You are twelve years old for another three days and you can throw knives with pinpoint accuracy and your father is dying.
Your best friend is eleven years old and doesn't know what to say to you about everything that's happening even though she should because she's always reading, she's basically a walking library at this point, and your father is dying.
You don't know if you have any feelings left in you except for hate and anger, everything else seems to have been pushed out of you by them, you can't even feel sad anymore you just feel more angry, and your father is dying.
You are twelve years old and you feel about fifty because you knew this was coming and you still hurt because of it and you don't know what to do about that except be angry and -
And your father is dying. Finally, for real this time, after twenty-two years of "slow, accumulative decline", ten of them before you were born, your father is dying.
Your father has always been dying, but never going-to-die-soon dying, just falling apart like Simon Belmont in the stories. This certainty is new. This certainty is new and it's horrible.
Your father has always been dying, and your best friend's parents are already dead. She was little when they died, though, she didn't have to watch them get sicker and weaker and sicker and weaker her whole life, but you're pretty sure you shouldn't ever say that to her.
Your father has always been dying but this time the fever won't come down and he kept calling you “Eric" and when he tried to apologize, lucid again for a moment, you screamed out “I hate you" and ran.
Your father has always been dying and you ran away and started to practice throwing knives because hurting a tree that's done nothing to anybody its whole life is easier than admitting that you're scared of what's going to happen next.
Your father has always been dying. He was dying when you were born. He was dying when he taught you how to climb trees. He was dying when he showed you how to throw knives.
Your father has always been dying. Your father is dying. You are twelve years old for another three days. You hate him, and you hate yourself for hating him, and you're angry because you don't know why. You feel sick to your stomach, but when you fall to your knees all that comes out of your mouth is a scream like you've never heard.
When you finally drag yourself home, your father is dead.