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Word Count: 1,521
I wish there was a stranger sitting in this room my father mumbled as I watched him from across the room in a Chicago hospital I sat stoically in the corner of the room but still listened intently as he laid dying mumbling confessions off into space You know Chris I dont regret the way I treated your mother he muttered What about me I asked What do you mean what about me I gave you everything you could have ever asked for a car an education money so you could do God knows what Maybe it was from the Xanax or the three Valium I took in the cab ride over here but I feel nothing As far as I was concerned he had been dead my whole life I sat there indifferent as the beep from his respirator continued to slow down Do you find this cathartic What the hell am I here for I thought you never wanted to speak to me again You are free to leave at anytimeI just thought Id give you the honors to see me drop dead He croaked Well how thoughtful of you I replied smugly Despite how disappointed I know you think I am with youI do want you to know one thing He motioned for me to come closer as if he wanted to tell me a secret His words were getting softer and slower and it appeared that he didnt have much longer I hesitantly got out of my chair for the first time in hours and made my way across the hospital room As I got close to his bedside I could smell the musky smell of him when he would leave a bathroom and forgot to light a match A smell that I used to detest as a kid kind of like three-day old turkey but for some reason it almost made me smile The Valium must be wearing off He
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