My Little Angel

New Year Eve.
We were walking through the crowd in the market. “Daddy! I want that bicycle!” asked my daughter Tia with her eyes fixated on a bicycle with a Barbie picture on it. I could see the sparkle in her eyes. But I was not in a position to get her that at that time. “We already have this teddy for you baby. I promise to buy that for your birthday. Ok!”
Yes. It was her birthday in a week. I tried to convince her as well as myself. I wanted to get her everything in the world. Just to see the smile on her face and sparkles in her eyes.
“But why? I want it now!!” she was about to start sobbing.
“You remember we have to give gifts for the uncles and auntie’s at the hospital right. You only promised them. Have you forgot that?”
“Oh yes… But..?”
“Papa can’t get those gifts if I buy you this bicycle now baby. We have to keep our promises right!”
I could see her convinced.
“Shall we have your favorite cotton candy? See how big it is.!”
I know she had completely forgotten about that bicycle now.
I was filling myself with the happiness and laughter from her face. I had seen only a lot of pain and tears from her eyes since she was 4 years old. Our world came crashing down when she suddenly fell ill one day and was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. It was a rare type of cancer affecting children.
It’s been one and a half years since. My wife Nancy and I tried every specialist wherever we heard of one. The reply was the same with the only difference in the time of our daughter’s stay with us.
After our mini-shopping in the market, we went back to the hospital. I could see Nancy in the corridor talking to the nurse who was taking care of Tia.
“Mumma!!” Tia jumped from my hand and ran towards her.
“How many times did I tell you not to run?” Nancy smiled lifting Tia.
We went inside the room while our daughter kept telling the stories of her visit to the nearby market. I could see my wife listening to her without blinking her eyes.
She looked at me as I was staring at her. I could sense something was not right from her face. But we didn’t talk about that then.
“And they lived happily ever after” Nancy completed reading Tia’s favorite bedtime tale. She was in deep sleep by then with the help of her medicines.
“I guess we have only a week”, I broke the silence in the corridor. Nancy started weeping.
“We knew this day would come. Let’s try to live with it.”
I tried to be ok for my wife, but the sadness building inside me was pressing heavily on my heart.
“I try to. But I couldn’t afford to lose her. Can you imagine not seeing her face one day?!”
I couldn’t argue with that. The night went by trying to console Nancy and in a way, I tried to console myself.
A week passed by. It was Tia’s birthday.
I was on my way to the hospital and was trying to reach Nancy for the past one hour. I couldn’t. I am calling her to ask about the party preparations.
I suddenly saw the bicycle shop and remembered the one Tia had asked for.
As I entered the corridor in the hospital I could see a few nurses and Tia’s friends in party hats. I was so eager to see the smile on Tia’s face. She jumping up and down in joy getting her bicycle.
As I went close I realized the deadly silence and soft sobs from inside the room. I could see Nancy crying over the bedside.
Tia was sleeping with her smiling face without minding anyone around.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. The bicycle fell from my hands. I was angry about myself not getting it that day itself.
All I wanted now was her to wake up and see me. See her gift.
I wanted to see her smile, her laughter, and the sparkle in her eyes. The sparkle of an angel.
One last time! My little angel!!

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