The Final Gift

Submitted into Contest #1 in response to: Write a story about someone turning 100 years old.... view prompt



I woke up in the same hospital I had been waking up in for years. I checked the clock squinting my eyes as I read the numbers, 11:45 a.m. It was quiet at this time as usual. Everybody was asleep. The hospital was usually dead in the night from the older patients and ones who needed rest after surgery. I was wide awake though, in fifteen minutes it would be a special day. My birthday. My 100th birthday. Not as if my birthday was really that special. In the end I was just another random person to everyone except about 20 people or so. The most ironic thing about being in this particular hospital is how in the past all I wanted to do was to run away from my hometown, but here I was back in the same hospital I was born in. I guessed I never really left to be honest.

It was hard to believe that I lived a whole century. And within that century, how much had happened. The changes in every little thing was no longer refreshing, but annoying. Everybody needed everything to be easier. Eventually things like building legos became a hassle so inventors sought out to make it easier. They designed robots and they designed nano blocks just to build legos. And don't get me started on the new technology. When I was younger I laughed at old people trying to figure out phones and computers, but now I see. As I got older it became harder for me to care about these new electronics, let alone learn how to use them. If my phone functioned from 20 years ago, then I didn't need to learn how to use a new one that cost 10 times from when I was a kid. I had pretty much given up when I turned 90 and now I barely use my phone. It‘s not like I need to know how to use one, considering I‘m In a hospital where no one visits me.

I wasn’t alone or sad in this hospital, everyone talked to me. It’s just I was tired of living. I was tired of waking up every day to see the cold tiled floor of the hospital. I hated having people help me do a simple thing as get food. I would rather collapse from a heart attack than have someone go out of their way for me. I'm not embarrassed to say I felt like a burden. I wasn't doing good for anybody on this planet. I was nothing more than dead weight. I was tired of eating the same food and taking to the same people. The people were nice, they always were. I'd just like to talk to someone who's job wasn't to help me. I wanted someone who had a choice to come talk to me and would come with no hesitation. I was craving difference. Difference I could never physically get to. My stiff legs and muscles would fail to carry me anywhere besides the bathroom and back. And in coming to terms that in less than ten minutes now I’ve lived for a century well, it makes me want to get life over with.

I would happily live another day, it’s that at some point, when you have no one to live for, your life becomes meaningless. In the end of your life you truly realize all actions have consequences, even though they may show up later in your life. I strained to be independent when I was young, but now I want more than just a nurse talking to me. I want a childhood friend, I want a sweetheart to be by me. I want, I need someone to be there with me always. A grandchild smiling at me, visiting me twice a month would get me scared of death again. It would make me want to live and wake up in the same hospital just to see their smile. Yet, here i was alone without love, without a grandchild, really without purpose. All because I refused love in my younger years. And here I was regretting it like I always knew I would. Going back in time and yelling at my past self to find love and get a family would be more than enough for this guilt and regret to go away.

The ironic thing is that I knew later on in my life when I did something bad, that I would never fail to regret it. It just never crossed my mind that I would be sitting at the age of one hundred regretting mistakes from 80 years ago. I knew I would be in bed much older reminiscing over my mistakes, failing to look at all the good I've done. And here I was regretful and tired of life. Sour with the thoughts of never seeing another new place. A sour old lady never did anyone good and here I was one. Because in the end I was stuck in a hospital inevitable death. One hopefully soon.

I looked at the clock, 11:54. Another six minutes before I become a century old. I closed my eyes for only what seemed like a second, only to open them to 11:58. I watched as the clock turned to 11:59 signaling my last minute at 99. I breathed in, taking in the scents of the hospital. The cold, wet air was filled with the scent of alcohol and hand sanitizer. Oh how much I despised these smells. I breathed out trying to relax as I came to terms with my last minute of being 99. I checked the clock again 11:59 still. I breathed in and then out repeatedly attempting to fall asleep. My breathing became slower and ragged and I began to have a hard time to breathe. My eyelids shut as my body shut down, finally fully relaxed. And the last thing I saw was the blurred numbers of 12:00 on the clock. Happy Birthday myself. And in the end I finally got the best birthday gift I could ever wish for, peace.

Jasmine Santar

Time of death: 12:am

Cause of death: Heart Failure

Age: 100

August 03, 2019 22:35

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