You love your dad.
You want to be just like him one day.
You watch the way he helps people in need and the way he speaks so kindly and the way he works so hard.
He works so hard, he starts to work over time.
Sometimes he even works weekends.
He works so hard you start to hardly see him.
Then one day he doesn't come home from work.
You see him two weeks later for a two hour visit until your mom picks you up.
Then you see him once a week,
Then you see him once a week, once a month,
Then you see him once a week, once a month, once every other month.
By High School you start to go months without seeing him,
but you still want to be just like him.
You get a job at a local cafe as soon as you're sixteen.
You join the wrestling team.
You are a great wrestler. You are one of the best on the team.
You start staying later in practice to improve your skills.
You start taking weekend shifts and working overtime.
You notice you're hardly home, but it hardly bothers you.
You're the first one to be there for a friend when things are rough.
Your friend's parents are going through a divorce.
You know how that feels.
You start staying up late with him, letting him pour his heart out to you.
You feel his pain.
You do anything he asks you to do, anything your couch asks you to do, anything your boss asks you to do.
Then before you realize it your sister is graduating and leaving the house.
She makes college friends and hardly calls home.
You start to see less of your older brother also.
Then you find out he's been staying at your dad's house.
Your mom is upset with this and you start cooking, cleaning, and even helping with bills.
And then one day you accidentally spill a glass of water on someone's table at work.
You apologize a hundred times and although they say it's okay, it's fine, you can't stop shaking.
You feel you need to be at practice, at school, at home with your mom, on the phone with your sister, at your friend's house, at work, all at once.
You go home that night and your mom is gone. You don't know where she is.
You got off work early.
Your friend is out of town.
You don't have practice until the morning.
Your sister won't answer her phone.
You think for a second to call your dad and see how he's doing.
To ask what he and your brother are up to.
Ask if you can join.
But you weren't invited.
You feel numb.
You feel worthless.
You feel like you have nothing left to offer.
You go to your mom's closet. You find a box of your dad's old things in the back.
You find his shotgun.
You marvel at its beauty.
You have nothing left to give. You've given all you could and you're burnt out.
You don't think anyone will want to give to you.
You let your forehead rest on the front of the gun.
You think that if you have nothing left to give then you aren't needed anymore.
You pull the trigger.
As the bullet glides through the gun to reach you, you shed a tear as a silent cry out
to your depressed mother,
to your faraway sister,
to your busy coach,
to your careless boss,
to your clueless friend and teammates,
to your older brother,
your brother who seems to have formed a better relationship with your dad.
To your dad.
Your dad who seems to only need one son.
You cry out to all of them, one of them to save you.
But it's too late.
Your life ends on the night of father's day.
And at your funeral everyone shares how much they loved you.
But you weren't there to hear it.