The Journey of Nine Lives : A trip you can only make once.

Submitted into Contest #30 in response to: Write a story about someone who loses their cat.... view prompt

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The best thing that can happen to anyone is death.

Death is such a novelty; a mystery and a normal working of life, all at the same time. The thought that you could be living your best or your worst and suddenly, your heart starts declining is just wild. You feel the world closing in on you, and then it all happens at once. Your heart goes ‘oh well, I ain’t gonna work anymore’ and does exactly that. The little wires that received every shot of LSD you took when you were trying to forget –you still remembered anyways- stops transporting fluids. Your blood moves and stays in one place, preferably your feet since you visited the spa last week, and your dark brown skin starts to achieve that tone you desperately chased after, with those globs of smelly cream that makes you smell like burnt oranges.

Your body starts to feel like you were shoved under the snow, and then it looks like it has been shoved under the snow. Your blood becomes that gooey gel you left on the panel of your bedroom window, because it didn’t lay your stray edges properly. Your face loses the wrinkles you’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to flatten with your hands, and then the big finale; you shit yourself.

From then onwards, it’s exactly that; a shit show. You smell, you rot, you fart, you get eaten out alive, you swell and you become a miniature Spongebob. Things begin to look up a bit when you get a makeover and change your wardrobe, but it’s only to get wrapped and shipped off into the depths of the earth. It’s such a beautiful thing, really.

However, all this comes much later because now, you’re at Greg’s funeral and it doesn’t matter. It’s not happening to you yet, it’s happening to someone else. Besides you just knew he was going to die, so when you were called to come identify him, you didn’t rush out of the house. You didn’t break any traffic laws, or honk impatiently at the slow driver in front of you. You even stopped over to pick up your salad and Kibble for Eddie, because that’s the least he deserves for letting you know about Greg’s death in the first place. Maybe that’s why you weren’t surprised at the call or maybe its cause you’ve never really loved him. At least you have life in your head and oxygen, coupled with tobacco in your lungs; you can still figure that one out. You still have time.

You leave the solemn service with Eddie in your arms, dry-eyed. Eddie told you before you both left the house that it’d be wrong for you not to put on a show – wail dramatically as his body is being lowered into the earth, wipe stray tears from your eyes, sniffle a little while you talk to his mom; you know, all the works. You tried your best, really, but it was very hard not to let that manic laugh slip during those moments. Eddie thinks you shouldn’t have smoked that last pot before slipping into your tight little black dress.

Now that you think about it, Eddie thinks about a lot of things. You think about a lot of things too, but of course you aren’t like Eddie, that tells you every single thought and every single thing. Eddie tells you about the meaningless things; about the couple that stays next door that always argues and yet has sex all the time, the mailman who he thinks is secretly into you, the fact that he hates mice but would probably like mice flavored food. He also tells you the serious things; how he finds homosexuality confusing -he has never found Sam or any other cats attractive, so he wonders how you could cheat on Greg, Greg the hottie, with Sheila-, how he sees the spirits of people leave their bodies before they die, which means he knows the exact moment before someone dies. Eddie thinks and then says them, regardless of how you might receive it.

At first, you thought you were running mad, cause of everything you took. You goggled if cats talk to their owners, and Google referred you to a psychiatrist. You decided to stay sober, to see if the cat you found on your doorstep one rainy evening, would ask you again if you had any fish in your fridge. You managed for two weeks, and by the time you came back home with the blue little pills in your bag, you and Eddie were already best friends.

You know you get strange looks everywhere you go, since there’s either a grey Chartreux cat trailing behind you gallantly, as if to ward off the forces of evil, or there’s a grey Chartreux cat in your arms. Eddie has clearly voiced his displeasure of being in a carrier, so you carry the big fat slob everywhere. This is the reason why you feel tired all the time, not because you were sick or anything.

The day Eddie told you he was going to die, your heart tripped. You gripped the handle of your chair, as he climbed onto the checkers tile, next to the sink. Eddie told you to calm down and breathe, that for a second, he saw your spirit fighting in mortal combat against your body. You watched as he chased a soft ball, totally oblivious to the turmoil you suddenly found yourself in. How you would cope, you wondered. You asked him if there was anything that you could do about it, he licked his paw and said no and mumbled something about it being his time. Then he jumped off the slab and ran outside for his daily walk.

Which is why, when he passed away, you shouldn’t have cried. He told you he was going to die anyways, so you should have seen it coming. That’s the thing about this kind of death though, it made you live in denial. But you never really lived in denial when you knew Greg would die. Instead, it reaffirmed the inevitable. This couldn’t be the inevitable. That’s what made you wake up every day, believing that maybe, just maybe, Eddie found the weed you had rolled up and hid behind the oats container while he was sleeping, and ate it by accident, which made him say gibberish about him dying.

Deep down inside you though, you knew he was serious, not high. Because that’s all he always spoke about up until the day he said ‘see you soon’ and never came back. Until the day Marianne walked up to your door and knocked like a crazed person, her red hair looking like the blood on her hands, as she gesticulated wildly and loudly when you finally opened up. You walked dazedly out of your flat into the street, and watched as two boys put Eddie in a clear bag. Marianne had stood next to you, her cinnamon smell mixing with that of blood and death in the air. You couldn’t feel your fingertips when you wiped stray tears away, and you definitely didn’t feel Marianne’s hand tightly holding yours, leaving you with prints of Eddie’s blood. 

You walked back to your flat and closed the door tightly behind you. You sat on the chair you held the day Eddie told you he’d die, watching through the clear glass as people walked past. It felt like a moment or longer till the red prints on your hand dried; as you saw a few spirits slip past their bodies into the air.

 

 

 

February 25, 2020 14:02

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1 comment

Pamela Saunders
21:39 Feb 29, 2020

This is really original, and good :)

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