5 ways to tell death is approaching and failing everytime.

Submitted into Contest #89 in response to: Write a story where one person is trying to say goodbye but keeps getting interrupted.... view prompt


Teens & Young Adult Sad LGBTQ+

My life is falling apart. 

Not in a way that only cracked in a few places, oh no. Not at all. 

I guess I would finally have the answer if anybody asked me:

“What is the hardest thing you did in your life?”

And if I’m going to be honest it’s probably this.

Well, It’s not exactly like I’ll ever get to answer that question anyways since I’m dying in a month. Oh wait, I never told whoever is listening to this tape!

Well anyways, my name is Cadmus and I’m going to die in a month.

Right now, I’m recording tapes for my loved ones on the advice of my doctor who said it would be therapeutic. Well, if i’m going to be honest, it’s just going to make me even more upset about missing my partner Atlas.

They were so excited to go on dates with me, skateboarding late at night, strawberry picnic and listening to our favorite song on repeat. I love them so much! But they’re going to lose me in a month.

I don’t want to die.

What have I done to deserve this?

Is this about that one time that I threw a chair at someone in my class because they were homophobic? Or that one time I pulled a prank on my mother that went a bit wrong?

If this already raises my emotions sky high, how will I ever say goodbye? I don’t want to leave them behind because I'm one of the only people they have left in their life. I know for a fact they would be heartbroken and guilty, asking if this is our punishment for our romance. That is rooted into their brain and I hate it. 

I hate it, I hate it… I HATE IT.

Okay, Cadmus calm down for a moment you don’t want everyone to know you hate something. I feel selfish now...

Atlas has to make sure they move on after my death or else I’m going to hunt them in the afterlife. Somehow, I will find a way to get to our human world and kick their butt for not being over my death yet even if it’s only been a week. Don’t get me wrong, I do care that they’re sad but eventually I’m going to be a memory anyways. I started writing letters this morning after the diagnosis and now I’m waiting for Atlas to come home from their job.  


It’s been a while hasn’t it? 

I’ve made attempts to say goodbye to Atlas but I can’t yet. I just want to be selfish for now. Laying in their arms while they mummer soft things in my ear, slowly pulling the hair that covers my eyes while they read aloud in french.

I love hearing them talk in french.

I’m going to miss that.

Last night I tried talking to Atlas for the second time this week and it went disastrous. 

We were sitting in the living room. Our plates were on our laps but were a bit abandoned as the only thing left on them were traces of our pizzas that we cooked up around 30 minutes ago because neither of us could be bothered to buy real food the last few days. 

“It’s uh.. It’s-.” I tried to speak but cut myself off afraid of breaking the news.

“Yes?” Atlas looked at me instead of their previous view of the TV that was rerunning episodes of “America's funniest”. After a bit of me not gathering words I turned to the TV for a distraction and watched someone ram headfirst into a potted plant. This made me unable to form my sentence again as I didn’t want to ruin the happy mood that was currently with us.

“You know what.. Nevermind. Did you see that?” I asked excitedly at the end just to make sure it would distract them into ignoring the fact that I was going to get ready for saying goodbye. 

Maybe tomorrow.


The day after it was mostly cleaning up after having fallen asleep by the TV. Our limbs were tangled into each other and arms outstretched holding each other happily. I hadn’t slept well in a while, quite a while actually. I would say since the diagnosis, but at this point it could have been before. 

They’re starting to suspect that something is wrong. SSo at this point I better come clean and admit I’m slowly dying from a tumor. 

Yes Atlas, Your big, strong, and dare I say handsome boyfriend Cadmus is dying of a tumor. 

The world is cruel isn’t it?

Anyways, the week continued normally but every single time I tried to say “goodbye”, something happened. The first time I tried it there was a pesky bird that stole my leftover ice cream cone. The little bugger swooped down and just took it throwing me off guard! 

As expected, it made Atlas laugh with no care in the world; while I stood there with an empty cone, all defeated. But the moment didn’t last long in my negative because Atlas shared their icecream with me. Theirs was a sweet chocolate instead of my “I’m going to attack your sugar levels!” banana.

The second time it happened while we were at a cafe. My favorite, if that’s important to the story. It’s quite small, not well known and cheap but it has the best coffee and treats. We both prefer our croissants from this place and we’ve been going here ever since freshman year of highschool.

(Gosh, that seemed so long ago. Who’s going to tell them I died at the reunion? 

Atlas. Of course Atlas would bite the bullet and say it like the champion they are. 

Would everyone mourn for me all fakely? Ignoring the fact that they all single handedly caused me enough trauma to last into retirement? 

The answer is yes.)

Anyways, I was sitting alone at the table because Atlas was searching for a bathroom to use which was kind of a hassle. I was planning on telling them that I was going to die while we were here... Plus points for ruining our favorite spot Cadmus!

But just like my favorite bird incident it went wrong again. This time it included a croissant and hot coffee.

So, basically I watched them sit down after the bathroom worry and managed to get them calm again. Then when I went to tell them that their boyfriend was dieing our server approached and tripped over a piece of carpet. 

The poor croissant ended up in my apple pie slice and the hot coffee spilled over Atlas's lap. So then of course they had to get checked out in the bathroom for injuries and the cafe gave us free coupons for our next time.

I couldn't say goodbye this time. 

Maybe the next will go better.


It’s Cadmus again, and I only have a week left to live at this point. 

It’s been stressful and I haven’t said goodbye yet. I’m very scared to die at this point and leave Atlas behind.

They’ve noticed my chance in behaviour already and asked if something is wrong. So if I do die suddenly in my sleep, I’ve left a letter explaining what happened and that I died not suddenly, but of the big bad tumor that caused this. 

I don’t want to do this anymore.

So far I’ve failed 4 times in a row while trying to apologize and it hasn’t been fun. 

First the bird ice cream incident, then the cafe and in the last two weeks two attempts have been made. 

One, was in a museum while studying art and cracking jokes and when I wanted to tell them at a statue of Anubis the fire alarm went off. Talk about being saved by the bell!

Then yesterday when I tried to tell them over dinner his boss called and he had to go back to work.  

This is getting too hard for me to do. 

I’m going with the letter route.


“ Cadmus was a special guy to me. I loved him more than life itself and now.. It feels hollow without him. When I had realised that during the night he had passed away peacefully I thought it was a prank. Because he never said goodbye.. But he did.”

My hands were shaking and my eyes filled with tears while speaking about my boyfriend.

“ He made multiple recordings and letters about trying to say goodbye and failing. I guess he just couldn’t tell me because life interrupted him.. I’m glad he was my partner. May you all find a way to say goodbye like he did when your time is up.”

April 16, 2021 16:47

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