The Last Whisper

Oct 20, 2010

The floor is swept clean and mopped. The air hangs with the scent of burning candles and fresh flowers; roses and white lilies. A butterfly enters the room and hovers over the flowers, flowers, whose blossom lasts for only an unsatisfactory period. Delicately laced white curtains line the windows.

As I move through the crowded room, I become conscious of the fact that the whole atmosphere of the room looms with grief and heartache. I can read all of a sudden people’s mind. Aunt Susan thinks about the time I first taught her to drive a car. My best friend David remembers the time I spent with him last month in the pub. Hey! How can I possibly know what these people are thinking about? And there is my beloved elder brother Mark deciding the arrangements for the funeral. Wait a minute! Whose funeral? Just let me get past the crowds to the front in my living room. Oh… oh my God! No… no, this can't be… oh my God no!! Nooooooo…

It’s been almost an hour now, and I see people moving in and around my house. People coming in with wreaths bedeck my body, while whispering some last goodbye words to my cold body. I can hear everyone of them. From what I heard from them, it seems like I had had a fatal accident while I was riding my bike, and passed away on the spot. I see my little sister sobbing by my lifeless body.

Then he enters! The one who I had learnt to hate, I dreaded meeting him. He walked soberly towards me with a bouquet and a toy car, and yes, I remember that car he held in his left hand. It was the only model missing from my ‘Super Racer Collection’ that I had treasured as a young racer car enthusiast. I was seeing him after many long years. Now he looks fatigued and much older for his age. His suit is black, his hair grey and his eyes red…His eyes were red that day too, that day when he stormed out of the house never to return until today…

I clearly remember that dark Wednesday evening, nine years ago. My father came home and told mom plainly that he was tired of her and the kids and was leaving home for good to settle elsewhere. My elder brother, who was thirteen, was at his best friend’s birthday party. My younger sister was peacefully asleep in her cot. I was in the same room as my parents, playing on the floor with my precious cars from my ‘Super Racer Collection’.

My father never explained his unforeseen behaviour and decision. My startled mother dreadfully reached for a chair to sit on. She sat there, shell shocked as my father walked to his room and began to pack his clothes into a suitcase. She sat there numbly as he quietly visited my sister’s room and planted a kiss on her forehead. She sat there quietly as he placed on the table all the keys, the documents and the bank books. She sat there as he tousled my hair playfully, as he always did. He then planted a kiss on my still stunned and quiet mother’s forehead. She sat there and watched him walk out of the house.

Then suddenly she began wailing in a voice that gave me the shivers. Nobody knew where he went. We never saw or heard of him again. Relatives and friends visited us in the following few days and sympathized. Nobody could understand why he had deserted us. Everything happened in a flash.

Nevertheless, I grew bitter by the day. I could never forgive him for walking out on his wife and three children.

My mother had taken good care of him. Specially when he had that bad accident the previous year, mother was worried sick, running all over trying to find a blood donor for him, with ‘O negative’, a rare blood group. After his disappearance, often at night I saw my mother weeping in secret, while she wore a brave face in front of us. She blamed herself for not being able to stop him from leaving. But I knew that at that moment she was too shocked to even move a finger, let alone plead with my father. This only increased the fury that I had begun to nurture against my father. The doubt that there was probably another woman in the picture made my blood boil. I hated my father with a pure passion. I was eleven when he left and now, as I see him for the first time in nine years, I begin to boil with anger…

He leans over my body and begins whispering to my cold corpse oblivious to the stares of people around. What is he whispering to me? Let me get a little closer… “My beloved son, it breaks my heart to see you, so young, no longer alive. There is a secret, which has been weighing on my heart all these years… When you were young, I had a bad accident. I needed a blood transfusion urgently. The doctors luckily found a donor. The whole thing happened very fast. A year later when I volunteered to donate my blood to some needy person, I was tested, and to my horror, I was told that I was HIV positive.

"This brought my world crashing down, son… I could not bear to tell your mom the truth… I know the stigma that society attaches to such people. I did not want my family to suffer because of a terrible mistake that happened to me. People would have ridiculed you all in public, irrespective of the truth. I was wounded in spirit, and did not want my family to suffer too. Therefore, I thought it wise to move elsewhere. However, I always kept track of all of you. I was overjoyed son, when you stood first at the state level in your board exams. You reminded me of myself as a young boy. I love you son, I always have. Please forgive your father, son, for not being there for you all these years. Please forgive me…”

As my body was taken to the Church for the final rites, it tore my heart to know that I wasted half my life hating my father when he needed someone to love him, to understand him. Why had I accused him of being unconcerned and impervious, when he had actually thought of protecting his family from pain and agony? Why didn’t he just tell us the truth years ago?

But then, I can understand the fear and terror that might have gripped him back then. My poor father… My heart goes out to the man sitting at the rear of the Cathedral, weeping softly, with my toy car in his hands. How I wish, those hands would tousle my hair just one more time… My heart aches … though now cold; my heart still aches with an everlasting pain….

However, this much I know - of all the things that I have experienced in life, the only thing I will take beyond the grave is the Last Whisper.

By Ronald Xalxo
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Comment on this article

  • Lily Dsouza, Kuwait

    Tue, Oct 26 2010

    Very beautiful, in this we learned one thing that life is very short on earth and we should live it with love but not by hatered

  • Felcy Menezes, Dubai

    Mon, Oct 25 2010

    Touching but very beautiful

  • Divya, Pangala

    Mon, Oct 25 2010

    Beautifully written and really a heart touching story..

  • Jennifer Stanley, Mumbai/Dubai

    Mon, Oct 25 2010

    Dear All,

    The Story is really very touching, however we know that there are many fathers whose love cannot be seen yet they are the ones who loves and cares for his family.

    We know the scene of the world is detoriating day by day, we face natural calamities, death, pestilence etc etc today people in the world need money, due to which the natural affection in the family is lost. When we talk about non-curable disease it brings death before it could really happen. Blood transfusion is one of the most common fact that many individuals tend to have HIV positive.

    However those following the Bible principles recorded at Acts 15:28,29 which says “For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!” This calls for practical application and obedience. We cannot blame God later after infected. Whereas he is a loving God (JEHOVAH) and wants all of us to be saved, there fore heading his counsel and applying it can give us a satisfying life today and in future PARADISE to come.That is why his son Jesus died for each one of us that we may gain everlasting life as recorded in John 3:16 which says “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. Therefore please read the BIBLE and apply it in your lives that we may gain the approval of both Jehovah and his Jesus Christ.

    If you need further information kindly mail me.

  • Jyothi Furtado, Barkur/USA

    Sun, Oct 24 2010

    Very well written...good job!keep writing...

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Sun, Oct 24 2010

    Heart touching story, very good example to follw the greatest commandment love your neighbour as you love yourself, life is too short to hate anyone and hold grouge against others.

  • Melrick D'Souza, Bendoor, Mangalore

    Sun, Oct 24 2010

    Nice article Ronald. Very touching

  • Juliet D'Souza, Neermarga/mangalore

    Sat, Oct 23 2010

    Heart touching, very nice story..... well written

  • Tony , Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 23 2010

    Superb story!!!! really it enkindles some emotions which cannot be expressed in words. Can i get the contact no of the writer??? Good work Ronald and Daijioworld!!!!

  • Saleem Javed,

    Fri, Oct 22 2010

    What an article !! m really touched .I really think the writer of dis above article deserves an Award .This Article no doubt needs lot of praises and appreciation but I would like to describe in Just one Word "Ineffable" . At this juncture I would like 2 request DaijiWorld Team 2 Pulish many more articles by Ronald Xalxo in days 2 come .Thanx a lot 4 such an beautiful and meaningful article ...

  • vannu, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 22 2010

    heart touching very nice article .

  • nancy d'leema, shirva-live in u.s.a

    Thu, Oct 21 2010

    never read any article 2 times in my life ,very painful ,every human beeing has something to learn,to be recognised internationally

  • Lily D'silva, Mumbai

    Thu, Oct 21 2010

    truly heart rending story. Whom can we blame?

  • Seema, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Oct 21 2010

    Well written... But just wondering... Whenever we want to empathize with anyone having HIV we want to believe/hope that he acquired it through unsafe blood transfusion... If a person acquired it by means of drug abuse/or unprotected sex would we still be as understanding???

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Wed, Oct 20 2010

    A thoughtfull and touching piece. There are many Dads like these in the world who are judged wrongly for their action without knowing the reality of the situation/intention. Many silent fathers whose love cannot be measured outwardly. This inwardly love indeed is the real love of a father often unspoken or outwardly.
    A great article Ronald.

  • Andy, Goa

    Wed, Oct 20 2010


  • Barbara, Kuwait

    Wed, Oct 20 2010

    Another example why we should not judge any one, we only land up making a fool of ourself in the end.
    Great article, all the best

  • Shanthi, Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 20 2010

    very well written. Sometimes dreadful things happen in our life and we look for answers. Sometimes situations come in our lives where we feel abandoned but God is the only one who knows all the answers. Take courage!!!!!!

  • shan, Milagres/Bahrain

    Wed, Oct 20 2010

    Heart touching story...

  • Sarita D'Souza, Valencia / Kuwait

    Wed, Oct 20 2010

    Touching article.

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