by Lianne Morgan
“So, shall we continue?” Death asked, “Or would you like a minute to catch your breath?”
I inhaled deeply and blew the non-existent air out of my non-existent lungs.
“You knew what your most selfish moment was, didn’t you?” Death viewed me quizzically,
“Yes,” I nodded,
“Then do you know what your most selfless moment is?” She said,
“I haven’t a clue,” I smiled,
“Do you think it will outweigh your selfish moment?” Death mused, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven?”
“Nothing will ever make up for my selfish moment, not anything,” I blinked back tears, “I cheated everyone, not just him, and I ruined a lot of lives...”
“If you don’t think you’ll make it to Heaven, why attempt it? Why put yourself through that awful memory?” Death said in shock, something I didn’t realise was possible.
“Because if my selfless moment is half as good as my selfish one was bad, an eternity in Hell is worth getting to re-live it again,” I smiled, “you look shocked? I’d have thought you’d seen too much and were too old to be shocked?”
“If there’s anything time has taught me, it’s that we’re never done learning and there is always a chance to be met with the unexpected again,” Death smiled,
“Apparently, my heart will tell me where I belong,” I smirked at her before focusing intently on the brilliant blue of her eyes, feeling myself fade into my moment with an overpowering sense of peace and contentment.
You woke up, even with the nightlight on, you’re seeing shadows in the break of dawn. You called out, deep inside a dream of my own, it was a nightmare I was all alone.
I smiled brightly, my eyes stinging with tears but the happy kind. The overwhelming kind. Her little round face with her shining auburn eyes smiled back at me, happy and innocent and completely care free. She looked at me like I was the world to her and I knew she was the world to me. Her beauty in my eyes was incomparable, she was like no other and no other was like her.
Dancing for no one besides herself, you buzz around me like a honey bee. The world brand new awaits you wait for me...
I watch as she spins around laughing, the sound of it making my heart swell with something I want to call love but that word just doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s used too often for it mean what I feel, to really capture the gravity of my situation as I think about the hold this little girl has on my heart. Her coffee coloured sun-kissed hair bounces around her shoulders as she continues to twirl and dance about the place.
Fill the cup, water always does the trick. Seal the lid and let you cry with it. You grown up, I wrestle with it every day, but you will always be my girl this way.
I see her as she swings, back and forth, the light catching the hundred different shades of her hair. It flows out behind her, cascading down her back as she moves. Her strong legs keep her going, her long arms pushing and pulling at exactly the right rhythm. So independent I can see the years that will flash by in an instant the minute I all but blink. She won’t always need me, but I will always be there.
I know there was a time before you, but for the life of me I can’t recall. You bound around me always fancy free, the world brand new awaits you wait for me...
I look at the young girl she is and sigh. The time spent with her feels so fleeting. I cannot remember what life was like before her, and I never want to. For all the mistakes I’ve made and all the stupid things I’ve done, she was the reason to never give up. The hope when there was none and the want to make amends, make myself a better person than I had been. Minutes she’d been here and it felt like forever, her once tiny form seems almost impossible as I look at her now.
Ask me why there’s pain and there’s lies, don’t always have the answers but I’m happy to try. Ask me how there’s you and there’s now, I’ll share it with you soon as I can figure it out.
I wrap my arms around the girl now nearly as tall as me. Her first experience of heartbreak. I feel the anger bubbling just beneath the surface, wanting to tear apart the person who made her shed her tears and suffer the cruel knowledge that came with falling in and out of love. I feel the pain she’s in, the despair, and all I want is to take it away. I want her never to hurt and never to cry again, I want her to be smiling and dancing like she used to. I know she has to face it but it doesn’t stop me wishing, doesn’t stop me wanting. I silently promise her that I’ll never let her go, I’ll always be here, I’ll always be the one to hold her.
Hang on my love, time’s running out, cherish the day, that’s what life is about. So ask me what song I should sing, I’ll hum it just to hear you ask anything. There you are, smiling in the same old way ‘cause maybe it’s your wedding day. I see it, clear as I can see your face, there’s someone who steals your heart away.
I stare avidly at her stunning self, dressed all in white and looking so beautiful. I see all those moments in her face, in that one nervous but excited look she gave. My baby girl, my dancing ballerina, my honey bee. She will always be mine, always be the tiniest babe to the gorgeous woman stood before me. I see all of her life in all of her glances, all of her motions and movements and moments. I see the daughter that I held tight and wouldn’t let go, I see the girl who learnt to walk on her own. I see the someone she is smiling so brightly at, the someone she’ll want to hold now instead of me, the someone she’ll turn to now instead of me...
But you will always be my ballerina, dancing like we only have ourselves. And you fly around me swaying next to me. The world brand new awaits, you wait for me, wait for me...
I will always have my memories of her, I will always have the times she came to me, the times we laughed, the times we danced and the times we cried. I realised my most selfless moment was choosing in that one instant to let her go. To let her be the amazing woman she’d grown up to be, to be free. I got to re-live a thousand memories in that one moment because I see a thousand of them every time I look into her eyes. She made life a privilege to live, and feeling the moment end, feeling the moment ripped away...it was like dying all over again.
“Your most selfless moment...” Death gazed at you, “raising a child and then letting her get married, letting her be happy? Why is that choice selfless?”
“It sounds strange when you say it like that,” I frowned, “she was my everything, the most precious thing in world to me, I would have given my own life in a heartbeat just to make her happy...trusting someone else to take care of her...it’s, well...it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,”
“But you were still around, you were still there...?” Death puzzled,
“It’s not the same,” I shook my head, “She learnt to live without me...I’m dead and gone and it will hurt like hell, but she’ll live without me...”
“You let someone else become her world,” Death finally understood,
“I let someone else become her world,” I sighed.
“So, the question is, where do you belong?” Death asked,
“In that grey area that doesn’t exist,” I chuckled softly, sucking in a breath as a door appeared a little ways in front of me. Death sighed and nodded towards it. I felt a cold chill shiver up me as she gripped me again, whispering her final goodbyes. I was stood all alone, looking at the door and listening to the pounding of my unearthly heart in my corporeal ears.
The young, the old, the rich or poor, all alike to me you know. No wealth, no land, no silver, no gold, nothing satisfies me but your soul.