tw for death- car crashes, (and a bus) falling, allergy attack . be careful.
o. three's a crowd, that is true.
but take one more. take four,
and you have death.
i. we live in a world that wears our humanity around our necks.
four lives, the wind whispers weighing lightly under my chest.
four lives, four deaths. i'd almost wish for only one. one life, one death-
because then would it truly matter.
ii. that week you didn't come to school. everyone wondered
what happened, but when you appeared the next,
you had only three of the four pins everyone wore on their shirt.
three, not four, metal pins, each shaped like a heart.
i think i cried.
iii. you know, the first time you lose a life, you lose the red pin.
(then blue, white, gold.)
i lost mine shortly after yours.
you reassured me death did not hurt; but you died from falling
down (down) your stairs. a painless death indeed.
(you were no icarus, and indeed
this is no myth, no fairy tale.)
but that night, when my sister was far too intoxicated to be
driving, for the minutes (hoursyears) it felt like i was conscious before i slipped away, (a leaf in a breeze)
all i could think about was you, and your fall.
they say dying the first three times has no physical effects.
that might be true. but it'd be a lie to say that the other kinds
did not exist.
iv. no one around me seemed to fear death in the way i did.
after all, you had more tries afterwards, didn't you? you and i,
we were the only two who had actually experienced it
until high school. but even you didn't understand the
way i couldn't sleep or think or feel on those certain days as
the weight of only so many chances starts to dawn on you
after you lose the first.
v. you were never the same after my first death; in
retrospect, it started when you lost your first.
you became more careless after the first pin disappeared
from your jacket. you wore the absence of red like a
badge, while i wore mine with shame. i asked and you
said that now i know what i'm gambling. i nodded but
really i don't think you did.
a month later you had an allergy attack; peanuts.
(a blue heart gone, a shard of humanity.) i worried so
hard that weekend, i slept even less than usual
out of fear and anxiety.
when i told you this, you laughed. why so worried? i've gotten the hang of this. but i hadn't.
vi. it wasn't particularly unusual for high schoolers to have lost
one life, maybe two. some even consider it a rite of passage,
losing the red. my fear of death was profoundly unusual, so i tried
to hide it. i went along, tried my classmates daring ways,
along with you, of course.
the lake behind our school, that was always a subject
of dares. one time i hit the water too fast, too wrong, and.
well. and i lost my blue.
when i woke up the next day unable to control my breath,
you called and congratulated me. you're getting the hang of it, you said.
i always thought i cried too much, though you used to disagree.
but i thought maybe you'd be proud of me for holding back tears
while throwing my blue pin into the wind.
vii. and so we were equal once again. we were so young, spending
away our chances at such a small age. i tried to understand, then
to reason. look, we need to change. we've already wasted half our chances. we cannot afford to keep this up. you nodded, agreeing. we promised each other no more
gambling, that we'd wear our hearts together with caution.
but fate held no such promise, so the next year
the school bus we rode every day skittered
out of control, and off the freeway. for a moment
we were weightless, timeless, ageless. like the universe
held its breath. and i caught the glint of your eyes, angry and
desperate and confused
but not scared.
viii. so much tragedy, i could hear everyone around me whispering.
that week we came back, (always back) to school. a senior, already on one life. the white was gone, only the gold remained.
but when i met up with you at lunch, you were not angry, nor scared.
you merely looked to me, so resigned. one more, for both of us, eh? i fingered the singular heart left on your jacket. yeah, i said.
one more for both of us. but how to spend it?
ix. i think life is much more impactful when you only have one of them.
sometime around now you at last understood my thoughts back when i
had two or three to spare. you were sorry, i think, for not understanding,
though you never knew quite how to phrase it. but now that we had one
we laughed and cried and felt more because we could feel the
hourglass turning at the back of our necks. i thought that at last one life
would bring us together. and it did, for a while.
but here we are now, yeah?
x. i know you never meant to hurt me, at least this final time. but the fact is.
my hourglass reaches its end, even in this hospital room. i shouldn't have
driven so recklessly after our argument. i shouldn't have argued with you at all.
it wasn't worth it in the end, being right. but things end how they start, don't they?
i wish it didn't end this way, but the fact is that you are a direct cause of this.
you are a direct cause of my heartbeat going still in too few minutes or hours but
so am i, because nothing in all of the lives i've experienced is ever one person's
fault. my gold is going to be gone, shattered by a shot to my heart- a shot taken
by you, me, who even knows. but in the end i don't care because
yours won't be, hopefully for a long time.
and despite everything that happened, for every wrong thing you've done to me or i've done
to you, i still care.
because now you have that one life and death that i used to so desperately wish for and
now for once in every life we've lived it matters. so use it well, alright?
idk if anyone will actually read this as i've noticed this site has a pretty short attention span but oh well lol, we'll see.
lol you can tell im not very good at coming up with ways of dying
words : 1094
i struggled making this coherent and short enough man. in the end i kind of lost sight of what i was writing for but i hope that you understand haha.
an explanation on the title because im insecure about being too cryptic about things- (i could never be one of those people who drops funky mystery note in the footnotes and leave except that i probably have been in the past) a play on 'cross my heart and hope to die' but kind of not really. the narrator wanted to die a meaningful death, and hopes that their partner (friend, romantic partner, or otherwise) will carry on using their last life well, making the death meaningful in their eyes.