She thought about him throughout her flight, remembering how magical he’d made her childhood feel. But he’d stopped being a dad when she needed him the most, and she couldn’t forgive that.
So why was she on the first flight out of Oregon heading home?
Emily hadn’t talked to her dad for the past ten years. They had been close once, and she always cherished those moments.
But one day, he turned into someone she ran into in their house’s corridor. Although she hated to admit it to herself, she knew she’d lost him forever. But what would happen ten years later would have her running back to him. She would get her last laugh.
Emily Melissa Becket was the firstborn in a family of four living in San Fransisco, California. Alongside her sister Cassie Becket and mom and dad, Emily had the best life someone her age could have.
But everything came crashing down when she turned twenty, leaving her family in shambles and turning her life upside down.
Emily had been in college when she got the call from her dad. Her mom had been involved in a fatal accident on the interstate. Even now, Emily could taste the cocktail of shock and sadness that flooded her veins then.
A good sunny day quickly turned sour, ushering in a world of pain that would be a constant reality for her family. But the only person who could help them recover seemed not to care.
Emily and Cassie had looked up to their dad since they were born. He’d been their hero, but now that they needed him the most, he curled into himself, leaving them to wade through pain alone.
Emily’s dad fell into religion after losing his wife, finding solace in holy books while his daughters tried to make sense of everything. This would create a great rift between him and Emily, which would last ten years. But one day, Cassie, now grown up, would call Emily telling her their dad was very ill.
Emily and Cassie grew up independently despite having a dad right there. Emily had to step up to be a mom to her little sister while simultaneously taking care of the house and studying. As such, she grew up loathing her dad for not being there when she and Cassie needed him.
After graduating college, Emily moved to Oregon, where she forged a life for herself as a lecturer. Of course, her little sister would always visit her, sometimes even asking Emily to accompany her back home to see their dad. But Emily didn’t know what she’d do if she ever saw him again.
That fateful call found Emily teaching a class. Seeing that it was Cassie, she excused herself and answered. The news would leave her shaking.
After their unfortunate fallout, Emily had never cared what her dad was up to. But after her sister informed her that he was hospitalized because of stage four chronic kidney disease, she dropped everything and took the first flight out of Oregon.
Throughout her journey, memories barraged Emily. She thought about her dad and everything they’d been through together. She wondered if she’d been hard on him through the last decade. Would she have a chance to clear the air with him?
Emily had watched enough movies where characters let their anger take over their lives, blocking them from their loved ones. These people regretted everything when the people they loved were on their death beds. Would she be like them?
Emily teared up throughout the journey, hoping she’d get to sit with her dad to talk. Now that she was grown up, she understood that he’d also been grieving when they lost their mom. She hated that she had failed to see that before.
She opened her cab door before it even stopped at the hospital parking lot, rushing through the entrance to inquire about her dad. That’s when she ran into Cassie.
Cassie’s eyes were awash with tears when Emily bumped into her. “What is it,” Emily stammered, the pain she’d felt when their mom passed exploding within her. “He needs a kidney transplant,” Cassie said, adding that the doctors were ruling her out due to her own medical complications.
“I’ll do it,” Emily declared, her eyes wide and flooded with tears. She didn’t even wait for Cassie’s answer, only kissed her forehead and hurried to talk to the doctors.
Emily and Cassie walked up to their dad’s bed an hour after Emily’s arrival. They found their old man lucid, although under heavy medication. Emily’s tears doubled as she saw the condition he was in. The last time she saw him, he’d been on the porch, asking her not to leave. “I’m so sorry,” she said.
A doctor came in with Emily’s test results, informing her that she was a perfect match for a kidney donor. “When can we operate?” she asked, wiping her tears. She’d do everything to keep her dad in this world.
“As soon as possible,” the doctor answered, starting a chain of events that would culminate with Emily donating a kidney to her dad. But although her operation was successful, the hardest part of their journey was still ahead of them.
Emily was in and out of consciousness as they operated on her dad. She was still under heavy medication and in a lot of pain and couldn’t follow her dad’s operation. She only hoped for the best as the hours counted by.
Three days after Emily’s operation, she was strong enough to get out of bed. She first asked how dad was doing, to which Cassie only wept.
Emily struggled out of the room without her sister’s help. Was she too late to save her dad? Would she ever see him again, tell him how sorry she was for shutting him out? Would he be there when she finally got married?
Emily fought off each nurse that tried to hold her back. Her tears flowed freely as she limped to her dad’s room. Her stomach clenched as she pushed the door open, her mouth falling open by what she saw.
Before Emily was her dad, playing chess with one of his doctors. “Hi, kiddo,” he smiled, using the same name he’d always called her when she was young. “Hi, Dad,” Emily said as a mixture of laughter and sobbing beat out of her chest. But it wasn’t over.
Emily and her dad spent a week in the hospital before being discharged. Although their journey to physical and emotional recovery was long, they, together with Cassie, helped each other wherever possible.
Emily and her dad had ample time to open up to each other, mending their relationship. Her dad even flew to Oregon to meet her boyfriend, colleagues, and students. A few years later, he’d walk her down the aisle in a beautiful wedding. What else could a girl want?