"James! James you awake honey?" My mother Ellie called from the other side of my bedroom door. "Can I just have a few more minutes mom…" I said complainingly. "Jim I know you don't want to get out of bed, and for the same reason I didn't either… Because you know this is going to be a hard day for you, and its hard to face that fact. But I promise you the more you lay there the worse you are going to feel. It will be good for you to get up and be around people that care about you. Also you have school today, and you don't want a tardy on your perfect attendance record."
"Yeah your right mom, ill be down stairs in a little bit…" I said begrudgingly. "Ok ill see you down stairs. I made breakfast by the way."
She was right. No matter how much I didn't want to accept it, it was going to be a rough day. For one reason… it was the anniversary of my fathers death.
Exactly four years ago this day my father, Marc Hope, was killed in a car crash. It was around 10:30 p.m. when my father got a call, from the office that he worked at, that there was an emergency at work. Apparently some idiot was trying to steal important files, files that if leaked could cause the company he worked for to suffer greatly. And the thief was apparently getting $800,000 to steal these files. So they called my father up, since he was the manager of that branch, to help with the situation. And all it took was just that one moment… that one moment of weakness and desperation to cause my father to die. Because if the thief had maybe waited till the next day, or even just the next HOUR, my father would have been with me that day. Or at least that's what I believed at the time.
After he left the house, about 15 minutes later my mother gets a call, and it was my father! He was barely alive, alive enough to call my mother and say his goodbyes. In his dying breath, he told her that a semi truck at the corner of O'Connor and Hickory Street hit him and that he was pretty sure that he only had a few minutes to live. Of course I didn't hear the conversation, I just woke up because my mother was crying in the kitchen and I didn't know why. And when I went to go see if she was ok she sent me back to my room and told me to wait there. All I can really remember her saying as she was crying was "I love you baby…" over and over again. After a while I put the pieces together and figured out that the person on the phone was my father, and that he obviously wasn't coming home that night. So I had my fair share of crying that night as well. When I calmed down a little bit I went to my oldest sister, Adriana, and told her what I was pretty sure that happened. At first she didn't believe, she though it was a stupid joke. But as she heard my mother crying in the other room she soon realized that I may have been right. And we both cried together for a while…
Later the next day we figured out that the truck driver was drunk, so he was going to go to jail for manslaughter. Of course that didn't change that fact that our father was gone from our lives forever.
My youngest sister Alexa was only about two years old at the time, so she wasn't as affected by it as we were. She really didn't get to know our father very well before he died, which makes her upset sometimes but makes its somewhat easier to deal with the pain of loosing him. My oldest sister Adri, however, was maybe most affected by it in the family. Ari and our dad were not on very good terms with each other before he died. In fact she even scream that she HATED him and stormed off to her room the day that he died. So ever since then she has always had regrets about not being closer with him. But she will never say that out loud, she hid her feelings about what happened with a gigantic wall of attitude and sass. But the anniversary of his death is the only day in the year when she is actually quiet and somewhat respectful.
And so today, being the 4th anniversary of his death, brings back all the memories I've had with him. But unfortunately it brings back that moment when he called my mother to say he loved her, the last moment of his life….
I can remember that feeling of loss and sadness, that feeling of just standing on the sidelines and just feeling so helpless. The feeling of knowing my father was dying without being able to do anything about it. I think that's what hurt me most of all… he was a good man a deserved to live a much longer life than he did.
But there were things that just didn't add up…
Things that just did not sit well with me about the whole situation.
I knew it was probably in my head but I couldn't shape this feeling that there was more to this story than meets the eye. And as I got older, these feelings grew.
This anniversary of his death was none like the others, because this was the day I decided to find out the truth of what happened to my father. This is the day I began my journey, the journey of finding my fathers killer…