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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

Describing the pain and suffering that exists in the world, this story tells how one regular evening turned into a nightmare for an entire family, all because of a simple mistake.

Submitted: May 05, 2018

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Submitted: May 05, 2018




"Tinnitus, it's called," Alan breathed to himself, briskly stroking the keyboard.  Father had been suffering for days, complaining about neck pains and a constant ringing in the ears .  Mother and his brother, Arthur, had begun to think that Father had finally snapped, but Alan disagreed. Easily inflamed as his father was, he would not burst without cause, as the others believed.  The current degenerate state Father existed in did not happen out of the blue.

Father was renownedly difficult to communicate with, and what's worse, he refused help from others.  A typical Chinese man of the more conservative era - proud to a fault, but unafraid to point out the flaws in others.  Equipped with a harsh tongue, a short temper, and a fiery disposition, Father made enemies quickly, often pushing away those who lived under the same roof.  However, the worse times were when he blew up...

Last night, Mother was giving Father eye drops to help alleviate the itchiness of the allergens that were in the air.  Mother was slow to move her hand, as Father raised his head.  The inevitable crash occurred, and Father's head was pushed backwards.  When he righted himself again, his neck was in severe pain, and was only getting worse.  An old wound had opened.  Neck pains and stiffness were shooting up through Father's head, contributing to a disgusting migraine.  Worse still was the developing ringing noise that had plagued Father for several months before.

The last time it happened, Father had been hit by a vertigo attack, and in the dizziness appeared a loud ringing that stayed with him.  It had been the bane of his existence, seeping into every pore of his existence.  It pervaded his sleep, his appetite, his thoughts; even his ability to function normally was at risk.  Day in and day out, Father despised his existence.  He feared the night hours, when the sounds of the world were minimal, and the ringing in his ears became the roaring of an ocean.  Then, as suddenly as it came, it disappeared.

Slowly, but surely, Father returned to his normal state.  Fiery and short-tempered, but not angry at everything around him.  Until last night.  The neck pains were back and the ringing was inescapable.  He couldn't catch a wink of sleep, and he made sure nobody else in the house could either.  Throughout the darkest hours, Father howled like a wounded beast. His wails and heavy stomping punctured the silence, as he made an effort to drown out the internal ringing of the ears.  By the next day, Father's rage was boiling like a kettle, and the steam had nowhere to go but outwards.  The bottled rage sought out Mother, blaming her for his current state, calling her unacceptable, unrepeatable things.

Alan wanting to help, but not knowing how, looked to the Internet for the answer.  Something - anything - that could help relieve the pain.  Some massaging exercises came up, but they were extremely inconsistent, and looked painful.  Alan didn't want to make anything worse for Father, so he went to him with the only information he knew for sure. "Tinnitus, its called."

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