Only two more to go, and then—
it’s all up.
Time. Opportunity. Regret. The chance to do better; to right wrongs; to add more intentions to your personal paved way.
And what will it amount to?
So far, it’s been a dance, back and forth.
One step forward, one step back, biding time and seeing the finish line looming closer and closer with every pained morning wake.
It starts with that:
Opening heavy eyes, rolling pained bones about, coughing and hoping your body remembers how to breathe one more day. And then the medicine. And then the diet. And then the worst.
Looking your loved ones in the eye and smiling for them.
And you know.
You know that the two year finish line is coming up.
You know that they can see through your weary smile, your pained smile, and yet you continue trying because…
It means something to you, just like me, to try and mean something to them.
Them; your spouse, your beautiful children so full of hope and love and wonder and an innocence that you would fight the Devil tooth and nail to protect it, protect them.
You’d fight forever to keep them safe.
But you don’t have forever.
Just like me, you only have two years.
Seven hundred and 30 days.
It’s not a lot of time.
It’s definitely not enough.
But each day comes and goes and you have no choice but to step with it, until you stop stepping; until the rug is torn from under you and you topple and that morning of pained waking doesn’t happen.
You aren’t looking forward to that day. Like me, you still pray it’s not real. That someone made a mistake.
And you know they didn’t.
But like me, you hope.
And most days, it’s not hard to go on with what needs done.
But then there are the moments when it hits you and all you want to do is cry. Even when you’re in the middle of the grocery store shopping for more baby diapers, the want, the pain and desire is there and all you want is to bawl.
And because you only have two years to live, you do.
You’ve earned that, at least.
That and a nice MedicAlert bracelet that serves no other purpose than to tell everyone else that you’re a lost cause.
A lost cause… To the workforce. To society. To anything exterior and “worthy”.
But not so to—
Your beautiful bride who looks even more like an angel today than she did when she walked down the aisle towards you, looking in your eyes with all the beauty of a sunrise after a night of fear and nightmares.
Your unbelievable children who look at you like you’ve done no wrong, could never do any wrong, even though you have a past, like me you have a history of doing and saying the wrong thing and wounding them in the moment. But still…
Your wife. Your kids.
You’re perfect in their eyes.
And you wanna remain that way.
And that’s what makes you cry, just like me, when you go to buy diapers at the store.
It hurts and it sucks and there is so much you have to do before that day, before the end swoops you up in warm arms to take you somewhere else.
You have so much to do.
And the hurt only gets worse.
But maybe that’s just life intensified?
Who’s to say?
Certainly not me. Like me, you’re in the same boat, and neither of us know what is happening. But we know whatever is going on is going on without our input.
And so, removing tight grips from the steering wheel, maybe it’s time to put the car in park on the side of this wild highway and step out onto something real; to pick a flower and smile at the sun and cherish something that is in the here and now.
That’s what I hope you’d do, if you were like me.
This is your one and only go around.
Don’t waste it like I wasted so much of mine.
If you liked this you might want to check out some of these other great pieces of original flash fiction.