when i was eight i started praying for my stepfather’s death. my small hands tightly folded, i was constantly focusing all my thoughts on the wish for him to die and disappear forever and completely. in the back of a car, on the way home from school, before falling asleep in my uncomfortable bed. and he did die, after seven years of me sending prayers into the void.
i remember the day i came home from school and he was sitting on the bench in front of our house, coughing and coughing, and he had just found out that it was lung cancer. i quietly went inside, walked upstairs, and did my homework. for half a year he sat on that bench almost every day. his hair got less and less, and i knew the state of his body hair very well because in spite of the chemo therapy and what it did to his body, he did not stop getting naked in front of me, making me get naked too, and channeling whatever energy he had left into that familiar act of violence. i learned that nothing weakens people’s urge to fulfill their primal desires, not even approaching death. my stepfather later turned from militant atheist to pious christian, in his final few weeks when he realized that his soul would probably not be saved. he tried either way and spent his last days alive confessing like a maniac. at that time he was already in hospital under police surveillance and they didn’t try to make me go visit anymore. i didn’t see him for the last five months before he died, i stayed home for the funeral too. nobody made him apologize, nobody made him repent. my mother kept visiting him, i silently waited in my bedroom.
i still have fantasies in which i cut his throat with a knife, covering the whole bedroom in his blood. death makes people lenient, but i remained unforgiving. most days now i wish i had not prayed for my stepfather’s death. most days now i wish i could get another chance to look him in the face and shout at him and then kill him with my own hands, not just with my thoughts. there are so many things to be said that would be worse than death. ten years have gone by, and still this fantasy, every day.
sometimes i think that it was just my easiest option to wish for him to die. sometimes i feel like death did me a favor and i still owe him. death becomes familiar, a special bond of death and family, forever messed up.
July C. Seven