Fading Away

By , Jefferson City, MO
As the pain became worse and worse, I knew that I was going to die.
A million different things raced through my thoughts as every precious second ticked away. I was hyper aware of the hole in my stomach, right where I'd been shot. A new thought occurred to me: getting shot in the stomach meant a slow and painful death. If it didn't hurt so much, I would've groaned.
But then, all I could think about was him. If these were my last moments, I wanted to spend them thinking about him. How he smelled after running through the rain. The way he crossed his ankles when he got embarrassed. How our kisses tasted after being apart for a while.
The pain began to fade, and I knew I was going. I lost my sight. But I wasn't afraid. This was it. It didn't take as long as I'd thought it would. Maybe I was weak. I had no sense of what was happening around me in my blinded state.
My thoughts drifted back to him. I was amazed at the sudden clarity of my memories this close to death. In the distance, there was a strange noise. Voices. I couldn't make out the words. They were too far away. Why didn't they stop and help me? I wanted to yell out to them, but couldn't find the strength to use my vocal cords. Their voices faded with the pain, as my blindness got somehow blacker and blacker.
What was he doing right now? Why wasn't he trying to find me? Surely he could sense that I was dying, right? Or maybe he just didn't care. The voices were almost gone now. I yearned for them to return, but the pain had almost completely faded from my body. I was not long for this world.
A smell I recognized as smoke hit my nose. Oh no. My killer was burning my body. I was going to fade away, never to be found again. Sharp stabs of pain hit me suddenly, all over my body. But I did not feel the warmth of the flame. Maybe I was past feeling temperature now. The smoky smell got suddenly stronger, then faded away. Again, stronger, and faded away. Maybe I was in hell. But why could I still not see, if I was dead? And where was the pain of hell?
And then, everything was gone. No smells, no sounds, no pain. Nothing. I still couldn't see anything, but this time, I saw white instead of black. That's when I knew I was dead. I didn't know if I had a body or not, and I didn't look to check. I just existed there. I didn't think anything. What was the point? Everything was gone.
I had no way of knowing how time passed here, nor did I really care. But after some time, it could have been seconds or eons, I became aware of something. A strange sensation, like someone was rubbing where my left arm used to be. There was no one here but me, of this I was certain. It bugged me that I felt this, when there was no cause for it. I was annoyed at whomever was brushing my phantom arm. Why couldn't they just leave me alone?
Slowly, I became aware of other things, even if I didn't want to. Something light and stringy touching where my shoulders would've been. Some material covered my entire body. That phantom-body pressed against some other material.
I found that I had a body. I had muscles to move that body with, and I wanted to move my newly discovered body. I could move my fingers and toes.
Willing myself to escape the comfortable white nothingness, I found the muscle I was looking for and opened my eyes.





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