It was gloomy that day, I was on the deck, enjoying the fresh breeze of the sea, looking at the far horizon, letting my mind to wonder freely, until my fingers was pulled, very gently indeed, by a cute chubby little girl.. I looked at her, with a lovely stare and got on my knee. She kissed my cheek, then smiled cheekily and whispered, “Daddy, how do I pronounce the name of this cruise?”.. “it’s Star Cruise honey”..
In life, I have almost everything, a medical career, beautiful daughter, everything you name it, except for one thing.. My heart is empty as my one and only lovely wife passed away, 3 years ago. Not as “health and in sickness” as promised. It was cancer that robbed her away from me. There’s no way a replacement can heal this. I was, am and will always be hers. And our 4 year old daughter, Emily is the proof of the eternal love. Emily is all I have, and I always wanted her to know, daddy always love her no matter what ever happen..
Because of my love to her, and in fact she’s all that I have in this life, who cherish my day, being the reason for me to continue living, I took her along this voyage. We were on our way to a medical convention that I have to attend, somewhere in
My daughter pulled my hand pretty hard and we both walked our way on the deck heading back to our cabin.. Along the way, she cheekily smiled.. owh I knew the smile well, she surely will be requesting for something, usually a lollipop, her sensational passion!! But instead, adorably she asked, “daddy can I have ice-cream??”.. I looked at her and smiled, “ sure you can honey, whatever you wish..”.. She ecstaticly jumped into my arms, kissed me, again on my cheeks, and shouted “yeay!!” breaking the deafening silence on the deck of the cruise, drawing lots of attention from other passengers and some even whispered (owh yes I overheard..haha) “she’s soo adorable!!=)” .. I smiled looking at her, she looked just like her mommy, the eyes, the smile, the way she behave, it’s like in war of genetic imprinting, mommy won and yes daddy loose..hehe!
It was three scoops of ice cream.. she seemed to enjoy the ice cream, but that was after I managed to persuade her.. She initially wanted for praline and cream (her obsession, just like her late mommy, huhu like mother like daughter..) and I struggled explaining to her, there was no haagen dasz on board, and that’s all they have.. I in fact was so puzzled how could such prestigious cruise, did not have haagen dasz kiosk on board.. It was, mind boggling.. Finished with the ice cream, I took her back to our cabin, getting her ready with her swim suit before we both headed to the pool.
On our way to the pool, passing hundreds of cabin, taking elevator and stairs, I started to feel something was off with this cruise, the aisle was so silent, like it was an utterly empty vessel.. I frowned, strengthened my grip on my daughter’s hand, harden my grip..” my lovely daughter asked, “what’s wrong daddy?”.. I smiled, looking straight to her azure eyes and replied, “Nothing honey, everything just fine.” Deep inside, I knew something horrible was going on, I could feel it, sensed it, as the air signifies threat..
Despite all that, we walked our way to the deck.. Before opening the deck’s door, I took a peak into a tiny window on the door.. It was purely instinct, protective instinct of a father.. I was awed with what I saw, men with artilleries, fully equipped, M16 ‘s, rifles, guns, machete’s and plenty more weapons that I don’t even know the name.. The passengers- men, women, children, everybody was lying on the floor, crying helplessly, some even shouting hysterically, while those gunmen pointing those weapon right towards them.. My mind started processing, but I hardly struggled to think straight.. I knew that this cruise has been hijacked by who I wasn’t sure.. might be pirates or might be militants, these brutal gunmen could be anybody.. now that they thought they’ve taken hostage everyone on board, I noticed my daughter and I might not stand a chance getting off this terrible raid.
Thank goodness my daughter didn’t see any of those, and those gunmen didn’t notice us. I tried my best maintaining my confidence, avoiding panic between we both. I started to imagine terrible things that might happened if we both got caught and I failed to protect and defense the only person I love left-my own daughter.. How would I explain to my late wife, how I terribly failed to protect our baby..But the willpower inside was so strong, telling me that we should try our best to maintain survival, and yes I’ll do whatever in my power to protect my cuddly little girl.
Without any hesitation, I hugged my daughter and carried her away from the deck. In response, she clasped firmly into my arm, looked right on my face and repeatedly asking with her tiny voice, “daddy, what’s going on?”.. I remained silence kept running for our safety.. She started to feels that something bad was going on, and pearls started to run from her eyes to her cheeks. Noticing her tears, my hearts broken, like it was crushed into pieces.. gently I raised my finger to her cheek putting the tears off.. In response to that, she raised her cuddly palm and put off my tears.. Goodness I didn’t notice I cried.. It was silence, not even a word, but our hearts communicate.
With she in my arm, we kept running, passing by, cabin by cabin till accidentally we bumped into a man.. all three of us was on the floor.. I startled, thinking that it’s over for my daughter and I. I saw the man was holding a rifle on his right hand and a red emergency axe on the other. I hugged my daughter protecting her from the man.. She was shaking hysterically, I could feel it with my chest.. The man stood up, and walked slowly to us.. I raised my right arm ready to defense my daughter with head looked down, waiting to be butchered alive.. we were both shaking.. My daughter just couldn’t stop crying. The man held my hand pulling me up, sort of helping me getting on my feet. We were both confused.. The man explained he’s one of the crew, a sailor.. I didn’t manage to know his name, it was so chaotic. now that we knew he’s a friend and not a foe indeed, my daughter and I joined this man for safety.. He said he knew the hidden way to get to the emergency boats on starboard.
He handed me the rifle, and kept the axe with him.. Thank goodness I still remember how to use a rifle, just like when I went for hunting trip in
Whenever we were passing lots of junctions and aisles, our lives were always at stake! Then we reached an elevator. The sailor said we need to get down to the third floor. We took the elevator.. In the elevator, I took my shirt off and tied it to my daughter’s eyes.. I did that just because I didn’t want her to see terrible things on the way.. even if my life ends on this vessels, I did not want her to see me dying.. While I was tying, she whispered, “daddy, I love you..always..please don’t leave me like mommy did..” my heart just shattered, kissing her, hugging her madly like we were never going to see each other again.. All three of were anxiously waiting for the elevator door to open..
“ting!” the door finally opened.. It was disastrous, two of the gunmen was waiting out of the door, but they weren’t ready with their weapon.. My finger was on the trigger, and the nozzle was aimed straight to the two gunmen.. Both sides startled for few seconds, shocked of not expecting to see each other there.. Without much hesitation, I finally pulled the trigger.. twice.. both shot punctured the chest of both gunmen (it was on left side of chest).. I was certain that I managed to ruptured their heart.. Thanks to medicine, I knew well the location of the heart.. My daughter at that time, with eye’s covered, strongly hugged my feet.. I knew she was so scared of the two loud shots she heard just now.
We knew when I shot just now, the sound might have been heard by the rest of the brutal gunmen on the deck. There was no time to be wasted.. I grabbed my daughter, and we all ran straight to the emergency boats.
We managed to get to the boat.. I put my daughter in.. The man and I both struggled to put the boat to the open sea. There were mechanical gears and hooks need to be controlled so that the boat would descend slowly.. I asked the sailor to get into the boat with my daughter, leaving me behind handling the mechanical gear.. Eventually I managed to put them into the open sea. I shouted asking for man to paddle away from the cruise for at least hundreds of yards, because I knew, it was out of shooting range, no bullets might harm them in such distance.. As the boat was far enough, the man waved the paddle, signaling it was about time to jump and swim to the boat.. I knew the splash will draw the attention of all the gunmen towards us, but I have no choice.. I climbed the handling rail, ready to take that giant leap, but all of sudden a man shouted from the back, “ do not move a muscle, or I’ll shoot!” I turned my face back and noticed, six gunmen aimed towards me.. I then smiled, knowing my ends was so near.. Putting my both hands up in the air, I jumped. I finally took the plunge. the only sounds that I heard at that very moment was like rain, but it was not raindrops, but bullets instead..
I managed to get into the water..alive.. yet I had to swim to the boat, to my daughter. I swam as fast as I could, and most of the time I dived-swimming in the deep so that rains of bullets won’t hit me.. It was so dramatic.. Thank goodness I used to scuba diving, and this was not much different, except that now I dived with no oxygen tank. I swan helplessly toward the white boat, reaching there, the man helped me to get into the boat.. I hugged my daughter, took off the clothes that covers her eyes, she opened her eyes and jumped into my arm while pearls still running from her eyes..
When I was hugged, my left hip was terribly painful.. My daughter looked at her palm, it was red blood and she spontaneously cried, “daddy you’re bleeding..”.. I knew I was hit in the water just know, I lied down, got on my back, looked into the sky, it was red orange.. I saw two faces in the orange background it was the sailor and my baby Emily.. Emily was crying hysterically, begging for me to stay, not to leave her.. I said to the sailor, “take care of her well, and make sure you’ll get her to her grandma”.. I enjoyed looking at the red orange sky, it was so peaceful, it was like the sea hymn and the breeze whisper...
and slowly, my eyes shut… before you know it, the sun just sets..
p/s: this writing is so memorable to me.. it costs me my pmr, spm, english 1119 and even IB english standard level.. *might not be exactly, but most of the outline are there..such a huge memory!!=)