Knockin' On Heaven's Door

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A dying man's conversation with the Angel of Mercy.

 

It’s cold in this room. So cold.

These blankets are so heavy, though. They’re suffocating me. I wish I could take them off. I… I just don’t have the strength left in me.

 I know you’re here. I’ve been praying for this moment for months now. Come here, I want to see you. No? Nothing to say? The strong, silent type, yeah? That’s fine. What is there for you to say, anyway? It’s time. I know it. I guess my family knows it, too. I can see them, barely. All huddled around me.

Dammit. God dammit. I told her. I told her this isn’t how I wanted it. I didn’t want my kids to see me this way. I want them to remember me when I was strong. Not like this, just skin and bones. This isn’t how I want them to remember me.

Well, fuck it. It doesn’t matter much now. She never listened to me before, why bother starting now? She’s right, anyway. Now that it’s time, I’m glad they’re here. Even if I can’t really see them too well.

You know, it’s funny. Everybody always talks about how they’ll miss graduation, or walking their daughters down the aisle, the big things. Now? I just want one more morning to cook them scrambled eggs they won’t eat. One more night to yell at them to be quiet and go to sleep. I’m sad I won’t be there to scare their boyfriend with a baseball bat when they drop them off two minutes late. I won’t be able to share a drink with my boy. I won’t be able to spray them in the face with the hose on a hot summer day. Those simple moments. To hell with the big moments. I just want one more day of simple moments.

My wife… what will happen to her? Can you tell me?

I didn’t think so.

I hope she’s happy more often than not. I really hope she does move on. Just… not too soon, you know? Of course you do. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before.

I’m sure she’ll have no problems. Jesus, look at her body. There were nights where I would lay awake with her next to me, in my arms. Her naked breasts resting on my chest, silky smooth skin. I never wanted to fall asleep on those nights, I wanted them to last forever. Then she’d snore and ruin the moment.

The happiest day of my life Was the first time we took the kids to see the ocean. They were so amazed, they didn’t know so much water existed! We spent all day at the beach, sunburns for all of us. The best part was near the end. The kids were getting all their stuff ready, and rinsing the sand off for the tenth time. I was folding up the blanket, spreading sand everywhere. My wife was standing knee deep in the saltwater, gentle waves caressing her. She had her back to the shore. I put the blanket down, and walked up behind her. I put my hands around her waist, and we just stood, staring at the sunset across the water. If there’s a Heaven, that would be mine. Is there a Heaven? I guess I’ll learn soon enough, but dammit. I hate surprises.

My biggest regret is not taking her to all the places she wanted to go. But I guess, now she’ll have all the time in the world, right? No more sick husband to look after. I know she prayed with all her heart to God for a cure, some miraculous recovery. I stopped praying to God a long time ago. Why would I pray to somebody that gave me this cancer? It didn’t affect just me, you know? It wasn’t just my body that got sick. It was my whole house, my whole family had a cancer of the spirit. Watching my children’s souls get crushed because they can’t understand why their Daddy can’t play with them. You know, I accidentally overheard my middle child talking to her mom once. She said she hated me. She hated that I spent more time in bed than with her. More time throwing up. It wasn’t fair to her, and I don’t blame her one bit. She wanted a new daddy that could play with her all day. I know she’s too young to understand, but fuck. What kind of God would put a family through this? What kind of God would tear a family down, just to see if it could build itself up? What kind of God would steal a child’s parent? No, I stopped praying to Him a long time ago.

I started praying to you, instead. And here you are, at last. I’m glad you’re here. I’m ready, I think. Ready for this to end. I’m ready for you, Death.

At least, I thought I was ready. Now that you’re here… I’m scared. I’m fucking scared to, well… You. Heh.

Everything’s getting darker now. Colder. Is this it? It’s finally happening?

Can you hold my hand? Please?? I’m scared. I can’t see them anymore. Your hand is warm, flesh. Nothing like the bony hands in all the movies and cartoons.

Can I ask for a favor, please? I want to see my wife, one last time. Tell her I love her. Please?

There she is, clear as day. Tears, so many tears. Don’t cry, don’t cry. Can she hear me? I love you, Kim. I love you. Wait, what’s she saying? I can’t hear her… She’s fading, everything is going dark. Kim! KIM!!!

There’s nothing left. Just your hand on mine.

Is this going to hurt?

No. No More Pain.

Good, good. I’m glad. What happens now?

Walk With Me.

Where are we going?

No? Back to the silent treatment? That’s fine. But can I ask for one more favor? Can I see your face?

Oh… Oh.

It’s you. Of course it’s you. I should have known.

You’re right, of course.

Everything will be alright now.

Everything will be just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Submitted: December 05, 2019

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