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Shards of Life
I’ve had it all my life. I cannot remember when I received it, but it has grown with me through my lifetime. Fifty-seven, I’ve had it at least that many years, yes, for I am fifty-nine. The lip flows outward like a ripple in the water, and its welcoming light blue glow gives off love in the sunlight. A vase -- just one out of my whole collection, but by far the best. This collection has grown since the vase appeared in my life. Once, I was in my youth, climbing a tree in our yard. I fell and broke my leg. When I returned home from the hospital ward, I had found a crack in my vase. I had wept. When my leg had healed, the vase had strangely returned to it’s first state.
After me, it would go to my daughter, my perfect daughter. The thought brought vile saliva to my lips. No, my daughter would not keep the collection. She would sell them there in Europe, she has her important job there, a brain surgeon. Nothing else matters to her. She doesn’t even bother calling me. She’s too… sane. So here I am, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, living my life away alone in my condo.
My day starts with the dusting of the vases. It was the week day of which I always cleaned my collection. Ever so carefully, I took a cloth and attached it to a stick for the easiest way to reach them all, without having to touch them. My fingerprints would distract the pure color paintings the glass would project on the floor in front of the shelf. I couldn’t have that, now could I?
Since it was the day of the dusting, I had to delay my morning walk. Now that the cleaning was done, I grabbed my shoes and sailed out the door with my bag. One mile to the beach by the lake, here I would take a dip in the crisp, cool water. I always come here. Such as now, in the winter I saw away the ice to reveal a small path out a ways into the lake. My skin jumped a little as the icy water hit me, but I pushed my arms out in front of me.
I then walked home. Many people gaze at me funny while I walk down the now-busy streets. People like me shouldn’t be walking down a busy road in the morning. However, due to these habits, my doctor says I’m fit as a fiddle, and I continue my morning walk routine with ease. I should live long, like my grandmother. She died at 109 years.
As I retuned home, the sun shone brightly through the vase window, leaving the most beautiful mosaic. A green curve here, a red circle there, blue patches here and there. This was home. My collection was greatly admired by my neighbor. She commonly came over for tea on the weekends and gazed upon the mosaic. The sun bounced off the snow and was so bright, the whole room glowed.
The day continued without a second glance. I went grocery shopping and saw my old friend. We chatted for tend of minutes as most folks do. I also stopped at the library and got a new book to read on the gray parts of my days. When I got home from there, I set aside my book and decided to make dinner. I grabbed a box of macaroni from the cupboard and made myself some pasta.
The sun was long gone when I finished my meal. I decided to call it a night. I prepared for bed in my usual way, and noticed a headache in the progress. I winced as I drifted to unconsciousness.
I groaned and lifted my wrinkled eyelids from my sight. My head felt like a pressure cooker and my limbs ached. My steps echoed loudly in my pounding ears as I stepped to the bathroom for a drink. My sight lurched and I fell back to the bed quickly. I was going to stay in bed for a while.
And so my day went on.
At a point, I heard a knock on the door. I hesitantly crawled out of bed and tip toed to the door. There my neighbor stood, smiling over me. Her face fell when she saw my tormented expression.
“What is it!?”
“Just a cold, it’s nothing, really. I’m not dying.”
“Well, I’m next door if you need me.” She backed slowly out of the doorway. “Holler if you need me.”
“Sure thing. I’ll holler REALLY loud.” I croaked. I shut the door and slowly progressed to the couch by the window. I opened the window on my way there; it was feeling stuffy in here, and started heading back to my room, but I felt a new head rush on the way and thought I wouldn’t make it back to my bed. I was right.
Through half closed eyes, I caught a glimpse of the mosaic.
My vase, my favorite vase fell from the shelf. It twisted off of the wind blaring through the window beside it. My breath caught as I helplessly watched it fall, fall. There was no sound as it shattered. The shards scattered across the floor and stuck in the carpet. I plunged into eternal darkness.
The shards of the vase crumbled into dust on an invisible wind. They blew away along with her life, never to return.