3 by Bassra

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“Daddy, higher! Higher!”

“Okay, how high?”

“As high as the sky!”

“Off you go!” The father pushed his daughter slightly harder on the backyard swing. The small girl screamed out in laughter as her father pushed her higher, her brown hair flowing wildly behind her.

I’d been watching the father-daughter combination for the past twenty minutes from my bedroom window. Tears ran down my face as I saw the love in their expressions. Why couldn’t life be the way it was?

“Who wants some juice?”

“Me! Me! Me!” The little girl ran over to her mum, taking a glass off the tray she was carrying. The husband came over, took a glass and kissed his wife on the forehead and-

“URGH!” I said out loud. I couldn’t handle it. Everyone was so happy, so loving, and so… so family like. It was driving me insane. I still couldn’t handle it. I still couldn’t handle it after a year. “Get over it,” I mumbled to myself, “it happened a year ago and nothing is going to change that.” I grabbed my car keys off the table, walked out the door in a huff, and locking the door behind me in the process. I got into my car and slammed the door shut, quickly started the car, threw it into reverse and got out of my driveway and street as fast as I could. I put my seatbelt on four blocks after my street.

It haunted me wherever I went. Couples holding hands, families of three, elderly people, anybody really. Every time I saw the number three, my stomach turned. I hated the number three with envy.

One shrink after another — not one them could help. Nothing could. Medicine. Drugs. Alcohol. Nothing would work. Nothing could help. The only thing that I could rely on to be there for me was my only friend in the whole world. All my friends wouldn’t know what to do or how to react when they heard the news. But Angel did. She became my only friend in the whole world to me. My only reason why not to go over the edge.

I drove myself to her house, not thinking where I was going — my mind being on other things. I parked the car, walked up to the front door, knocked, and waited for her response.

The door opened, and there she was, immediately pulling me into a hug. I didn’t realize it, but I had been crying. I let my tears that I thought I was keeping back, flow down my cheeks to finally rest on her shoulder.

We sat and talked about anything, mainly what she had done during the week, until she decided to surprise me with something.

“I know we’ve tried heaps of things-”

“Look, I don’t want to see another shrink, take any medicine and you are not taking me to the nut house. I refuse to go there and you know that.”

“It’s not a shrink, medicine or nut house.”

“Well, what is it then?”

“During my usual afternoon TV watching, I came across this program. It’s called ‘Crossing Over with John Edwards©. He’s one of those people that are able to get in contact with the other world.”

“You are going to be sending me to a freak?!” She looked at me with eagerness in her eyes. “Ah, no way. I’m not going to see a freak.” I stood up and looked down at her.

“Please, just his once. Please, just see how it goes. We’ll be in the audience and maybe he won’t even talk to us. You never know. It’s what he says, it’s the people on the other side who decides who they are there for.”

I thought for a moment, ‘What if this guy is for real? I mean, seriously. Nah, impossible. It’ll be all set up and stuff, just like Jerry Springer © is. I’ll just go to see how fake it really is. Nothing is going to come of it anyway.’ “Fine,” I sighed, “I’ll go, just don’t be expecting anything unusual or nothing.”

She jumped off the couch and leapt on to me, giving me a hug. “Trust me; this will be the best thing that has ever happened to you.” She said.

One week later, we were sitting in the audience, waiting for this John Edwards guy to come out and do that mumbo jumbo stuff.

The lights went low and I could faintly pick out this guy, walking onto the stage. The lights came up and he looked into the camera and started talking.

“Hi, I’m John Edwards and welcome today. Firstly, we are going to help someone here in the audience, talk to their relatives that have crossed to the other side.”

He then stood in the middle of the stage, his head slightly tilted to the left with his eyes closed. There was silence for a moment before he spoke. “Is there a James, Joshua, Justin, something with a J sound?” Another guy besides me put their hand up. “Okay, who’s the only child?” The other man put his hand down, which left me.

“Is there like an older father figure to you that has past?”

“Yes. My father and grandfather have both past.”

He closed his eyes and silence covered the room like a blanket once again. “Okay, who died of like a drowning, cause I feel like I’m drowning.”

“That would be my baby girl Sally.” Tears were forming in my eyes, blurring my vision. Angel was holding my right hand with her left and passing me a tissue with her right. I took the tissue and wiped my eyes.

“Who was crushed or put under immense pressure?” He asked.

“My parents, they… they were crushed in a car accident. “ How I hated talking about that topic.

He closed his eyes, but soon clutched his head. “I’m getting extreme pain in my head, I feel like I have a hole in my head, or something was removed, something along those lines?”

“My wife… she shot herself in the head.”

“Well, they are all there, and they just want you to know that they are all fine, they’re having a wonderful time and the career move that you are going to make has the thumbs up.”

I opened my mouth with to a wide ‘O’ shape. No one knew about that move. I was moving from my web page designing to working in the advertisement industries. Not even Angel knew about it.

“Tell me about the laundry, something happened in the laundry.”

I scanned my memory for a few seconds then thought to back when I was five. “I decided to help mum out with the washing, but I accidentally put too much soap in and when my mum checked on the washing, she found me in amongst the suds on the floor.” I gave a little chuckle. Mum had played with me on the floor with the suds. It was one of the times, my mother and I had our bonding times.

There had only been one person that has been with me through all of the hard times in my life. Always there to pick me when I’m down. Angel. She has always been there for me and I know she will still be there forever. I just hope nothing will happen to her.

I don’t like the number three. Never have and never will.

My daughter died when she was three years old. She drowned in our backyard pool.

My wife shot herself in the head, blaming herself for my daughter’s death, because she was watching her, and didn’t realize until it was too late. She committed suicide three days after her death.

My parents were crushed in a vehicle accident. They were arguing and my father was driving, he didn’t see the truck stop in front of them and they were crushed under the trailer. They died instantly on March 3rd.

Bad things always come in three’s. I don’t like the number three. Never have and never will.

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