3 Our Time Is Numbered
I had lived my life full of love from my parents, cousins, my older's sister nurses, and older sisters and brothers sometimes grandfather doctors care and love, and my friends' next door.
Even Aunt Cecilia, the woman who often screams at night became a good bosom friend of mine. Or Little Jeneny, the girl who shakes every now and then, or Grandpa Tommy, who always ask the same question every time I visit him, who are you? Are you the nurse? Did I eat yet? Or Doremy, who calls me his Delilah, Beautiful Delilah, his skin getting barky and stoney.
And so many others.
They were my companion during the nights when I escaped my room secretly.
Or when I got older and was able to visit them formally.
Or even when the time when the pain gets so debilitating or the time when I lost my senses.
At first, it was my hands.
I wasn't able to write or draw my beautiful paintings.
My Dad would say I'm a very talented artist while he and Mom frame my works all around the room.
My new doctors always displayed this awed expression, their head going round and round the room. From one end to the other.
Trying to see every artwork and painting in one glance.
It was fascinating.
And they would smile.
That was my favorite. Seeing those smiles.
Every stroke, every brush and every color I dedicate myself, waiting for the next person to smile when he opens my door and see my new and old artworks.
Not being able to create pained me. But it didn't discourage me.
My Dad sang with me.
After that, was my arms.
My older sisters had to help me eat and take a bath since then.
But I was still happy and full of smile. Because I can walk and talk to my friends. Their stories ease the throbbing pain every time I take my medicine.
My mom would often massage my body. Saying its therapy. It feels fuzzy and warm. I liked it.
Until one late afternoon, the room was tinted in scarlet, the red-orange sun giving my room an ethereal atmosphere of warmth and autumn colors. The color gives such fascinating shadows to my artworks.
I was distracted while she was preparing to massage my arm. "Honey, how is it?"
I thought she was asking if my body hurts. "It's okay. I don't feel anything at the moment."
"You don't feel this?" Alarm in her voice. I was late to notice she was massaging my left arm.
Only then did I realize, I don't feel them anymore. Not that heavy numb feeling that drags my arms every time I move. Nor the natural conscious that I have arms.
It was like I suddenly lost my arms, there was a hollow feeling inside my brain no matter how I try to send the signal for my arms to move, even a little twitch or jerk, or the feeling of air.
I was scared because it's starting, my body was shaking…No, it was my Mom who was shaking. Shaking so hard as she tries to stifle her cries.
She was probably more scared, terrified of what it means than I do.
Degeneration of senses is the start of my clock.
The harder you treasure something, the harder you want to hold it.
But in this facility, an empty room signifies the end of that body's time.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
Despite my somewhat not young yet not old body. A body on the cusp of maturity. A body that should have been full of energy and youthful power was bound the limitation of my health.
A grandpa doctor once commented, after a night of debilitating pain, my body reacting negatively to the medicine.
He told me, "You are so young Dessrie, out of all my patients, I see in you the endless possibilities that any girl can be. So young in body, but possessed such an old soul. There are less and fewer people smiling despite hardship. You smile so that your parents would not worry, even when your whole body is sore from the medication. You entertain people so you can see their smiles. In this dreary environment. Innocent happiness is the treasure we try to protect. Never resent your life. Stay as you are Dessrie. Life is a mystery overall, we can never tell the future."
Indeed, as if a prophet, the very same grandpa doctor never came back, only later did I hear the news that he died, after our talk two years later of a heart attack.
My clock was longer than his.
One by one, I sent off my friends.
Like the grandfather clock in the lobby. That big square tall box with a glass cover, every second the pendulum creates the sounds Click. Click.
Every hour. Dong. Dong.
Our time is numbered.
We were always waiting.
Waiting for the time for the next clock to ring.
For the bell of death to sing.
But before that happened. I lived my life to the fullest.