Don't Let Go

Don't Let Go

When I was seven, I went on my first ride at our small town's fair. You know those rides that would boost you up into the air on something that reminded me of a swing, once you were up in the air the ride would spin you around and around in circles for a good two minutes. And just like any typical seven year old girl, I was extremely scared. I thought that at any second, I was going to end up peeing my pants. I kept on telling myself that I wouldn't let that happen, because big girls don't pee their pants and my daddy just told me that he was proud of me for being such a big girl. My daddy promised me that if I didn't scream out of terror, that he would buy me ice cream, and boy- I wanted that ice cream. So I told my daddy that there was no way I would scream. Just before we went up to the old lady who was gathering our tickets so we could go on the ride, I looked up at my daddy and stared up into his big, green eyes and tugged on his pants, "Daddy?"

My daddy crouched down to my height, "Yes angel?"

"Daddy don't let go, okay?" I said with my cute, innocent little girl voice.

"I wouldn't dare do that, princess. I would feel terrible if I was the reason why you were scared." And with that response that he came up with, I grabbed his hand, and allowed him to stand up straight.

I tugged on my daddy's hand and walked up to the old lady, "We're ready to go on the ride!" I exclaimed, with a large smile on my face.

The old lady looked at me and asked, "Are you excited to go on the ride?" I nodded my head, "Well little girl, I'm afraid you might not be tall enough to go on the ride. We'll have to check, okay?"

I looked up at my daddy, tears starting to spring up in my eyes, "Daddy, what if I'm not tall enough to go on the ride?"

My daddy sighed, "Tamara, trust me. You'll be tall enough, alright princess?"

"Okay daddy!" I exclaimed and cracked a smile, skipping up to the lady, my black pigtails bouncing up and down.

The lady measured how tall I was and frowned, "I'm sorry.. But you're not tall enough. You're two inches too short." Tears swelled up in my eyes, "But since it's only two inches, I'll make an exception, just don't tell anyone okay sweetheart?"

"Okay!" I exclaimed with all the excitement I could possibly muster up.

I ran back to my daddy, nearly bursting with excitement. I honestly couldn't wait to get on that ride.
- - -

That was nine years ago, and now here I am at the age of sixteen waiting to go on that same ride with my dad, who's dying of cancer. I think that this could possibly be the last time we ever go on this ride together- but I try to shake those terrible thoughts out of my head, I wouldn't let myself think of those sort of things.

"Tamara?" My dad said, trying to get my attention.

I looked into his now dull, green eyes that no longer sparkled in the sun or showed excitement, "yes daddy?"

"Once we get on that ride, don't let go. Okay?"

"Okay daddy, I promise I won't do that. I'll never, ever do that. I'll never let go." I say, and lace my thing, young fingers between his larger, older fingers, "Daddy, I'm so happy we're here right now." I say, with a large smile.

And for once, I see my daddy's eyes sparkle like they used to. As we're standing in line waiting to see some younger guy gathering our tickets. As we make our way up the line, my dads fingers slip out of mine, I look at him in shock. He smiles at me as if to say, `Tamara, if you think that guys good looking, make a move.` I smile, "Daddy, I'm not going to make a move on some guy I don't even know! You're so silly."

My daddy smiled, and moved up more- we were getting closer to the guy taking our tickets, "at least flirt with him a bit. You'll never make it far with the guys if you don't flirt!"

"Daddy, no! I'm not going to flirt in front of my dad, that'd be too embarrassing." With a jolt, my dad pushed me forward gently so I would bump into the guy, "Uh, uhm, uhh.. Hi." I stuttered, becoming nervous as soon as I saw his gorgeous blue eyes.

"Uh, uhm. Err, hi." He stuttered.

"M-my name's Tamara," I introduce myself quietly.

"Blake," He introduces himself, looking into my green eyes that I inherited from my dad.

"So, uhm. I was wondering if you wanted to go somewhere, once your shift was done?" I question, hoping I didn't just make a complete and total idiot out of myself.

"S-sure, I guess that'd be nice. I mean, I don't really do that. But seeing as how you have the guts to ask me to go somewhere with you.. It'd be nice."
- - -

Now it's three years since then, I'm nineteen years old, and my dad's still alive. Tonight's my wedding night, tonight I'm marrying Blake. The music started and I watched as every single one of the people in the wedding walked down the aisle. As soon as each person was standing where they were supposed to be, my daddy and I walked down the aisle, my elbow hooked in his. I smiled the entire time I walk down the aisle, yet at the same time I was holding my breath- nervous that I would make a fool out of myself somehow, like usual. But nothing happened, everything went smoothly. And finally, I got to say `I do,` to the most amazing man I've ever met.
- - -

The next day, I received a call from the hospital,
"Hello." I say groggily into the phone,

"Hello, Tamara? This is your father's nurse. I'm afraid he's slipped into remission. He may die at any minute now." The nurse tells me, and I can feel my heart sinking into my chest.

"I'll be right there," I say and hang up the phone, "Blake, wake up. My dad- he slipped into
remission, he might die at any second. I'll be back, okay?"

"Tamara, I'll come with you, okay? Just calm down, we'll go there right away." Blake says and gets up off the bed throwing clothes on, and throwing a random shirt and a pair of pants at me, as if to tell me to get dressed.

As soon as I got to the hospital, I rushed in and saw my dad's pale skin- nearly camouflaging with the white sheets underneath him, so I sat down next to him in complete silence. After a good five minutes my daddy broke the silence, "Tamara?"

"Yes daddy?" I question, holding onto his every word.

"Don't let go." He says, and his eyes shut for the last time.
- - -

Now, here we were two days later at my daddy's funeral, everyone was trying to keep it cool, trying not to cry. But not me, I was sobbing into Blake's shoulder. When it was time to go see him for the very last time, I went up to his coffin, tears falling freely from my hands, I said my final words to my daddy that day, "Don't let go."