Letters To The Other Side

Submitted into Contest #234 in response to: Write a story about someone whose time is running out.... view prompt

8 comments

Sad Romance

Entry One  

8/23/2012

  Time isn’t on my side these days and I don’t blame it. I wouldn’t befriend a man like me either. Red splotched tissue paper inhabited my trashcan for months. I ignored the bloody coughs and now I’m here. Alone. In a small room, with faded- -blue walls, and annoying beeps. A sixty-three-year-old man with lung cancer, approximately one week to live, and a spillage of guilt. No one to mop it up. I severed most of my relationships with family after you passed. My nephew is the only person that comes to visit. Out of pity, I assume. Our conversations are short and hugs soulless. He has that same painted-on smile that you had. Fabricated to provide false comfort. I’m not afraid of death though. I’m opening the door for it. The night of your accident I discovered the empty bottle of gin. You weren’t much of a drinker, so I already expected the worst. Were you driving that night to tease death and the sleek roads aided your demise? Or did you clock out and purposely swerve off the road that night? Twenty years later, those questions are still tangled up in my web of thoughts. Regardless of the answer, I was the common denominator. What a joke of a human being I am. Can you even receive this on the other side? Will you receive this? What’s a letter without a recipient?

Entry Two

8/25/2012

   My heart was bouncing out of my chest that day. You said “yes” not once, but five times. Your eyes sparkled, like the small diamond in the black box. The wedding eight months later was marvelous. The words “I do” were stitched into our hearts. I guess my sutures came out. Both of our families overflowed the reception with love and laughter. It was a beautiful sight for both of us. Not once did I lose sight of you that evening. Or the following weeks. That was the best and worst day of my life. I married the love of my life but lost her. My noxious ways came to the surface, like the bubbles in our glasses of champagne in Hawaii. With each bubble that popped so did our bond, until it fizzled away. But I caused us to grow apart. Me. It took seeing you stiff and cold to the touch, to finally snap out of it. It was too late though. Sneaking out of the house at night type of late. I could tell you were aware of my cheating but said not one peep; Just painted on that golden smile every morning and went about your day at the office. You’d come home, make me a warm meal, and act unbothered, but your well of happiness dried up. When exactly did it start to dry up? Was it after you found lipstick that wasn’t yours under the bed, or the passenger seat of the car leaned back? You hid your sorrow so well. Too well. After your death, I came up with a grocery list of excuses as to why you left me the way you did. I blamed it on your father passing away before your birthday, the fallout with childhood friends, or your inability to bear kids. Anything I could think of to exempt myself from self-reflection. That’s what terrible human beings do, they find ways to blame others. I was afraid of that man in the mirror. Haunted by him 

Entry Three

8/26/2012

 I’m not sure what happens to my family after I’m gone. It’s not like I have a legacy to be proud of. No kids, disconnection from my nieces and nephews. I'm just a stain in the family tree. With death walking down my street, I’m left with questions about the other side. What does it look like? I doubt my good deeds outweighed the bad. I’ve done some inexplicable things overseas for my country. Things I will be going to grave with. Will I be haunted by those faces? Is that what Hell is? Tormenting by your darkest memories or experiences. Or maybe death is a tunnel of nothingness. Pitch black. Almost as if I wasn’t here. I would take that over anything else, to be honest. 

Entry Four

8/29/2012  

Well. What do I even say? I feel awful today. Not sure how I’m even writing this. My body feels weak and my thoughts are bland. If there's a god, I can only hope he shows me mercy. A local pastor came and prayed over me earlier today. None of the words resonated with me. I tried to accept those words, but I couldn’t. I’m a non-believer, a prayer on my deathbed isn’t going to change me sadly. I appreciated the gesture though. You can’t pray or save a soul like me. No point. I just wish I had a hint of what’s to come the second my heart stops beating and my brain shuts down. Is there even a proper way to prepare for death? I’m just rambling at this point. I’m pumped with hospital drugs, that’s my excuse. Apparently, some of my family has reached out, but I don’t want to see them. They don’t need to see this weak shell of a human being. This is my ego talking, but I don’t care. It will die very soon along with me. And when it does I will be free. The doctor was being overly nice to me today, I take it death is closer than I thought. It’s about to walk onto my porch. If this is it, I hope I am forgotten. I would be doing the world a favor if I ceased to exist. As the dealer, I shuffled and dealt myself these cards. Can’t blame anyone else, but me. It's always been me. For the people I’ve hurt, I am sorry. I am truly sorry. Time can’t be reversed, but if it could, who's to say I wouldn’t make the same mistakes even if I knew better. My only request for whoever reads this is simple, bury me away from her. Away from the rest of the world honestly. Let my flesh waste away far from society. Once again, I’m sorry to anyone I’ve hurt or lied to. I can only hope something good will come from me perishing. Hello, death have your way with me.

Entry Five

8/30/2012

January 22, 2024 21:44

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8 comments

Nicki Nance
01:07 Jan 29, 2024

Your format is powerful, and you developed a likeable character despite how little regard he had for himself at the end. Masterfully written!

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Jahson Clarke
01:18 Jan 29, 2024

I appreciate the kind words. Glad you found interest in the character and writing.

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Angela M
10:00 Feb 02, 2024

Hi Jahson! This is such an inspiring story. It really captures the voice of someone who is truly desperate, spilling their guts. I especially like how you ended it with an empty entry.

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Alexis Araneta
08:03 Jan 30, 2024

Such a sad story, but I love how straightforward your character is. Great job !

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Hannah Lynn
20:39 Jan 29, 2024

The main character speaks in such an honest straightforward manner. Well done!

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Kate Winchester
03:17 Jan 29, 2024

I agree that you fashioned a likable character, and despite what he’s done, I felt sorry for him. The dairy format really adds to your story! You had many great lines but these two stood out to me: “The words “I do” were stitched into our hearts. I guess my sutures came out.” Great job!

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J. D. Lair
20:47 Jan 25, 2024

The fatalistic weight of heavy guilt. Sad story, but you portrayed the emotions well. :)

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Jahson Clarke
18:54 Jan 27, 2024

Thank you very much, glad you enjoyed it.

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