He was dead and gone and had become a dodo. Death comes for everybody, and he was not an exception. You never know when and how death arrives at your front door, and thwarts your beating heart, leading to a moment of numbness and to nothingness after that.
You would never be able to read the letters of heartfelt condolence printed in the newspapers the day after your death. You would never be able to see how your loved ones will exchange fingerprints to gain access to your bank account, only if you
There is a time period just after your heart stops beating when you start feeling the numbness; your blood still warm, your ears still hearing things, your mind still awake and that is when you recollect a few of the best moments of your life – frame by frame.
“Late at night when my feet are cold I press them up against her, my wife. Nothing ever wakes her up and she is like a personal furnace. She is not nocturnal and comes to bed early, dozes off quickly, snores loudly and hogs all the pillows. I tell her she’s hard to sleep with and she offers to go to the couch downstairs. But I already know that on most nights, getting a good rest is not the most critical thing.”
By now, she must have read those notes I wrote. Most of the times, I wrote about her as she, in her sleep, would try to position herself to the most comfortable posture during her slumber and her white sleeping gown would slide up to her thigh, inviting me to come to bed because it would be past midnight and I would have sipped every drop of coffee from the coffee-mug.
And on the next morning, she used to be the early bird who would bring me a hot cup of another.
“The last day of college, a close-knit group of friends, some alcohol, a cheap eight-bed hotel room in a tourist spot away from the campus, a packet of flavored potato chips shared around, some spicy gossip and endless leg-pulling that lasts through the night. It was the perfect recipe for happiness, the perfect time to be alive and the perfect way to spend a chilly night in the warmth of the laughter, the jokes and the camaraderie. Then you realize that these might turn out to be the very best moments of your life, the moments that you’d never get back, but that will be preserved in your memories - in the 4.2GB folder of photographs titled ‘Fun in the last semester’.”
Now, the body gets as cold as the air in the room. Without the heart pumping, blood coagulates in the veins causing the entire body to stiffen. As the seasons pass, being dead becomes boring. You start to wish if you were collecting coins, old and new from far and wide. You wish if you were eating a chicken steak hamburger following it up with a brownie fudge sundae. You wish if you were playing a guitar. You wish if you were alive. But, here, I am dead and gone. I’ve become as dead as a dodo. Because death comes for everybody, it arrived for me too. Maybe, too early but it did.
The author is a high-school student of A-Levels at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu.