Her hands were cold and wrinkly when I cupped them. I knew her well, for even though she did not usually live in such close quarters as me, I had travelled to meet her and was henceforth prevented from leaving for the time being. My grandmother, who whispered me to consciousness one blue afternoon, had brought my sleeping mother to lay on an ivory countertop and bid me to stand beside her as she examined her. My heart was calm, even though I could clearly see the darkened spots of soaked color through the back of my mother’s shirt. Together, we peeled off the cloth and revealed several dapples of intense red pooling on my mother’s boiled skin. I attempted to dab away the liquid at its sides, but it kept spewing in the middle, fully opaque except for a few spots near the center where we could see several rows of holes where the blood spurted from. Neither of us spoke a word, for we already knew the implications. We left my mother there, who was for sure no longer breathing, and we started to pack.
The place we were now was not my home. My grandmother said that I should greet my homeland before I departed completely, even though we had opted out of this decision a few weeks prior in fear of contracting the disease. Such fear seemed like a stranger to me now, as I hoisted the bag onto my back and slipped my shoes on. My grandmother walked beside me, and we maneuvered through the living room and past my brother’s bedroom. When my brother’s sleeping form came into few, my grandmother took pity on him and said “How brave, the eldest son who will now be one of seven,” to which I responded spitefully, “He is not brave at all; he is the one that will remain here after all.”
The wind of my homeland swept the colors of autumn off the dirt, and I came to in my childhood playground, a multicolored place in which I had wrought several memorable moments from. My chest was hurting, and although I could feel my grandmother’s presence beside me, I could no longer see her from the corner of my eye. The sky was grey, and it was like a picture from a simpler memory. It was then that an epiphany struck me and I swelled in sudden despair and grief. Despite being surrounded by many people for most of my life, it was the sudden loneliness before death that saddened me most, and even though I was not in pain, I was most certainly hurting and thought of my mother, who had passed in repose. Having spent a considerable amount of time with her prior to the event, I had to doubt that I would soon follow her footsteps, like mother like child. I did not want to think of myself like a child however, so I stopped thinking about her and kept the pit in my unrelated. In that moment, a dull highlight reel of my life passed before my eyes, and although I couldn’t name every event that had previously transpired, I was sure that it had happened.
And it went quickly, and I had no time. It would be arrogant to name it “the end of the world”, but I did so in my mind. The grey sky seized, and the end of the world passed. I thought, and then I didn’t.
I was, and then I was not.
crossposted bc it's been way too long since i've actually posted here. this is based off the dream i had last night, that left such a deep impression on me that i had to write it. other stuff happened in it for sure, but this is what i woke up remembering. messy word vomit that wasn't really edited. have fun.