(continued story) "Before that he was...great." Malikai laughed bitterly. "I used to want to be just like him. But that was before he became a useless drunk." Keoshi listened intently. "You said your mom got sick...can you tell me more? Was your dad worried? How did he behave after she died?" Malikai breathed out, exasperated. "It didn't look bad at first. I didn't even know Mom was sick at all, I didn't notice too much back then. Mom didn't like to complain about things either, so I just came home later that day, and found her lying on the floor." Malikai stopped for a moment. Keoshi's jade eyes widened. "O-On the floor?" she repeated, flashbacks of her own dying mother collapsed on the floor, returning. "How did your father act? He must've been scared to death." Pity filled her heart for Malikai's dad already. "Dad acted calm, he tried hard to seem like he could keep it together. He kept telling me not to be afraid, but I saw the look in his eyes. He was just as scared as me, so I knew something bad was gonna happen. I remember doctors being all through the house, trying to make my mother better, but they couldn't do a da--" Malikai quickly corrected himself. "They couldn't do squat. A couple mornings later, I woke up and Dad was yelling at the doctor, cause he'd just told him Mom had died. Dad wouldn't believe him, and from that day one, he wasn't the same." Malikai turned away from Keoshi and sank again the wall. Keoshi was silent, taking it all in. "H--How did he act at her...funeral?" she was almost afraid to know. "He was just cold for awhile." Malikai shrugged. "Still didn't believe she was dead. But then Michiko asked why Mom wasn't waking up. And then Dad just lost it. I think he would've thrown himself in her grave if my uncles hadn't held him back." Malikai's sad grimace sank into a hatred laced frown. "The day after that, he started drinking. It become his whole life, he forgot everything, even his own kids. He'd leave us alone for a whole day, just to drink at a bar!" (to be continued)