She woke up on the hard floor of her room. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying all night yesterday, her throat dry and sore and her head buzzing like a thousand bees. The floor was scattered with bottles and bottles of alcohol; some were shattered, some were whole but all of them were empty.
She stood up on her unsteady feet, moaning in pain. Her head was killing her, much like her heart. Tears started rolling down her cheek; it amazed her that she still had some to shed after yesterday.
“Hush child” called a soft gentle voice, her mother’s voice.
She looked up to see the face of the woman who has birthed and raised her for 20 long years. She saw how her once beautiful skin was wrinkled; she saw how her once sexy body turned dry and rusty and how her once shining eyes hid behind a pair of glasses. While all her physical appearance slowly faded, her heart shone. Her heart was always pure, always kind, always there for her.
“Why, mom?” she cried, as tears started rolling down faster.
“Don’t cry, my child” her mom said and hugged her little girl. Her mother’s arms were wrapped around her but she could not feel them, the warmth from her skin was missing.
“Why, mom? Why did you leave me?” she asked and shook as she cried.
“Hush child, I’ll always, always be with you”
“Am I dreaming?” she asked.
“No darling, this is real”
“Are you alive then?” she asked, trying to feel the warmth of her mother’s body.
“Am I dead then? Are we in the clouds? Will we stay together now?” she smiled as she asked.
“No, but we will always stay together. I am dead but I will always be alive in your heart”
“Who are you, then?”
She remembered the time when she was five, she was afraid of the ghosts lurking in the dark and her mom had said, ‘Ghosts are not real’ She smiled at the little five year old who argued pointlessly and laughed at her fear. Ghosts are real and beautiful, just like her mother.
“Why did you jump mom?” she asked.
“I have just a day before I have to leave for the clouds, and I want you to do something for me”
“Answer me first”
“I will, later” replied the ghost of her mother and added, “Go meet your friend Lavisha today, stay with her, have some fun”
“No, I want to stay with you; it’s your last day” she protested.
“It is, but I don’t want it to be hers” she said and gave a sad smile.
The bulbs in her head started lighting and she stuttered, “Is she… is she going to die?”
Her mother didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to. Her sad eyes told all about it. She ran down the stairs and out of the door, grabbing her car keys on her way.
She sat in her car and found her mom on the passenger seat, “let’s go” she said.
She drove through the empty roads, thanks to the early morning and reached her friend’s home in less than five minutes. Knocking at the door, she waited, her body moving to and fro.
The door clicked open and she jumped on her friend, assaulting her with the longest, tightest bear hug. In her arms she felt the warmth that the hug from her mother missed.
She stood there for a long time, just wrapped in her arms crying over the demise of her dear mother.
Lavisha patted her head and they both parted. When Lavisha asked if she will be alright, she said that she didn’t know but she hoped that every day will be better. She hoped that every day the love of mother will strengthen her to carry through the day and she hoped that one day when she dies, she will unite with her mother again.
But today was not the day to cry. Though Lavisha couldn’t see her, her mother was still in this room. She was not dead yet; her body was dead but her soul lived. And so she drowned her grief in movies, gossip and dress up. They played board games, badminton and basketball too.
She acted like the luckiest and happiest girl in the world, because in some ways she was. She got another chance, another day with her mother, not many could say that.
The death of her mother and the arrival of her ghost shifted her perspective towards life.
She tried finding happiness in everything. She fell in love with little beauties of this world, the breeze, the plants, the humans and the souls. She fell in love with ghosts.
Maybe ghosts were just like humans, some good and some bad.
But maybe all ghosts were good, since they have just one day.
Just one last day to live in this world.
Even humans would turn kind and good and enjoy to their fullest, if they knew it was their last day. She didn’t tell Lavisha but it was her friend’s last day and she was enjoying.
Laughing and dancing as she was, she would leave this world with a huge smile on her face. And this satisfied her.
She was leaving her forever, but these memories would stay with her forever.
The night fell, and she returned home. Once she was inside, she turned around and asked, “It’s ten to twelve, and she didn’t die. Did you lie?”
“No, she would have; she would have jumped off the roof because she felt no one wanted her”
“But I want her, I love her”
“And you showed that to her, that is why she is alive. You showed her that you loved her and saved her life. Now it’s time for me to go, my love. Remember, I love you. Always and forever”
“I love you too” she said, her eyes watering.
“Wait, wait, before you go, tell me, why did you jump? Why did you throw your life away? Was someone hurting you? Did you feel lonely? Did I not show you that I love you? Why, mom? Why did you jump?” she asked.
“I didn’t” smiled her mother, “You pushed me”
Only then did she realized that when she stumbled over the roof, drunk out of her mind and stood beside her mom, her mother didn’t scream because she slipped but she screamed because her daughter pushed her.
Thank you mom, for even when I took your life, you gave a friend that I’ll treasure my whole life.
For even when I took your life, you helped me save two – my friend’s life from herself and mine from the liquid I call alcohol.
Ghosts are kind and beautiful, souls without their bodies floating to help one in their one last day.
I love you, mom.
I will miss you.
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