I layed tucked under the covers wide awake and wondering why on earth I could not sleep at such a time. I looked around my bedroom as the squeaky noise of the ceiling fan somewhat fascinated me.
I never lacked sleep, ever. In spite of my hectic schedule, I still made out time to rest, so it was a shocker for me to be awake in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep.
But, in my heart of heart, I knew the reason for my sleeplessness. The events of the previous day still had me shaken and I could not help but keep mulling over it.
I had just finished with my shift at the five star restaurant I worked in and I was well on my way to getting a good rest when a call came in.
The caller ID had me rolling my eyes for a second. It was my father.
"Hey Dad..." I muttered.
"Ariana Delaney?" A female voice called out to me, startling me.
"Yes?" I answered carefully.
"This is Doctor Mildred,your father is in our care."
"I'll be there right away."
So much for resting...
I speed walked into the hospital's lobby and unfortunately bumped into a nurse.
"Sorry, " I panted heavily, she nodded in understanding.
"Please I'd like to see my father, Harold Delaney." I said to the receptionist who quickly had the nurse I had bumped into direct me to my father's ward.
I watched from the window as my father argued with the doctor like a petulant child. This old man never agrees to anything.
I pushed the door open and walked in with a worried frown on my face. His face lit up with a warm smile the moment he sighted me and it took a lot of will power to not smile back.
The doctor, who I assumed had called me earlier turned and with a warm professional smile she shook my hand and reintroduced herself.
"He was lucky this time, we could have truly lost him." She said solemnly.
I swallowed hard. Her words scared me but I kept it together.
"I'll make sure he takes his medicine and doesn't over work himself." I promised, hardly sure of what I was saying but I just had to say something positive in a bid to reassure myself.
"I hope we can take your word for it because your father is one stubborn man." Dr. Mildred muttered under her breath making me chuckle nervously. She was right, my father never listened.
Dr. Mildred left soon after leaving my father and I alone. I glowered at him just as he gave me what I would call puppy dog eyes. I did not fall it at all. Okay, maybe just a little.
"Yes sweetie?" He answered in an overly sweet tone.
"Why are you risking your life?" I questioned pointedly.
"Ari, everything we do is a risk. Going to bed and planning the next day even when we're not sure we would wake up is a major risk." He explained and I reasoned with it for a while before snapping out of his mentorship session.
"That's not the point Dad, why are you over exerting your heart in spite of your health crisis?"
"I have to work Ariana."
"No you don't, that's for me to." I deadpanned.
I worked just because of him and because I hadn't secured a good job opportunity since I rounded up college about a year before.
His small business had gone bankrupt and it caused a great decline in his health status, so I stuck to taking care of him as my absentee mother could not care less about his health.
"Look it's more complicated than you think" He said, sounding uncomfortable.
"Dad, what's wrong?" I asked, watching him cautiously. His body language was saying a lot.
"I, I have borrowed some money and I'm trying to pay back." He admitted eventually after lots of probing.
"Money for what exactly?" I asked.
"For the business but as we all know it still crashed." He said sadly.
I patted his palm urging him on to give me full details.
"And, I don't think I can meet up with the deadline."
"How much is it?"
He muttered something under his breath.
"Can you repeat that?"
"Five million..." He sighed and I gasped.
"Dad?!" I whisper yelled, astonished at how big an amount and he winced.
"Okay, okay, we'll figure something out, maybe we can get a loan and uhmmm..." Wheels turned in my head as I thought of a possible solution.
"The deadline is next week." He stated, shocking me even more.
"How on earth....!!!" I yelled but shut myself up immediately, considering other patients. I paced the room frantically, barely able to think anymore.
"But, there's an offer on the table that could write off the whole debt."
My ears perked up at that but he looked very reluctant while I was eager to hear it.
"I don't think you can do it though."
"Lemme hear it."
"He'd like to get married to you."
I laughed. I laughed so hard cause my dad could be such a joker sometimes. The offer sounded super ridiculous.
I looked up after my bout of laughter only to realize how serious he was.
"And you agreed?!" My nose flared.
"No no, Ari I would never do that to you. I told him it was up to you." He confessed.
"Dad..." I was saying.
"Please Ari, I don't want to force you into anything you're not comfortable with, I'm just saying you should hear him out." He pleaded.
I sighed resignedly. What else could I do?
"He's going to call you soon."
"Who's this mystery 'him' though?' I voiced out her thoughts with a perplexed face.
"You'll see." He somewhat smirked which only confused me further.
I left him soon after, with so many thoughts swirling through my head all through the rest of the day down to this moment.
Sleep was far from coming and I just sat still watching a boring TV show I barely paid attention to.
It was about 5am when I checked the time and I took that as my cue to get up and prepare for my morning shift. The restaurant was barely active in the morning so I had to work two shifts. The night shifts were the worst though because they were both physically and emotionally draining.
I stared straight into the mirror after dressing up, the dark circles around my eyes weren't so nice to stare at but I didn't have it in me to use make up this morning.
I ran my hands through my black, thick, waist length hair and styled it into a ponytail. I eyed my outfit slowly, black jeans with a super cute polo top I got as a valentine gift from my dad. I smiled at the thought but my countenance soon changed at the thought of our conversation from the previous day.
The jeans accentuated my curves a tad too much and it made me feel somewhat uncomfortable but I had to leave quickly so I could meet up with my shift. My manager would not let me hear the last of it if I ever came in late.
I picked up my bag and with one last look in the mirror, I trudged out of my apartment, shutting the door behind me.
My day was going to be eventful, I could feel it.