I remember it being cold.
A cold winter day. It doesn’t snow where I lived; I guess it wasn’t cold enough. But I’ve seen snow before; I’ve always liked it from what I’ve seen.
That day was a cold day that, if I try hard enough, I can still feel the icy prick of it. That day I received a letter. It didn’t have a return address or anything like that; it just had my name written in a beautiful font along the front in a dark crimson ink. The letter was on my desk where I keep all my art books. I didn’t know how it got there, but I opened it nonetheless. The paper felt so soft; at least I remember it did. Inside the letter was a simple message. My name followed by a simple statement.
“You are to die by this time tomorrow.”
I didn’t understand it at first, but then I recalled an odd memory I had.
It was a day before Christmas, there was a fire in the fire place and everyone was gathered around. All my family was there. We were chatting and having a good time. Suddenly I had a thought; I didn’t want to leave these people. I love them too much, if I knew when I would die then maybe I could tell them that and much more. I could make more memories before I die. So I wrote on a paper, I didn’t really think it was going to work. With that thought in mind I wrote down in my scribbly writing,
“Death, if you could please tell me when I am supposed to die, I would truly be beyond grateful.” Then I tossed the letter into the flames.
I never expected an answer, I promise you that. The first thing I remember feeling was awe. I realized, I can tell everyone how I really feel. Now I could spend my last day finding everyone from my school that I hate, but it was the weekend. No one is seriously going to be at school. Plus I had so little time, only a day! So I called up the person I needed to talk to first before anyone. I called her up, my hands nearly shaking. Why was I so nervous? Is it because I knew this would be the last time I talk to her? Should I tell her? What should I do?
She answered, I took a deep breath. I talked the way I usually did, not indicating anything was wrong. I won’t tell her, I’ll save her the pain of awareness. I don’t want her trying to keep me safe and stick with me. I don’t want her to meet an end either. I asked her if we could meet up. Just for a little while since she had a date. She would never miss it, she loved her boyfriend too much. After a large amount of convincing she reluctantly gave in.
I came over, remembering the route to her house like the back of my hand. I gave her my small smile, she returned it. I sat in her room, quietly. She sat at her computer, glancing at me from time to time. I looked at anything but her, trying to remember every little detail of her room. I already came to terms that this was the last time I would see her. Be with her and even talk to her.
That thought alone was enough to make me cry, but I couldn’t. I’ve always told myself to be stronger and now was the time I needed to. Taking a deep breath I stared out the window, smiling.
“Remember when we first met? I thought you were so stupid and childish.”
“Well so were you.” She gave a light laugh.
“Yeah, we both were.” I avoided her gaze. I could feel her staring at me, but if I looked at her now I would only break down crying. I told myself over and over to be strong. “You know for awhile know I’ve thought about something.” I steeled myself, what I’ve wanted to say on the tip of my tongue, my last words to her.
“Hm?” She frowned a bit.
“I don’t know when it started, but I guess I always liked you. Not as a friend, but something more you know? When I thought of that I thought I was strange. You’re my best friend. I know you’ll never feel that way about me. But that’s alright. I’m fine now. I’ve come to terms that I lost my chance and won’t get it back. And you’re happy being with him. I’m also happy where I am, just being your friend. You’ve kept me here all these years and that’s more than enough.”
I really was happy. I may have liked to be more but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s fine though, I’m happy with the memories I have. I got up without glancing at her. She stayed silent. I didn’t want to see her face, her disgust, her rage, her hate, the face of betrayal. None of it, I did not want to see any of it. I never really did learn what face she made. I closed my eyes and swallowed the lump in my throat. I couldn’t cower out, it was already too late. “So I really want to thank you, truly. Thank you so much.” Then I left. That’s all I could do. I said what I needed, no words of love and goodbye. No, I didn’t want my last words to her to be goodbye. I wanted them to be “Thank You”.
Thank you for being there for me.
Thank you for never leaving me.
Thank you for laughing with me.
Thank you for crying for me.
Thank you for helping me when I needed it.
When I got home I called all of my loved ones. I spent a good hour talking to each of them. I didn’t cry, I would not allow it. I then hugged my sister when she returned from work, my brother and I played games and argued. I miss our arguments. I then watched movies with my parents. Kissing them all goodnight I went to bed. I spent that night before sleep hugging my cat. He always found out when I was sad. Only to him I could truly be free.
I told him repeatedly I love you, and as if to respond he purred and moved closer. I missed that, his purr.
It was very cold that morning; I had turned my phone off. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me; I wanted to spend my day with my family. We were going to go to the mountains to play in the snow. We just needed to go get some things from the store. It was just me and my sister, we were responsible enough. She drove since I didn’t like driving in the early morning. I was never a morning person.
Who would’ve thought it could end so quickly? The car came out of nowhere and slammed into us. My side of the car was dented completely. I think the car flipped once or twice. My mind was blank as the glass seemed to float in mid air. We landed and I felt something in me break. We were covered in glass but my sister was alright. She always did have a hard time getting hurt.
I remember the sharp high pitched noise that rang in my ears. Everything else was a blur. I was in a van; I think it was an ambulance? When did I get in here? I try to look around; there are people I don’t know panicking over me. I can’t hear anything really; I think they’re trying to get my attention. But I’m so tired, I want to sleep. I must’ve blacked out, because the next thing I knew I was in a hospital bed. I had something sticking in my arm and a mask over my face. It hurt to breath, was that what this was for? I glance to my right, there was the door. I look to my left, there was my sister. She looked better than I did.
Asleep, she was sleeping. She had cuts and I think a few broken bones. Thinking back on it now, she was always the strong one, my role model. I look up at the ceiling, a faint beeping reaching my ears. Oh, it was a heart monitor. It sounded like our hearts were in sync. Suddenly, a blackish figure reaches the corner of my eye. I only look with my eyes. My head felt too heavy to move. The figure stopped next to my bed and held out its pale bony hand.
He said to me, “It is time.”
I can hear someone asking. “Will the pain go away? I hurt so much.” Was that my voice? It sounded so strange, so different....
He didn’t speak, only nodded his head slowly. For the first time since I’ve gotten that note, I cried. The tears didn’t stop, they kept pooling out. I don’t think I wanted to stop. I wanted to feel the life in me one more time. The pain, the tears, and the love I felt in just one day. I wanted those memories to stay more than anything. I silently hoped they would. I closed my eyes, still crying. But still I smiled. Despite death was there, despite that I was hurting, and despite the fact that I was crying; I smiled. I could hear the beeping going out of sync; one was going slower than the other. Then it went flat.
What happened after was something I don’t remember. It’s alright though. There are a few things I regret, like how I should’ve looked at her reaction when I confessed. I wonder if something could’ve changed. Did I want it to? I can’t answer that. My sister was alright. She graduated and got married, her children are so adorable. My brother isn’t married yet, but I can tell he’ll find a good one. I’m happy here. Even though I can’t talk to them anymore I know its fine. They still remember me and still love me. I’ll be happy with just that. They’re keeping my memory alive. I couldn’t ask for anything more. But what am I doing now? Well I guess you can say I’m waiting. Waiting for my new life to start, waiting for the new adventure, waiting for the new people I’ll encounter. I’m waiting. I may end up forgetting everyone but I know they won’t forget me. I wouldn’t want to forget them; maybe I can meet them in my new life. Hopefully I can. That would be simply wonderful.