"Grace... Grace... Come on Grace, I know you're awake," Heather's voice lingered from the doorway. With my back to her, I laid in bed, sheets up to my chin, staring out the gloomy window. Being so high up with giant windows overlooking the city, I almost felt like a bird, flying above all the action. However, my feelings imprisoned me behind the bars of a cage. Heather came to sit on the edge of my bed.
"We have been in Tokyo for over a week now and all you do is lay in this room."
I don't move a muscle.
"Whenever we do leave, you're completely checked out. You don't even look a soul in the eyes. It's like you're rejecting any human contact," she braved herself to come out and confess. A few moments of silence pass and I just wish she will leave me to my dark solitude already. "Here, let's see what your father said about Tokyo-" She was reaching for the journal beside my bed and I quickly turned and snatched it out of her hands.
"Don't!" I yelled at her with wild eyes.
"I was just trying to help-" She starts in a hushed tone, but my anger doesn't let her finish.
"No, you were just invading my privacy. You don't want to care because you don't care. I practically paid you to come on this trip and act like my friend but we both know as soon as we get back to New York we will never speak again and you will go back to your pathetic life of not knowing what to do with your future. So just go, leave me alone!" I scream at her. Tears were streaming down her face but she kept a composed face.
"You're upset. I understand. I'm not mad at you. I'll give you some time to cool down," she stood and made her way to the door. It wasn't until it clicked shut that I clasped back onto my bed, hugging my father's journal to my chest and curling up on my side. The rain slammed against the glass windows as people scurried around the sidewalks down below.
My mind was like that.
Running... Running... Running.
About ready to just stop.
To just give up.
As soon as the rant started coming out of my mouth, I knew I regretted it. But, it was like word vomit. There was no way of stopping it. I was going to have to search for her later to plead for forgiveness. I knew my father would be ashamed of the way I've been acting the last few days. He was the fun-loving father who was over-optimistic which became annoying at times. I let my fingers wrap around my birthstone locket with our photo inside and squeezed my eyes shut, trying to imagine him right now in this room.
"Gracie, you have successfully wasted another day on God's great earth," he leans back in the chair beside the bed.
"I don't want to go outside." I mumble, "There's rain."
"It's not about the rain, Gracie. You know that just as well as I. This is about that boy," he waves his pipe, that he only smoked on special occasions, at me.
"There's no boy, not anymore," I remind him, sinking farther into the comforting bed.
"Oh yes, there is. Just because he isn't here right beside you, doesn't mean he isn't in your head." This causes him to smile as if he knows something that I don't. "I learned that from your mother."
"What do you mean?" I suddenly sit up in bed to watch him stand from his chair and approach the window, admiring the view of raindrops and people with their own agendas.
"I loved your mother. Still do. But, we had our fights. It was early in our marriage and I had been flying to Tokyo almost... once a month for business. One time, her and I got in a huge fight, could have been the next World War. I left in a hurry and took the next flight to Tokyo, leaving for my monthly trip early. When we landed and I got into my hotel, I realized how awful of an idea it was to leave her like that. Quickly rushing back to the airport to book another flight home, canceling the meetings for this month, we found out a plan crashed coming into Tokyo." My father's eyes glazed over, caught up in the memory. "In that day and age we didn't have texting, social media, or even cell phones. I called your mother over a payphone and promised her I was okay and I would be home soon. The next few days they grounded flights. They were the loneliest days of my life, yet I knew your mother was right there inside my mind, telling me she loved me. That was enough to get me through it. Now, whenever I think of Tokyo, I think of loneliness."
"Wow I didn't know that," I ran my fingers through my hair, puzzled by the story.
"Of course you did. You've read my journals inside and out ever since you got them in your possession. This is only a dream, Gracie," he reminds me.
"But, I don't know what to do, Dad. He's all I ever think about and I loved him in a way that I can't with anyone else, yet he did such awful things and I don't know if I can forgive him." I explain to Father. Tearing his eyes away from the world past the glass, he joined me on the bed.
"How much is the love worth?" He reached out and touched my cheek lightly. "Is it worth forgiving him and going through everything together, even the hard parts. As humans, we aren't love experts, and we tend to struggle to make the right choice when trying to keep that love. He was doing what he thought he could to keep you. He was making a mistake. He was being human."
The fatherly advice I had always known in the back of my head was coming forward. I looked at him and threw my arms around him.
"I miss you, Dad," I say with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.
"I miss you more, Gracie." It was so sweet hearing his voice. "You are the most beautiful girl who deserves that sweetest love this world has to offer. If you believe that this boy offers it, then maybe give him a second change." I thanked him for his advice. "I love you."
"I love you more." I reminded him.
"I love you most," he finished, kissing me on the forehead. My eyes closed and once they opened, I woke up in my cold, lonely room realizing I didn't want to be alone anymore.
"Heather," I say urgently getting off the bed to find her. Leaving my room, she was sitting on the sofa of our suite reading a magazine. I came to sit next to her, closing the magazine and setting it aside.
"I didn't mean it. I didn't mean any of it. I know you care and that you're only trying to help. Honestly, I care about you and I'm beyond grateful for everything you have done for me while coming on this journey. I've never had a best friend before so it's new for me. I don't really know how to show, how I feel in a healthy way, so you will just have to be patient with me, but I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been that awful person to you. You deserve better," I rush to get out my words as fast as I can. "I'm so sorry you have to deal with me." There was a long pause while she surveyed the situation.
"Well, you're stuck with me so I think that calls us even," she finishes. We hug and I promise never to pull something like that again. She says she will hold that to me. We laugh. I think of how refreshing it is to finally have a "we" in my life.
Chasing Grace - Chapter 13Fatherly advice...
By joslyn miller