I died today. A number of people have come to see me. I don’t know them much.
I died in my sleep. The doctor declared massive heart attack, and had left an hour earlier after pronouncing me dead and handing in the death certificate.
I look around. Most of the guests are wearing something white. It is a working day and some have driven miles direct from their work to pay their respects to me. Some came in short skirts and revealing blouses. Some probably picked up a Junior Chicken from McDonald’s or a Tim Horton’s coffee and bagel on their way. They had to. They would have to go back home and cook dinner and eat. They would become very hungry by then. Most of them are my husband’s friends and colleagues. The Service Ontario has been notified. I had donated a few organs and they would come to get the organs before the funeral.
My husband is completely disoriented today. Today is his salary day and I used to make a number of payments. Now he hasn’t a clue how I did that. He wanted to learn that so many times, but he was a slow learner, and I had lost patience. Now he will be delayed in his payments and his credit rating may fall. He may even get a few collection calls.
He is smiling a lot welcoming the guests, and then he is realizing he shouldn’t be smiling. Because the faces of the guests are quite stoic. Some are even hugging him and then he is starting to cry. He doesn’t know whether to smile or be normal and welcome guests. Or what kind of an expression he should maintain. I guess it happens to most of us. He is just flummoxed. The doctors tried hard, but left just a while back. I could not be resuscitated.
I glide over the strangers in my bedroom. I knew that. I knew I can glide. I had seen an over-dose of YouTube after-life experiences. I look across. My body is draped in a bed sheet. Thank god for that, since I am wearing not such a decent night-dress.
I glide across the living room. My son’s room. It is locked. I can knock. But I needn’t. So I glide through it. He is sitting on the floor with his head resting on the bed and his shirt wet with tears running down his eyes and throat. His eyes are closed. My baby! He is crying for ‘Mama’. I feel tears sting my own eyes. I want to hug him, hold his hands, but I don’t. Not because I don’t want to scare him, but because I want him to become stronger without me. How I wish he had found a nice little girl who would love him. But his “I don’t like girls” attitude shooed off all girls in his vicinity. I hope he finds one now. I sit beside him and rest my head (?) on the bed like him. I feel a surprising calm. Surprisingly, his tears too dry off. He looks at the sky, his jaws protruding, his eyes stronger!
My boy! Now I can leave him alone. I would have to anyway. This is a one-way ticket. I could never come back. Where would they take me? Heaven? Hell? Or back to Earth? I felt all my freedom of living was now going to end. Now I will be at the mercy of being analyzed what good or bad I did during my lifetime. Maybe I’ll meet God. I want to. I have quite a few things to ask him. I didn’t want to come back and face all these stupid things all over again.
But I was so calm and peaceful sitting here beside my fast-maturing boy, that I just wanted to sit here invisible all my life… err death. Can’t I just do that?
There was a furor outside. All formalities were over. They were taking my body away. My husband came to call my son. He nodded, “I’m coming”.
Then my atheist, 26-year-old Quantum Physicist son looked directly at my direction and spoke: “Ma I know you are here. You know what? I prayed to your God for your last wish. I prayed that you don’t have to be born again.”
(Reading so many short stories sent to me during the Tagore O’Henry contest inspired me to write my own. Not for any contest, just like that.)
(This is a work of fiction. Resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. :P)