Autumn gets a full serving of what awaits her on the “other side” after death. It is not what she expects and not what you think. Like the snippet? Read more in my latest eBook, The Fall of Autumn-FREE until Dec. 1st.
Funny how the pain you think you’d feel before dying would be the worst. The pain of a body finally fizzing out like old soda. The creaks and groans of sick bones, the sore throat that is beyond hell and just having a sheet draped over you in the hospital, hurts your skin.
They doped me up with all kinds of funny name brand medicines, the clear tubing runs through my veins and I have my thumb taped to the “pain control” monitor to allow me to “inject” more drugs into my blood stream as I lay dying.
But none of this is as painful or morbid as staring into the eyes of my boyfriend Darwin Humphrey.
I can tell by the wince in his face, the pain in his tone, that he is watching a shell of me. The true me is slowly wasting away. The rare stomach cancer has finally won. At the age of 24, I am losing the battle. Have lost the battle.
He is probably inwardly groaning right now. The day I found out I had it, I remember sitting in my mother’s favorite chair. The pink one with pink feathers and red and pink small heart pillows(gifts from dad).
Darwin was sending pics of me to his family in Germany. He called me the “hot blonde” and truthfully I was.
I stand at 5’5, long strong, lean legs, breasts that I am/was? Naturally blessed with that had very little bounce and some jiggle. Bright blue eyes and hair that was just naturally straight and white teeth to match.
I was going to be a forensic photographer. I have always been a fan of those enormously addicting crime shows like Criminal Minds, Law and Order, and CSI but my fascination has always been with scenes.
Pictures tell a thousand words.
Right now, Darwin is breaking inside. I can feel it. His hand lightly touches mine, but instead of feeling warm and making me all bright inside, it hurts my paper thin skin. It’s like he is slowly scraping my skin with razor blades and I feel a boiling anger brewing.
At him. At myself. At no one. At God.
He sees an old woman.
Chemo will do that.
My shiny, bright California bred looks are no more. I look 65 to be honest and gaunt. I saw myself in the mirror by accident two months ago and since then, my mom agreed to buy me a veil to wear over my face.
In the hospital, I do not wear it. I do not wear it for Darwin. I don’t care anymore.
His wavy brown hair and lion gold eyes drinks me in from head to toe. Before, when we first met in college, his eyes would trail slowly over my curves causing small fires in my heart, making my stomach flutter.
Now, he looks at me as if I am a stranger. He takes me in slowly because Reality is a Beast. I look away from him and towards another rainy day. It’s true. It never rains Southern California but it is today.
Instead of responding, my eyes water but even that hurts. Can’t even cry. It’s been a good run in this world. All 24 years of it.
“Please. Look at me, love.” His Boston accent is what always does me in. I love city boys. I love smart ones who are hot.
Darwin is all of that.
He will move on without me in six months to a year maybe. Find another beauty who will console him as he talks about his dead girlfriend, they will share Starbucks coffee a few days out the week until his heart beats a little faster and his touches on her becomes less friendly and more loving- same as he did with me.
They will trade sob stories of the monster of cancer and he will invite her over for dinner at his mom’s.
A year from now or two he may be with or he may not. He will marry someone because that’s Darwin. Hot biology major whose parents are both professors at California State University.
They will welcome her.
He may become a player. Just sleep with a lot of girls.
I look at him and that is when all of a sudden, I feel a POP! Explode in my chest.
My air is cut!
I look to him and he is holding my hand, he is yelling and I see lime green nurse suits. Mom, dad, and my little brother Manly sweep in quick as dust.
Their images blur. It is getting darker in here.
I can’t breathe!
I gasp sharply as my world turns gray and blurry, then suddenly black.
I am floating.
I am light as air and I twist and turn, darkness all around me but I feel so much at peace. It is like for the first time I am not weighed down.
In life we seek peace through religion, or helping out at shelters, using drugs or sex.
But I must say, this is better than all of that combined times 100.
Out of my skin and bones, out from psychological worry, I can float. No care in the care in the world.
“Open your eyes,” a smooth, silky, male voice says. It says something else that sounds like my name but I cannot identify it.
What is my name?
“Is that why it’s so dark?” I whisper. Why does my words sound like…music?
He chuckles. “Yes.” His words are poems too. Even a single word.
I hesitate. I nearly forget where I am and how I got to where I am. Why are my eyes closed?
I use muscle I no longer have to open my eyes.
“It takes a few tries to get used to a new body.”
“Huh?” I really snap open my “eyes” now and the plethora of color explode before me. Colors I don’t know the name of including a few common colors. Light and bright as the sun filters in and I see tall creatures before me. Their shadow advancing on me.
I take a step back.
I am standing on something lush and soft.
“She’s a new one, let us treat her as such.”
Their voices are so loud! I can hear them in my soul! “Stop yelling!” I shout.
“Yup, new body alright. Is there a reason why these people act like this? Do they not know about their transformation?”
Smooth Voice says, “They were not taught it properly. As far as I know they are the only species who can transform after expiring. You’d think they would be informed.”
I inhale a deep, cleansing breath and look down at myself. My feet are the color of bronze, they shine and sparkle. No need for polish. My nude body is positively glowing…
**As a side note, battling cancer is a serious issue. I lost my father to esophageal cancer a few years ago. I was inspired to write about the “what ifs” of the afterlife.
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