Not Yet

(Courtesy of Vlad Bagacian, Pexels)

“Not yet.” I sob hysterically, tears rolling down my face. I huddle in the corner of my couch, and I feel a warm embrace enveloping me, trying to shield me from the inevitable. But death does not work that way. When you lose someone, you lose them forever; no one can shield you from that despair.

“Not yet. Please not yet.” I sit in the back of the car, gazing anxiously out of the window. I try to think of happier times, but I cannot shake off the guilt that is eating me alive. What if I am the reason she is dying? There is something about caring for life that makes you feel responsible for death.

“Not yet. Please not yet.” We rush in and make our way through the crowds. I can hear my heart as it tries to burst out of my chest. My eyes feel heavy but tears still fight their way out. My head’s pounding, my legs are shaking … I am drifting away. Is this what death feels like? The present pain and subtle unconsciousness? The inexplicable mixture of barely feeling and feeling too much

“Not yet. Please not yet.” We are in the room now, the room where she lies. I walk to her side and stare at her motionless body. I stare at her eyes, waiting for them to open, and I stare at her mouth, waiting for her to speak. Waiting for her to look at me and say that this is all a dream  — that everything will be okay.

“Not yet. Please not yet.” I reach for her hand. Her soft, delicate hand, surprisingly still warm. It upsets me. If she is gone, why doesn’t it feel like it? I can see her. I can feel her warmth. She seems alive and she is right here. I don’t like this mind game. She should be okay, so how dare she not be?

“Not yet. Please not yet.” I can’t stand it anymore. I am ushered to sit by her feet on the hospital bed. I think of home, and of her slippers tucked under her bed. She would be wearing them right now if we were home. Everything would be okay if we were home. But we aren’t. We are in the room where she lies.

“Not yet. Please not yet.” Time — what is time? I can’t make sense of it. It feels like I have been forced into a simulation where time is senseless. But how do we define the value of something when our emotions are so overpowering? It’s not like anything is real anyway.

“Not yet. Please not yet.” With my blurry vision, I look at her face again. I can’t feel her presence anymore; I start to panic. Where is she? She was right here. I put my hands on her feet and I don’t feel the warmth anymore. Her face pale, body hollow — Everything is happening so quickly. Or it feels like it’s happening quickly. But then again, what is time?

“Not yet. Please not yet.” Time — I need more of it. I want more of it. But do we really ever get what we want? Sitting on a hospital bed weeping is not what I want right now. I am exhausted.

“Please not yet.” I sob hysterically, tears rolling down my face. I lie down beside her, in the room where we lie, and close my eyes. The clock keeps ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

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By Muskaan Khurana


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You have a lovely way with words to express yourself, this is beautiful ❤️