to my father who died one year ago


“I don’t know what kind of sick joke this is, but my father died in a car accident.” The voice on the line continued, tone mocking, made even more grating by their constant verbal tic. Neji could feel his blood boiling beneath his skin. How dare the person try to tear them apar–

“Who are you?” he’d asked ten years ago, the question directed at a man in some sort of uniform standing outside of the home he’d shared with his father, a uniform that didn’t cover his very distinctive features, violet eyes that he would only ever see on one man.

Neji pressed the end button on his cell phone and brought his hands to his features, which were frozen in shock. Just before his father had disappeared, only to return as ashes, Hidan had visited their home. He’d been there! He had looked Neji dead in the eyes! Tears slid over his cheeks as his hands began to shake. Was he dating the man who had murdered his father?

He picked up the phone again and dialed a number he knew by heart. It only rang once. “Itachi…All I need is for you to tell me if a man named Hidan is someone…like you. Is Hidan a killer?” Once he had his answer, the Hyuuga dropped the phone onto the cushion beside him on the couch.

He was dating a killer, again, the one who had killed his own father.

He pulled his knees up onto the couch and used them to muffle his sobs.

This might get kind of personal, but I started crying while reading the chapter in Marco’s autobiography about his father’s passing and I couldn’t help but think of my own grandfather who died 4 years ago this August. The way Marco described the last days of his father’s life was painful to read. How he slept by his father’s bedside once he was hospitalized for the last time. How his father’s mind started to deteriorate and he would say strange things. Having to watch the life slowly leaving him in the last days. Marco had been the one to call for the morphine drop, from which his father went into a coma and never awoke from. These memories were so personal and raw, and it really struck a cord with me. I was just starting high school when my grandpa died, also from cancer like Marco’s father. I remember the strange things he used to say, the way he was groan and scream from discomfort, watching him deteriorate in the hospice and ICU. I remember the last time I saw him, a Wednesday evening. He went on morphine the next day and died Friday morning.

My grandfather was such a selfless man, working multiple jobs in order to support his family and provide them with comfort and Marco’s father seemed just as selfless. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to detail the tragic experience down in words. I’m crying right now just remembering it all and I wish I could thank Marco personally for sharing his story with us and express my condolences.