing before the light blows out, sweetie?” Her dad said in a low yet calm voice as he tried to find a book to read to his one and only daughter.
She pouts her lips and nods twice.
Looking at her father peering over the pink bookshelf was hilarious. The bookshelf was the same height as her father’s hips so he has to bend low to choose a book. He looked like a giant!
“Aha!” Her dad exclaimed with enthusiasm in his voice, as though he has found something he had lost.
There were so many books of all types of fairy tales in the world and it became hard for him to choose which one to read. On the first few nights, he felt like flipping through every single book just to relive his childhood. He has been reading stories for his daughter since the day she learned her ABCs. Every other night, he gets to choose a story to read to her. Yesterday, she had gotten hers. Tonight, it was his turn.
“I hope you don’t mind but I chose Rumpelstiltskin.”
The young girl’s eyes lit up. “Is it about a princess?”
Her dad smiled and shook his head.
“It’s about a young girl who had to spin straw into gold and a little man who helped her. In return, when she was Queen, she had to give him her first child to him.”
His daughter gasped.
“Did she? Did she give him her child in the end?”
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you now. I’m supposed to read the story to you, dear.” He curved his lips and touched the book with care. Stroking it slowly, he told his daughter that the book he held in his hands was a present her mother had chosen for herself as a reward for her good behaving while her parents were away.
“Daddy… was Mum your princess?” She giggled. Her dad paused for a while.
“Your mum… She was the princess and I was her prince. Then, when we got married she became a queen and I became her king. We had a princess and that princess is you.” He jokingly pinched her nose and there was silence.
“Sadly, the happily ever after lasted only for a short while…”
“Mrs. Mary Anne from school said good moments only last for a while; bad moments too.”
She gave her father a hug. She knows he had been through a lot. He had taken the roles of being both her father and mother; preparing meals for her, dressing her for school, combing her hair and bringing her shopping.
“Dad, would you tell me more about mum?” The eagerness and curiosity in her voice made her dad’s heart soften.
Once upon a time, there was a prince…” Her father began telling the story like how fairy tales do. He introduced her mother.
“… She looks as though she fell from heaven. Angelic. She was beautiful… and sweet. The prince finally got the courage to greet her after three weeks. He met her at the theaters for their first date. He did not know what to expect. He was so nervous. When the princess came, they watched 500 Days of Summer and shared popcorn. That night, he kissed her. He told her that he felt that she was the one for him. He knew she was the one for him the moment they eyes met each other. They went out a couple more times after that. On their wedding day, she told him ‘you’re not perfect, Patrick… You can’t skate for five minutes without falling. You don’t have a nice singing voice’ And she went on listing all his imperfections and ended with this, ‘…and that is why you’re perfect for me.’ Those words still ring in his head up to this day. They were married for ten long years but unlike any fairy tale, it was not a happy-ever-after ending as she had to leave. She needed to be with God and he misses her dearly. Up till today, he was left with a beautiful princess to look after. You… The End.”
“Daddy… You have me now. Don’t cry.” The little girl could not help but shed a tear.
Goodnight daddy.” Her voice was filled with a mixture of sorrow and joy. Her dad gave her a long hug and a kiss on her forehead.
“Goodnight, Jane. Sweet dreams.” He placed the book on the shelf and made his way out of her room.
Making sure that her dad was a distance away, she pulled out a pen and a lined paper from under her pillow and wrote...
1st July

Mum, tonight dad read me his story. It was about the two of you, mum. Do you miss dad like how he misses you? He mentions a lot about you, mum. Do you remember the first time you met dad; the first time your eyes laid on his, the first date and the first kiss? Do you, mum? Dad does. How are things up there? I really miss you, mum. I hope you’re missing me too.
Your daughter.
Then she reached out for a box under her bed, where many other envelopes could be found. She placed the letter in a blue envelope and sealed it. The box was cautiously placed back to where it was from and she pulled her blanket to her shoulders.
“Goodnight mum.” Her voice trailed off as she wonders when she will come across a postbox that states: Delivery to Heaven.
This happened ten years ago. Now Patrick stood by his daughter’s bed, slowly placing the urn down on the bedside table. There was a photograph lying there, near a lily in a vase. He had accepted Jane’s going calmly.
Her daughter’s memorial took place in the afternoon and now he was back at home, near Jane’s bed. He had declined his sister, Margaret’s invitation to go out for some drinks with her relatives. He did not want to be out there. He could not bear being anywhere his daughter was not. He could not believe that she had to leave at such young age. He stayed in, carrying the weights of his life and dragging them with him.
“Goodnight dear…” Silent tears rolled down his cheeks as he muttered. There was no one to comfort him now; to give him a warm hug and a pat on his back. Now he’s all alone.
As though giving a sign, a sudden flow of cold wind gushed in through the wooden window; the one Jane had begged him to paint a light shade of pink when she was 6. The wind carried the photograph that was set nicely on the bedside to the floor. It was a photo of them taken at her elementary school on the first day. Unlike other children who were scared and bailed their eyes out, she had a huge smile plastered on her face, determined to start her day.
He stretched his hand to touch the edge of the photo but it was out of reach. She pushed away her blanket and went to the floor. He saw a huge black box under her bed and pulled it out. There were more than 100 letters inside. He was surprised to see that all those letters were written by Jane to her late mum.
She had stopped writing letters 6 years ago but she had faithfully written them for more than 4 years, each with a gap of 2 weeks.
January 15th

I heard what happened to you, mum. God had taken you away because you belonged there. Dad told me you’re an angel now, mum. I’m sure you are a beautiful angel.
Your daughter.

February 4th
Sometimes I wonder what will happen when I get older. You won’t get to see me walk down the aisle with the man I love. You won’t get to be the grandmother to my children. It will be lonely for dad to go by himself, mum. I wish you were here.
Your daughter.

April 27th
I made dad sad today. I didn’t tell him where I was when I got home after curfew. I could not tell him where I was. I didn’t want to lie to him. Actually I asked a few friends to accompany me to the bookstore along the river because I wanted to get him the book he has been talking about. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m going to give him the book this coming Monday mum. It’s dad’s birthday. Mum, do you think he knows I’m sorry? I miss you, mum.
Your daughter.
September 2nd
I know you were there for me when I was younger. I know it’s not up to you to decide when you have to go. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have dad. Dad has been there for me all these time. When I needed a companion, help, advice, money, he’s there for me. I feel grateful for having him as my dad. I feel blessed. If one day he were to leave me, I hope I have the chance to tell him how much I love him, how I treasured the stories he had read to me when I was younger, how much I’ll be at loss without his guidance. But I know I have to be strong. If I were to leave before him, I want him to be strong too. I know he will be strong because dad is. If I were to leave before him, I want him to know that everything is going to be okay, that he does not have to worry about me, because I’ll be with you, mum. This will be the last letter I’ll write to you, mum. I don’t know what’s going to happen to all these letters I have written. Maybe I’ll forget about them soon. Maybe in a few years I’ll find them again. Then I’ll laugh and cry at how things were. I guess this is goodbye.
Your daughter.
The letters were damped from Patrick’s tears. He will be strong, he promised.

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