July 25, 2016. I am 26 years old. It’s 5:05 am. I just finished grading a stack of 64 midterm exams. A thunderstorm is roaring outside. My 7-month-old puppy is whining. My poor baby. 7 years ago, at 5:05 am, my dad had already choked to death. An accidental fire, I read in the newspapers. I was 19. He was 42. He would be 48 today (his birthday is in December, mine is in January). I was 5 weeks away from starting university. I was at my aunt’s, 33 du Barrage street. Too many numbers, my head hurts. Their cat was restless. No. It was only the following day that I learned about it. But I already knew. I’ve never told anyone, but I knew before knowing. People waited a full day and a half before telling me. 1 day and 1/2. His one son. But I knew, so I looked it up myself. I found this article in the newspapers: http://www.lapresse.ca/la-voix-de-lest/actualites/200907/27/01-887549-la-victime-na-pu-etre-reanimee.php. I learned about my dad’s death in the newspapers. Online, at night, at my aunt’s. It was that night that the kitty was restless. Yes, I remember now. I didn’t like that cat. I didn’t like the yellow pillow in the guest room either. I called my mom 6 or 7 times before she answered. The funerals were 1 or 2 days after. Why can’t I remember? I’m such a dumbass. I went shopping for funeral clothes at some point. I guess it was 2 days after. But it seemed quicker than that. I also got a haircut at some point but I think that was even before I knew. I mean, I already knew, but before I knew knew. Wait no. I spent the day right after with Karine. I pretended everything was ok. We even went out. We made a silly lip-sync video. So I was wrong, the funerals were 2 days after. I don’t remember how I got there. I don’t remember if it was my mom who picked me up or my aunt who drove me. They both attended. My brother was there too (half-brother, his dad is still alive, but of course he knew my dad well). My mom had separated from my dad a long time before. I have no memories of them together. But my memories are fading it seems, so what do I know. I was on autopilot for two weeks. My brain had trouble registering. I was numb. I didn’t cry much. I understood but didn’t feel. My mom cried, my aunt cried, everyone cried. Did I cry? I don’t remember. I was watching the movie of my dad’s funerals. I could only think of the fire. I was miles away, but I could see it so clearly in my mind. It was right there. I only had to go in and save my dad, but I didn’t. This scene was on endless replay for 2 weeks. That’s all I remember. All I remember is something that didn’t happen. Me not saving my dad, over and over again. Him dying endlessly. Me standing there watching his death. I remember plants. They were given to me afterwards. I still have them. I remember my mom’s tears on my shoulder. My aunt sniffling behind me. People looking at me. The fire. A lot of people looking at me. Some that I’ve never met, wishing me well. I don’t know you, wish well to your father who’s 82 and still alive, not to a stranger. I remember chairs. The fire. I remember not going to the washroom. I remember nothing of the following days. I also remember they didn’t let me be alone with my dad’s body. Those were the only words I said all week, “can I have 2 minutes alone with him?,” but they were denied. It’s the only thing I really wanted, but they refused. If only they let me, it would’ve been much easier. It would’ve been easier to cry. How could I react with so many people around me waiting for me to react. Dying to see my reaction. I remember some kind of priest saying stuff. My father didn’t believe in religion. Dumbasses, why have a priest at his funerals. I think the last time I saw my dad (not his corpse) was at his sister’s house. We drove there. It was kind of boring. I had a cheeseburger. He watched me sleep at some point. Or maybe that was the time before. I was half-aware, but I know he watched me sleep. I never watched him sleep. The closest I got to watching him sleep was in his coffin. He looked sleepy. He looked happy, happier than me. I wanted to join him. There was room for two. I’m not very big. I’m struggling to remember. We went on walks together and found crabs. He made me love crabs. He taught me how to grab them. But I don’t remember today. I forgot so many things. It hurts how much I’ve forgotten. The beautiful memories all gone. Only the feeling of loss that I will always remember. His death. Taking the whole space of my memories of him.All that’s left is his death.