We all have a time limit. The numbers permanently placed on my arm has always been there. Every morning I get up and look at the countdown clock. I know my time is short I must soak up everything the world has to offer me. The number on my arm is my death date and I’m about to expire.
“Sami, what do you want to do today,” my mother called from downstairs. I could hear every emotion in her voice all calling in unison. The fear of losing me, the premature grief, the anger against my permanent clock, and the voice I heard the most was the positivity she tried to glue on to herself day after day. The thing about glue is that most of the time it wears off, my mother's glue was wearing off.
My mother had been bracing for this day since the day I was born she knew what was coming before I did. She has always tried to make the most of my life. She strives to make every moment perfect and she has. This life is coming to an end now and I don’t need perfect anymore I need true real life just one last time.
“Sami?” The panic that arose in her voice after I had not answered the question was startling to me, I knew exactly what she was thinking.
“Mom I’m fine,” I say with a shrug and a plastered smile, “I’m gonna go on a walk. If that’s okay?”
“Of course,” she replied.
She couldn’t fight me on my last days on earth. I can do whatever I want which to most kids my age would be a greatly accepted invitation to death, but for me it was normal. I was spoiled because I’m dying. I escaped from the back door and walked through the deep woods that covered what we called our back yard. Everything I have is extravagant my mother and father have always gotten me the best items on the market. Even strolling through the woods your could see my wealth. A tree house the size of a nice one story home made out of only the best wood hung in the tallest tree of our forest. My wealth was of money, but not of life.
“Sami, could you please, um come down,” my father struggled to conceive the words.
As I walked down the steps leading into the kitchen I glanced at the middle of my forearm. 9/14/2085. The date was in only two months time I tried not to think about it, but walking down those stairs, the stairs I’ve seen all of my short life. I gave out. My legs fell beneath me and the arm that held my life started to shake so much I believed it was going to fall off. In no surprise my mother and father were by my side in a heartbeat. This was the beginning of my end.
When I awoke in the hospital later that day I went to ask dad what he wanted to talk about, he didn't answer. I then preceded to ask the nurse taking care of me why I was still here. She said that a pathogen entered my body, it was strong, and like most illness intended to kill. To me this means my immune system was failing and soon I'm going to die.
When we went home I went to the couch, I couldn't take on the stairs again.
“Please just tell me what you called me down for,” I shouted almost unwillingly.
“Where is this coming from,” my mother said astonished by my tone.
“Honey, do you want to plan your funeral,” my father asked.
I have 3 weeks left. Everything was in order all the preparations were made I had it all perfect, as always...
...The oak casket made from the oak tree where my tree house used to hang...
...The white roses picked from the woods I used to play...
...The dress, the eternal dress perfectly fitted for my non growing body...
I have less than a month to live. The feeling is unnatural. I'm walking, but at the same time I’m flying. I’m scared, but I’ve never felt so peaceful. I can go underwater, but I can't hold my breath.
Whenever I wake up my mothers eyes see me. Whenever I close my eyes to sleep she is there to guide me in the dark. The feelings she feels are foreign. The feeling of your child leaving you. Knowing she may never see me again kills her. I wouldn't know the feeling, I'll never have children.
9/07/2085. I have 7 days. 7 days of breathing, smiling, laughing, dancing, crying. 7 days until dying.
I never showed my mom how scared I was I don’t know what was after this. The day was fastly approaching and there was nothing i could do to stop it. What do you do when you have 7 days to live and nowhere to go? I’m sick, the virus flooding my system was only getting worse. My mother and father were always by my side. I wonder if I made them proud? Do you think they’ll have another daughter? Did I make them happy or did I waste 15 years of their lives?
The days I had turned to hours. I had meaningful conversations and watched my favorite shows. I had visitors friends, family, neighbors. I was soaking in last words. I became a textbook for goodbyes. I had 48 hours left on earth. What do you do with 48 hours?
In between the endless rotation of visitors I had split seconds to myself. Every time I was alone I looked at that tattoo. The marks on my skin that are causing all this chaos. The agony numbers can bring. I scratch and tear and wipe the numbers away, but death doesn’t release you.
9/13/2085. It is the day before I die. I’m taking my last breaths, seeing my last things, saying my last words. I spend the day with my mother and father. They saw my passage into this world. They saw the marks being blazed upon my skin. Now, they see the effects that ink can bring.
They didn’t leave my side. I had perfect meals, perfect conversation paired with perfect jokes, and all the while I looked perfect. My parents wanted me perfectly preserved when I took my last breath I would be pure, pretty, perfect.
I saw the pain coursing through their veins it killed them to see me like this, but not as much as it killed me. That night my parents stayed in my room. As the night began to grow upon us my eyes began to grow heavy. I saw their faces. The way the moonlight from my window perfectly grazed their symmetrical faces making them beautiful. I was so tired that I didn’t care what my last words were. My last words to the people I love the most and I didn’t care!
“We love you,” their voices in perfect unison.
“I love you, Thank you.”
I fell asleep.
9/14/2085. I’m alive. I’m breathing, smiling, laughing, dancing, crying. I was supposed to die at 12:01 am on September 14, 2085. The gasp of air that filled my lungs at 5:09am was shocking. I woke up to my mother and father surrounding me with tears lining their faces. The man who was supposed to take me away was standing there next to them.
“What time is it,” I asked in a panic not realizing that today I should have already died.
“5:09 am,” the unknown man responded.
“Mom, dad why am I still here?”
“Honey, we stayed up all night. At 12:01 am we crowded above you waiting to watch you you fly, but you didn’t fly. Your breathing didn’t give out, not once,” my mother said in a breath of relief.
“What do I do,” I asked the man responsible for carrying my dead body to my now empty grave.
“Live. The hospital must of got it wrong. You are lucky, but it looks to me like the mix up was fatal for another.”
“Another girl died, but I was sick?”
“Another girl died, but you were sick. Illness passes as does life, her life passed her yours didn’t. With the time that you have make the most of it don’t question your gift.”
At 12:01 on September 14, 2085 a girl died. I don’t know her name. Somewhere in the world she holds my fatal mark as I hold hers. Her life probably wasn’t perfect she thought she had more time than she was given.