Tsu began to think of his father. What if he was at work that day, at that moment? What if he was killed? This was not the first time that Tsu had thought of his father’s death in recent years. His father, being a drinker, a smoker, and not really one for doing much in the ways of ‘eating healthy’ or ‘exercising’ was prone to heart failure. Two times already the old man had suffered a major heart attack: one time while vacationing in Spain with his girlfriend at the time, a girl of thirty years his senior; and another time at home, while retrieving something from the basement. He had been unbelievably lucky the second time, since Tsu’s sister had been there visiting. The first time he had the accident, he received a call from his sister, she was crying. “Tsumotu?! Tsu?! Something terrible has happened” she managed through sobs “Father’s had an accident. Sit down, are you sitting down?” “Yes, yes, I’m sitting” he wasn’t sitting “Father’s had a heart attack, in Spain!” Tsu thought it odd that she had decided to strain the Spain part, and not the heart-attack, but he decided to chalk it up to shot nerves “Oh. Oh. I-is he ok?” “I don’t know! I just heard that he had a heart attack and that he was taken to the nearest hospital. Mom’s freaking! Can you go over there?” Tsu lived closest to his parents, his sister having moved out after high school and lived almost all over the year at various scholarship paid schools for a ridiculous amount of years. She was a surgeon with a PhD, a fact she wouldn’t fail to bring up during family events. “Yeah, I can go over”. He stayed with his mother’s place for two nights. His father recovered well, but had been vacationing without insurance. It cost the family their recently obtained inheritance, which was supposed to have gone to Tsu to pay for school. He didn’t care much though, really, since he never really wanted to go to school in the first place. The money he made coming out of highschool and joining his father’s business was beyond anything he really imagined he’d ever make, or need. It was a modest amount, and Tsu prided himself on being a modest person. Those two days with his mother were nice, he reflected on while waiting for the Doctor to come back. They didn’t talk much, but his mother would sometimes tell Tsu about when they were younger, and the dates they went on, how his father proposed, about the divorce, how she felt about his father’s new (and young) girlfriend (or floosey as she would say it) and her loneliness in recent years. He saw his mother, for the first time, as a person, as someone he could have been friends with had she not been his mother and had they been born near the same time. He thought of her as a person like himself, not as some figure, as a ‘mother’, but as someone who had fears, fears about life, fears about beign a parent and a wife, fears about money, about obtaining happiness and about being lonely. After those two days, Tsu made sure to visit his mother more often, and their friendship grew over the years.
Tsu never felt much during those two days. Perhaps he felt as though he had to be the rational one, that he had to forget about his feelings for the time being for the benefit of the family. He promised himself that he would give himself time to let his feelings take hold later, when his family knew that his father would be alright. When that day came, Tsu felt nothing. He thought “oh good, then he’s fine”.
When the news came that his father had suffered a second, larger heart attack, Tsu again found himself void of strong feelings. He cared more about his sister, who had found their father in the basement unconscious. She immediately called the hospital and then spent the next twenty minutes (which, she would recall, felt like an eternity) frantically attempting to revive him: pounding his chest, giving him mouth-to-mouth, feeling for his breath against her cheek. She was next to inconsolable when Tsu arrived at the hospital to visit. Again he was an emotional rock. When she had settled down, he went in to visit his father. He looked like a wreck, a bruise on his face that he sustained when he collapsed. All that Tsu could think about at that moment was that he didn’t feel anything, and that he should perhaps feel guilty about that. “Hey, how you doing?” “Been better” his father replied. Tsu didn’t know what else to say. That was the best he could come up with. Now what, he thought. *