It was a cold festival afternoon, we had just come back from walking around Village green when my Dad called me outside saying he wanted to show me something. Lol (my family nickname) let me show you how to build a fire he said, why I asked? And was told that he doesn’t want to leave it too late, as you may never know when something may happen.

The following day My Mom, Jody, Jolene and I were all out, we went to go and watch a show. Can’t remember what it was that we saw! Anyway my Dad got home from helping a family Friend Mike and Shorty with there food stall and he was going to go out, but something changed his mind, I begged and pleaded with him to go out as I wanted a evening at home with my Mom and Jolene to do girly things, Jody my brother was locked in his room, as he was most of the time so I wasn’t really bothered about him. After much deliberation and me laying the clothes out for my dad to wear, he went to go and get ready.

Just before he left in his old beach buggy I opened up the peephole to our front door and said to him ‘Just make sure you are home before 12 0’ clock otherwise you will be in the dog box with mum again for another late evening’, he laughed walking away saying ‘yes Lolly I’ll do one better and be home at 11:45’… I am still waiting for him to come home and its now 16 years later.

What happened was my Dad went to the pub with his friends for a few drinks and a game or two of darts, at 11:45 as promised he was on his way home but never made it. He was killed when a cop was on a high speed chase after a stolen care that on over taking had rammed into my fathers beach buggy, crushing the battery of it and sending my Dad 50 meters away from the wreck, the two guys in the stolen car climbed out and ran away.

Just after 12pm our front door bell rang and I jumped up to go and open it thinking it was my father that had forgotten his keys to let himself in, much to my surprise it was Norman a local traffic cop, I will never forget the look on his face that night, it was pure sorrow as he was one of my dad’s closest friends and the first man on the scene of my fathers car crash. He asked me where my mother was and I told him in the kitchen making us some tea, he went though and spoke to her, I will never know how he told her that she lost her life long friend, her husband, the coffee cups came tumbling to the floor and I rushed to the kitchen to see my mother shaking and in floods of tears and Norman standing over her, and I knew right then that something was wrong. I went over to her to comfort her and she told me that my dad was gone, his time had come and that I need to go and tell Jody. I walked though the lounge with Jolene (my dad’s youngest sister) holding my hand, we both looked into my Mom and Dads room, and noticed the sudden emptiness, his space will never be filled, and we slowly walked towards my bothers room, I knocked on his door and went in, and simply just said that dad was killed in a accident not so long ago, all Jody said to me was please leave. It took him 2 weeks before he spoke to anyone, it was agonising for us all.

For the next few hours all Jolene and I did was make tea as it seemed like the entire world was in our house, everyone was talking in shallow murmurs, I remember sitting on Norman’s lap asking him to explain it all to me and naturally because I was only 13 he couldn’t tell me the whole truth of what had happened that night, to which I still haven’t had the courage to ask him the full details of how my Dad died. I prefer to think that it was quick and painless; as the last thing I want to know was that he suffered.

Following my father’s death came his court case to sentence the two guys who had killed him but unfortunately 8 years later the case was thrown out of court as all 4 witnesses were killed in mysterious accidents… and I ask was my Dads justice served?

Losing my father has been one of the most painful experiences I have ever had to go though, and I have been though many, not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or wish for him to come home, Every year on his birthday and the anniversary of his death I try and have a rum and coke with a slice of lemon on his behalf as that was his only drink.

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