Dana McDermott – The Last Supper

You never know the last time you might speak to someone. Growing up, my mother always told me “Don’t ever end a conversation with fighting!” “Yeah, yeah, whatever mom,” I’d say sarcastically. “What did she know? She acts like she knows everything.” I was a very stubborn child. Looking back now I wish I had listened to her more carefully. Because that sentence will now haunt me forever.

A few months back in my home, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, I decided to make myself dinner. Hungry, stressed, and exhausted from a full day of work, I didn’t want to be bothered. “I’ll make some pasta” I said to myself. I opened the kitchen cabinet and grabbed a box of pasta and one container of sauce, I put it on the counter, and grabbed a pot to put on the stove. As I was filling the pot with water, my father snuck up behind me, trying to lighten my mood. I clenched the pot in anger. “What the hell are you doing?” I yelled. My father smiled and said “I saw you’re making some pasta and was wondering if you could make extra for me before I go off to work.” I looked at him with disgust. “Can’t he see that I’m exhausted? I’m obviously not in a good mood. Why can’t he make his own God damn food.” I thought to myself.

The two of us stood in the kitchen, not uttering a single word, just staring. I wondered what he was thinking as he stared at the pot I had been holding. “I’m hungry” I said. “Is there a reason you can’t make your own food?” My father’s smile faded as he sighed and walked out of the kitchen without saying a word. I didn’t care. I just continued on with my cooking. About ten minutes later, he came back into the kitchen while I was stirring the sauce and asked again, more politely than before, “I’m not trying to annoy you, but I don’t have time to cook after you’re done. Can you please save a bowl for me?” Angrily, I shouted “FINE, you can have some if there’s extra, BUT ONLY IF THERE’S EXTRA!” “Thank you”, he said. A few minutes later when I was finished cooking, I deliberately poured all the pasta into my bowl. “Maybe next time he’ll learn to make his own pasta,” I said sullenly.

A half hour later I heard my front door open, then close, indicating my father had left for work. He didn’t ask me why I did what I did, he didn’t even bother to say goodbye to me before he left for work. I didn’t care though. “I’m tired. Now he’ll understand to leave me alone when I’m in a bad mood,” I said.

The next morning I heard a screech from my kitchen. I ran downstairs as fast as I could to see my sister hysterically crying. I nervously asked, “What’s wrong with you? You’re scaring me.” She tried to control her breathing, “Dad is face down in the basement and he’s not responding to me. Why is he not responding to me?” “Call the police right now!” I yelled. A few hours later we were told my father had died from a major heart attack.

Even now, as summer has ended and autumn leaves begin to fall from the trees, that last conversation with my father still and will always haunt me. Sometimes when I close my eyes, I see my old kitchen, my father’s smile fade, and the two of us staring at each other. I hear his “Thank you” and the quiet footsteps leaving our home that will never return. Knowing what I know now, I will continue to value moments I share with my loved ones because I may never know when those moments with them will be my last. As my life moves forward I will always remember, how sorry I will always be, for my father’s last supper.

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