February the 25th, Samar Slaughter

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On February the 25th of 2017 God took one of the most important men in my life away from me. I remember that day so well and I’m pretty sure I will continue for as long as I live. I had woken up that morning in a very good mood actually — I planned on working and soon after attending a friend’s surprise party. I got out of bed, took myself a shower, did my usual morning facials and ate breakfast. I usually have my boyfriend take me to work but today I had my mom take me since it was so early in the morning. I got to the salon and waited for my client to arrive, which in the end was very pointless because she cancelled almost an hour to me being at the salon. So I decided to take a nap before my next client arrived just because I was so tired from working the day before. And so I took my nap.

I had woken up from my nap and by that time my client was on her way. She was getting a full set of eyelash extensions, which would take around an hour and forty-five minutes. So time went by… I finished her lashes. They looked gorgeous! She loved them, and gave me my money for the service I had done for her. It was getting later around 4:45 and I was hungry so I decided to walk down the street to get some shrimp fried from my favorite place, Mizu. I ordered the food which took about fifteen minutes for them to make, and waited the fifteen minutes at the salon. Keep in mind I was by myself so I had to keep myself occupied: I decided to play music until it was time for me to walk down to get my food. A little over 20 or 25 minutes passed and I hurried to get my food and made my way back to the salon. Little did I know what was about to happen would change my life forever.   

I got back to the salon between five to ten minutes after getting my food because I had run into an old friend — running my mouth of course. I unlocked the doors, put away my keys with my purse and began to set up my food to eat. I noticed that hadn’t put a fork in my bag so I was searching throughout the salon for a fork. In the midst of looking for said fork I heard my phone begin to ring. I didn’t rush to answer but at the same time I didn’t hesitate either. I made my way to it and it was my little sister Samyah. I answered the phone and said “Hello?” “Samarrrr!” My sister said. I could tell she was hysterical, and I couldn’t make out a word she said besides my name. I begin to panic and I told her to slow down and speak clear enough that I could hear her. “Samar, I’m at Auntie Keyonna’s house and daddy was here with me and MirMir, and he took a nap and and and he was sleep but I saw he wasn’t breathing and now his fingers are turning purple and blue and he’s cold and I don’t know what to do!” I literally did not know what to say. This was a phone call I never in a million thought I would be getting so soon! I couldn’t believe my ears or what I was hearing! It couldn’t be true! Not MY DAD!

I immediately burst into tears. “Samyah has anyone called the ambulance? Are you alone? How did this happen? What’s going on!” I screamed. “They’re here now and they’re taking him away!” she cries. “Ok I’m on my way to get you RIGHT NOW! We are going to the hospital!” I said. She replied with a simple, “Alright, see you soon.” I called my mom, but she didn’t answer. I could tell her phone line was busy so I called Oscar.

Hot tears were streaming down my face as I begin to wheeze — I could feel a panic attack coming on anytime now. My hands were shaking uncontrollably. Then he answered the phone: “Oscar please come and get me now! We can’t go to the birthday dinner anymore!” He asked what’s wrong because I’m sure he could hear the distress in my voice. I explained everything that just happened — the phone call with my sister and everything. “I’m on my way right now!” he said. I called my best friend JeAnna since she was suppose to be riding to the dinner with us along with her boyfriend Harry. I explained the same thing to her all over again and she asked us to still come and get her and Harry, and so we did. I hung up, packed my things and locked the door to the salon just as Oscar was pulling up.

He got out of the car, opened the door and hugged me. I looked up from the hug and he wiped the tears from my face. I could see the icky black goo on his fingers that used to be my mascara once upon time, that had been diluted by my tears. We hurried and got in the car, rushing our way through traffic to pick up our friends. As we were in the car I could now stop myself from crying. Oscar assured me that everything was going to be okay, and he reached out his hand for me to hold. He asked if I would like to pray, which I sure as hell did. And so we prayed, which calmed me down just a tad. We finally arrived and my best friend and I called to let them know we were here. They came out, got in the car and both of them hugged me, also assuring me that everything would be fine. I sat in the car making our way to my aunt’s house after mom finally called back telling me to meet her there instead of the hospital, with one hand over my eyes and forehead and the other hand holding Oscar’s.

We finally made it to my aunt’s house and no one was there but my mom and my siblings. I ran out of Oscar’s car to my loved ones and grabbed them into a warm embrace. My mom updated me on everything that had happened and also acknowledged my friends. She let me know what hospital he was at and we headed there.

The ride there was the absolute worst. The traffic was so slow, my friends were right behind us, and to be honest my anxiety level was beginning to burst. My little brother began to break down in the car just as we pulled up to the hospital which was very busy. I pulled him into my lap and patted his back letting him know I’m here. Just as we pulled up I saw both of my aunts and a few cousins standing outside the hospital. I hurried and jumped out of the car to get any news I could from my aunt. “Hey y’all, we just got here. But I’m pretty sure they’ll let you guys go back and see him for a minute.” My aunt said. My heartbeat began to slow; I felt relief begin to set inside me. “He’s ok?” I asked. I smiled for the first time in the past two hours all of this occurred. “He’s really ok?” The tears were still pouring but this time they were happy tears.

She gave me a look. My Aunt Keyonna gave me a look I will never forget. It was like “Baby I’m so sorry but…” looks. The tears began to form in her eyes. And I just sat there for a moment in disbelief. I was done for. I felt my knees getting weak and I started to stomp and scream and cry; I absolutely could not believe it. My dad was actually gone. It felt as though someone had literally ripped my heart from my chest and left me standing there in the cold. I looked at the sky, my vision blurred from the tears, just screaming at God, asking him why? Why had he taken my daddy from me?

I couldn’t help it — I threw a fit. I exploded right in front of the hospital. Like a two year old throwing a tantrum. Except that toy you took from that two year old, was my father. I totally blacked out. From everything. Everything was silent except for the cries that came out of my mouth. I could hear my aunt’s voice from a distance. She had asked if I wanted to see him. But I knew I wasn’t ready. I waited outside for a bit to try and recollect myself enough to walk in and see my dad.

I walked through the metal detectors, grabbed my things, and followed the hospital nurse to the room my father was in along with my family. We turned a couple corners, walked through some heavy doors and finally reached his room. Everyone immediately walked in but I had to take a deep breath before I made my entrance. I pushed open the door and there he was. Lying there, lifeless. A shell of what used to be the most incredible man I knew. I put my hand over my mouth to hold back the cries but they pushed through like ocean waves, as did my tears. There was no explaining the pain I felt. The disbelief. The hurt. The anger. I approached him, came closer. And grabbed his hand. They were still warm. He looked like he was asleep. So peaceful, which was the only thing that gave me comfort. I asked the nurse if I could hug him. And she let down the restrictions on the sides on the hospital bed. I slowly came closer and closer to him.

Finally I lay my head upon his chest: I cried and I cried and I cried. It hurt so bad. Not hearing his heartbeat. Knowing that this was real, and there was no waking up from this. I remember just wishing it was all a dream, hoping that one of my tears would have enough magic to save his life but it was too late for all that. I didn’t want to leave the room. And I already knew it was because I didn’t want to face reality. But I had to. I could tell this was going to be hard as well. I kept going in and out. Sort of through stages in a way. I would cry, then crack jokes about things he would do or habits he had. Then cry about about how I would miss all of those things.

It was late — around nine — when we finally left the hospital. And decided that I wanted to have a bit of alone time with him since this would be my last time seeing him. So I talked to him before I left. I told him, “Daddy, I just wanna let you know, that I forgive you. I forgave you a long time ago to be completely honest with you. I never held hate in my heart for you. No matter what you did or have done. You always have made me smile, and have made me proud. I will never love another man as much as I love you. And not a single day will go by that I don’t think about you. I can’t wait to see you again. I love you so so so so so so much Daddy — always remember that.” I kissed his forehead and ran my fingers through his hair before I looked at him one last time, I smiled a bit with tears still coming out of my eyes, seeing how peaceful and handsome my father was.

I made my way out of the hospital room.

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