“It is one thing to see potential in yourself, but it is another to know how to harness your potential to the fullest. As an individual always strive to be the best you can be by always pushing yourself to the most of your ability. Don’t make mistakes that can cost you a lot!” I sat in front of the church auditorium and tried to absorb those words. It was the first time that my father had ended a motivational statement with such a dark statement. No occasional “amen” accompanied that statement as the crowd seemed to have noticed the end of the statement. He took a deep breath and tried to speak, “N-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-ever!” I saw my father struggling, but I thought he had seen something that he was going to talk about that would bring bearing over the topic he was discussing. “A Better You Through Choices”, such a topic though, never reflected the true nature of my father’s teachings as he always spoke about success and being living proof of a wealthy God. He stood there, his arms resting on the crystal bible stand. His fingers ran through his relaxed hair with such ease and a tear broke down his face. I stood up seeing that my father was in pain, but as I began walking to the pulpit he urged me to stop. “Juniper, my only daughter. I love you, my only child, my only family. When your mother died you were all I had left. I love you Trinity!” my father never called me by my second name unless he was speaking from deep inside his heart. I tried to walk to him but he told me to go back. I looked on in utter shock; the entire church wondered what was going on with him. He fell to his knees and started to cry. My heart began to ache and I began to cry. He clutched the microphone and said his last words; “Trinity, I love you. My little angel I am sorry!” My heart kept on screeching. It felt as if my pet cat Pablo was scratching it with open paws. I could hear my heartbeat slow down and grow colder. My blood was growing cold but I was alive. I looked up to my father and met his gaze. I raised my hand to him, but he was so far away. He pulled out a gun from his pocket and in a second he shot himself in the head. The sound of the gun shot echoed in my head as I raced to him. The gun fell to the ground and my eyes locked onto it as it touched the ground. I looked at my father, lying on his side with blood oozing out of his head wound. My body went numb, tears were running down the horrific creases on my face and I was running out of air. “Oh my God, someone call an ambulance!” Two police officers came racing into the auditorium, guns drawn as they headed for the pulpit. People were in a state of panic and some ran to the pulpit to see if my father was alive. The gunshot was continuously echoing in my head and my heart was physically in pain. “This is squad car 4352, requesting an ambulance at address 34 Dolly Broke Avenue, Virgin Island. Gunshot in Church at address, looks like suicide attempt; shot in the head, victim unconscious. Over!” “Squad car 4352, request acknowledged, ambulance is on the way. Also sending a meat wagon. Over!” The sharp side of a dagger had slit my heart and the devil had put a burning piece of coal into my hearts inner most chamber. My eyes were red; searing pain was around my pupil as if the smoke from the burning pieces of my heart had touched the surface of my eyes. My stomach turned, intestines twisted as if they were at the mercy of a tornado. I was choking on my own saliva and quickly running out of air. I gasped for air because my nose would not take anymore in. My mouth wouldn’t open and I was trapped inside my own body. I fell to the floor face down and I could still hear the sound of the gunshot repeating over and over. Four ushers rushed to my aid but as they lifted me up I finally caught a breeze of air. I rushed to breath, brushed the ushers off and dashed to my father. People were just standing around him; one police officer was keeping everyone at a safe distance while the other was trying to resuscitate my father. I shoved the people aside and fell to my knees next to my father. “Daddy, wake up, wake up daddy. Please wake up. Don’t stand there, get some help! Daddy please don’t leave, please you are all that I have. Daddy; please don’t leave me, don’t go. Please daddy smile at me, look at me daddy.” An usher tried to kneel next to me but I shouted at him. “Get away from me, leave us alone! You did this. Get away, you killed my father!” Most of the people were in tears but I didn’t want to accept the fact that my father was gone. “Daddy please wake up. I am sorry about our fight this morning. Please daddy, I am sorry. Sorry daddy, please, sorry.” My face was resting on his motionless chest, my tears falling onto his chest (revise this statement: repletion of chest). The paramedics came in quickly and I rushed to give them way but as soon as they saw the body they had little to say. They tried mouth to mouth resuscitation but he wasn’t responding. They tried to shock his heart back to life but he was gone. I watched as they logged the time of death and I clutched one of the paramedics by the collar. “Help him! Don’t just stand there; help him! Don’t let him die, please don’t let him die. He is all that I have left. Don’t let him die.” The paramedic took hold of me and hugged me. Tears were rushing down my face like the torrents of the river Zambezi towards the end of its race. How could he be gone, my daddy; all I had. My voice broke out in a painful tone, my heart was boiling hot, my legs were failing me; my mind couldn’t go on. It was too much! The paramedic tried to maintain a strong hold on me but I fell to the ground. Weak, broken and vandalised by the tragedy, my heart would now know no peace for the tranquillity of my once so stable and liveable life had been shattered by the ever dominant sound of the gunshot as it echoed deep in the crevices of my head. Like the hammer of a blacksmith, pounding on the iron as it is moulded into shape, my mind began to feel the pounding turmoil of the gunshot. Slowly pulling at every moral fibre of my being, sucking out every strand of sanity I had fought to retain after my mother had died, the gunshot sound was reigning victorious in its reign of chaos in my mind. “Daddy please don’t go, please don’t leave me.” The last words of my mouth that day, lying on the floor of the church auditorium, cold chills sending shivers up my spine; shuttering every warm heartfelt emotion and sensation I had battled so hard to feel again.
The people looked on, tears lining their cheeks, some knelt next to me but like my father, my body was numb, my blood so chilled. My heart beat was so heavy, pounding loudly in the shadows and racing like the hounds of hell towards a future that had spun me into the twisted black hole that is called a crawling moment. At the moment where you are so struck down, you know not where to turn, you have been dealt a terrible deck of cards and no matter what you try to do, the cards just make you lose more and more of what you had invested in yourself. You feel so broken, so shattered, so deserted, that memories of the past become such a distant drop of clean blood in an ocean of decaying blood. Voices of mourning were tearing through the tranquillity of the church. People were in utter shock, the very foundations of their existence had been shook by the reoccurring image of the senior pastor of the church pulling a gun and shooting himself in the middle of the service. “You can take the body to the meat wagon outside; we have video footage of the suicide so we don’t need to call in the crime scene boys.” I turned my face to look at the source of the voices and saw the paramedics lifting my father’s body on a stretcher and taking him to the ambulance. I rose to my feet quickly and began to run towards them. A police officer tried to grab a hold of me but I escaped his hold. I ran, “Don’t take my father! Don’t take my fa-” My heart was crying after my father! As I got closer to them, the heel on my right shoe broke. I lost my balance and went crashing into the armrest of a seat. My head smashed into the wooden armrest and I lost consciousness. As my head crashed into the armrest, my mind was hyperactive and as soon as the pain from the impact registered in my mind, the gunshot fired one last time. Unconscious, lying motionless in an awkward position with a broken heel; the worst nightmare of my life began.