I couldn't sleep. I just couldn't grasp the fact that he, my father, was actually dead.

This is why I hate hospitals. They always try to help, but things always take a turn for the worst.

I could feel the tears streaming down my cheeks. Why was it so hard to lose someone that you don't think even loved you? That was tonight's dilemma.

I thought he loved me, I really did. He almost never came in to tell me good-night or anything. He only wanted me so I could inherit the lobster business, I was sure of it.

"Ma, it's okay," I remember saying to her, over and over. "He's gone, and it can't be helped."

I put my hands on her shoulders and held her while May hugged my legs.

When uncle Chester died, it didn't stir us up too much. But now that Dad was dead… it was a whole different story.

Even though he beat me multiple times, and he almost never said anything encouraging to me, he was still my dad. I know that he still loved me. He had to.

Laura… Dad… why was everyone in this family dying? I'm next. I know I am.

When I finally did fall asleep, I dreamed of him. It was hard to see him there, reading his newspaper in the big Lazy-Boy armchair. It was hard seeing him read a message from the Bible at the dinner table where he would never sit ever again.

I could see him setting up the traps and harvesting the cranberries at the peak of ripeness. He would never be able to come home and fish and eat with us.

I jolted awake with a start, on the floor of my bedroom. I was tangled in the sheets, sweaty, complete with tears streaming down my face.

I flipped my dark, long hair out of my emerald green eyes. I got both from my father.

But, the strange thing is, I remember falling. Had I really been dreaming? It seemed so real…

But I remembered dreaming, too. Did I fall in the dream…?

What was my mind doing to me? It was throwing images at me left and right, trying to confuse me.

Why? Why me? Why did my father have to die?

I glanced at the clock. It was about three in the morning. I sat up and rubbed my eyes with my hands.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled my legs out from the knotted sheets and leaned against the side of my bed.

Why did Melody have to be gone? Especially now. I needed her now. We all needed her.

I got up and slipped a jacket and shoes on. I walked out to the beach.

Letting the gentle waves wash water over my bare feet, I stood there with my hands in my pockets, looking up at the stars. I remember Ma teaching the two of us about the constellations.

I climbed onto the lobster boat that Raymond had tied up earlier today. I sat on the edge, letting the tears fall freely from my eyes and off my cheeks.

I hadn't cried this much since… since Laura died. Why did everything have to happen to me?

I needed Melody. I needed her right now. She would know what to do; she knows how to make me feel better.

She always knew what to do.

I looked at the reflection of the boat in the water. It looked exactly like the model one I had made almost ten years ago. I remembered that Dad had kept it, and was so proud of it, even though he never verbally admitted it.

I remembered him giving it back to me after a couple years. "Take this back. It's crowding up our mantelpiece."

I remembered being broken-hearted about it. It was the first present that I had ever given him, and now he didn't even want it anymore.

I looked up, and I thought I saw him, standing at the rutter, steering the boat. "Dad?" I whispered. He looked up, and smiled. He actually smiled at me.

He almost never did that. "Come here, son."

I stood up and went to him.

He put a firm hand on my shoulder. "You're my son. You always have been, and you always will be. There's nothing you can do to change that."

"I know." I moved to put my arms around him, but the figure vanished from the air and I fell to the hard wooden deck.

I scraped my knees, elbows, and the palms of my hands. "Dad…" I felt tears on my face again, and I curled up into a ball for the rest of the night.

May found me the next morning. "What's wrong?" she signed.

"Nothing, I'm fine," I answered her.

"Are you lying to me?"

We walked back to the house, her hand in mine. I could see that her eyes were red; she had been crying, too.

I knelt and hugged her. We stayed there, sitting in the sand, crying together until Ma came out to get us for breakfast.