GENRE: Young Adult
I nod at the cop standing in the doorway. “Yeah, that’s him. Ed Bishop. My father.” I don’t know if there’s some official phrase for identifying a body. I don’t know how many words to use, so I use too many.
“Thank you, Nicholas. Do you need a minute?” The cop asks.
“I do.” I lie. I don’t.
I stare at my dad there on that emergency room gurney. He’s naked, but thankfully someone has put a heavy cotton blanket over those parts that don’t need identifying. His eyes are closed, and there is a tube hanging out of his mouth. The tube pulls his lips down into a frown that looks normal on him. The last time I remember my dad smiling was seven years ago. I was eleven then. It was the day my sister Gaby was born.
I stare down at him and fight the urge to spit. I dreamed about this since I was a little kid. I thought about it, obsessed over it, ran through possible scenarios day after day.
I wondered if I would cry. I don’t.
I thought there would be a lot of blood. There isn’t.
I wondered if I would be the one holding a weapon. I’m not.
I never thought I would feel relieved. I do.
Seeing him there, so obviously dead and inanimate is kind of creepy. The cop leaves me alone in the room with him and I sit down by his head.