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In the hopes that I live every day of my life.

Message from Writer

I write to create something out of nothing. Let me conjure a world of my own and sit on its throne. Maybe one day I'll learn to share it, but for now, I'm living off of high hopes.

What to Say to a Dying Man

October 3, 2018

I had always thought of my dad as a magician. His stylus was his wand, and with it, he would conjure up the wildest of creatures from his mind. He brought my childhood friends to life and drew invincible heroes from his tablet. It wasn’t long before he put a pen into my own hands and told me to create my own stories, though mine were written. The world was a big place, but my dad made it bigger. That was until the magician himself was defeated.

Cancer caught up to him before the villains of his own stories could, and soon the world’s mightiest heroes had to take a break. My world of imagination was on the verge of collapsing as I watched my dad's bright energy fade away. His massive belly shrunk to the bony shadow of what it once was. His arms and legs grew as thin as a corpse’s, and he looked about the size of a child. His head was too big for his body, and it wasn’t too long before even his legs gave up on him. I refused to take any of it. It was too soon—too sudden. A moment ago, he was up on his feet, laughing as we played video games and made jokes together. There was no way the world would take him away, not so soon.

The truth refused to be ignored when one morning, my mother had to break the news.

My dad has only three months to live. He is going to lose his job and possibly never walk again.

That day, I could not bring myself to go to my first class.

It was at that moment when I felt the worlds my dad had built shatter. What use was it that the hero beat the villain? What use was it that justice needed to be served? What use was it?

Everything came to a halt. I put my pen down and never picked it back up.

Until one day, my dad sat me down. I dreaded having to talk to him. I couldn’t bear to look him in the eye. What was possibly there to say to a dying man?

But what he said was not what I expected.

“Nu Nu,” he started, calling me by my nickname. “I want to start a new project. Do you know anything about webtoons?”
And from there, he began talking to me about his new plan to draw a comic and publish it online. Filling me in with his story, the characters, and this whole new world he had just recently thought up, he turned to me and asked, “Will you help me?”

Without a pause, I said yes.

You see, my dad is on the brink of death, if I may be so honest. I see him sleeping on the living room couch, and I think to myself that that is what he would look like if he were to go. His days are numbered, and sometimes the house feels like everyone is simply waiting for the moment when he does leave us. But that does not stop him. And it should not stop me either.

That night, I took out my notebook and picked up my pen once more.


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  • October 3, 2018 - 7:11pm (Now Viewing)

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  • ronglin

    oh man, this got me. the best thing is that it's not melodramatic. it doesn't need to be so, because it is so simply written that it just touches one's heart effortlessly.

    about 1 year ago
  • Tillyb

    i love this piece so much. So beautiful and amazingly written

    about 1 year ago
  • JCWriter

    Heartrending and beautiful. Well done.

    about 1 year ago
  • pencils.and.paper.roses

    This is so beautiful and heartfelt and perfect and I love it so much. Congrats on winning second place. :D :D :D

    about 1 year ago
  • Kenny

    This is wonderfully written. Good luck and all my best wishes for you.

    over 1 year ago
  • Araw

    This is amazing and extremely well written.

    over 1 year ago
  • Johanna

    Wow... this is so beautiful. I'm not kidding when I say I'm on the verge of tears here. Love what you have done, and good luck!

    over 1 year ago