Thoughts Of Pain

(This is a sequel to Thoughts of Grief. You’ll have to scroll for a bit to find it. Trigger warning: mentions of suicide.)

I do not awaken to the afterlife.

I awaken to a home that isn’t mine, dilapidated, with no furniture except for the couch I rest on. Cocooning my body is a fleece blanket with poorly made stitching. Sewn with unsteady hands, the thin material did nothing to keep my body warm.

“Sebastian?” I sit up and call out at the abandoned walls keeping me from the outside.

His raspy timbre doesn’t answer back.

I try again, “Sebastian!”

The repetition of quick, rhythmic steps comes to me. I plant my feet against the creaky wood floors, push myself up from the couch, only to meet eyes with a man who was not my brother.

“Eden, you’re—“

Without thinking, I throw the blanket onto the couch, grab a loose board from the floors, and throw it at the mysterious individual. He stops it midair, extending his hand out in front of him. With his magic, he gently lowers the wooden board onto the ground.

“I am not here to hurt you, Eden,” The individual says.

“How do you know my name?!” I demand.

While confronting him, I take this time to study his features. His rounded face is covered in a thick black beard, graying at the tips with age. When his eyebrows knit together, deep wrinkles form at the ends of his eyes lids. His eyes are a familiar green, with wide pupils in their centers.

“It’s…a lot to explain…”

“I don’t care! Tell me right now how you know my name!”

He takes a few steps towards to me. I take a few steps back.

“You have been told you’re father committed suicide, correct?”

I nod.

“Well,” the man takes a long, deep breath, “that is not quite true. I am your father, Eden.”



Sebastian told me he had passed out on the floor, silent, no pulse beating. His skin colorless, greying as his organs failed from the strain of sustaining an overdose of medical products. A suicide note was left behind, stating that he couldn’t bear the loss of his beloved, instructing Sebastian to take care of me. When I turned thirteen, my brother pinned the note on my door, reminding me of what I had lost, of what I had taken away.

“I’ve seen you dropping flowers by your mother’s grave. I saw you try to take your own life.” Tears spring in his eyes. “And I knew I couldn’t keep myself away from baby girl any longer.”

I am at a loss. What kind of father hides away from his children, who not only no longer have a mother, but struggle to make ends meet? We rarely stay at one place for longer than three months, all while Sebastian and I have multiple jobs. He left us in the dark, drowning in sorrow, in alcohol.

“I’m sorry for everything but—“


Rage controls me, and I strike my hand across his face, leaving behind a red print on his cheek. His jaw drops in shock. My body flinches back, preparing for a counter attack, retaliation, but instead his whispers, “You have your mother’s strength. Her eyes too.”

“Don’t talk about my mother. You have no right,” I command. Tears of fury well in my eyes.

“I’m sorry.” he replies solemnly, “I understand your anger, but no matter how much you scream at me, you will always be my garden. My beautiful miracle.”

Somehow, I don’t lash out. I let the words sink in. The first words of love ever given to me in five years.

I want to loathe him, but a small part of me won’t allow it. A small part of me, where my mother’s blood courses through it. I have never known her compassion, known of the love she shared with my father, but I know their love is what created me, what put me into this world. Even when I’ve grown up to hate my very existence.

So, with hesitation, I give my father my first ever hug.

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