Forever After

This story is a first for me. Not in terms of genre (it’s still Sci-Fi) or anything like that, but in as far as this is the first time I’ve written a story entirely in first person and in past tense. It was fun and different. Not as challenging as I thought it would be. It might be something I do more often, if I feel the story lends itself to that. Other than that I just want to say it’s a shorter story at about 8,000 words and I hope you enjoy it.

My name is Niobe Watanabe and I died on the 15th June 2024. This story starts at the end. You might think I’m being dramatic or be asking how anyone can start at the end. After all, you’re supposed to start at the beginning. Well, let me explain.

Like I said I died on the 15th June 2024. It was a Saturday and I was meant to be going out to meet some friends for lunch. Before meeting them I planned to do a bit of perusing. I’d been working a lot around that time which meant I had been afforded very little me time as a result. So I thought why not make the whole day about me, about what I wanted to do. A treat if you will for all the work I’d been putting in for my job. I don’t really remember what my job was now. Something about me being an assistant to someone important. Titles like that mean very little to me now, but that I’ll get to. What I do remember, in part, of my job was that I seemed to do more menial tasks like take clothes to the drycleaners and fetch packages than I did anything I’d call assistant work.

I digress however, so back to the point. Having decided that I deserved a full me day I headed for the shops. A big shopping centre/mall, whatever you want to call it was my port of call. It made things easier as it was meant to be where I would also meet with my three childhood friends Sasha, Clara and Vernice. Don’t ask why her parents gave her that name. From what I recall it had something to do with her parents being huge Greek history buffs. Though, I could be misremembering.

Sadly, I was at the shopping centre for no more than ten minutes before everything went black on me.

One second I’d been walking along minding my own business, glancing through the wide and high windows of storefronts. The next there was nothing.

I vaguely remember feeling light-headed, foggy, dizzy but thought it was as simple as me needing a drink. Before I could act on the feeling my leg gave, I think it was my knee really. I was shocked but I managed no other thought past that.

When I woke up, if opening your eyes for a couple seconds can be called awaking up, I found I was being whisked down a corridor on a bed. I managed to look around and get glimpses, blurred, of doctors and nurses. They were huddled around me. Faces, some of them, were panicked. I wanted to speak, to listen to what they might have to say but I slipped away frustrated out of consciousness.

The next time I woke I was alone in a room. Unmistakably it was a hospital room. The white walls, strip lights and overall sterile feeling was proof each of that. A doctor came swanning in some time later. He’d been a balding man with a strong tan, brown eyes and a pair of glasses that had clearly seen better days. He seemed pleased I was awake. Said it was a good sign. I tried to speak but found no words passed my lips. Rather, I became acutely aware of something in my mouth, except it wasn’t just in my mouth, it was down my throat. I panicked and this doctor informed that, “It’s a feeding tube.” He then went on to explain that I’d been through an operation due to a brain aneurism. It hadn’t burst but it had been close to it when I was brought in. I didn’t know what to say so it might have been a good thing that I couldn’t speak as a result of the tube down my throat. I wanted it out but sensed that was not an option for the moment.

The doctor told me to rest. I didn’t have much choice; my body had already begun shutting down, forcing me back into an unconscious state whether I liked it or not. I never woke from that. I learned later, much later, that I had another brain aneurism. This one ruptured and unlike the first which had only been limiting the flow of blood to my brain, this one bleed profusely hence why it proved fatal.

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