It was my 5,822nd day in this Universe. The grass was shining, hail embraced the flowers and the sunlight turned everything to gold. There I was, a curious human, laying in the garden while my eyes followed the clouds; wondering how I was nearly sixteen. I knew that, some lucky day, I will become one of the stars that I could not see because those shy lights like to hide themselves in the day. I closed my eyes and I tried to reminisce my life but I could not remember much of it. It is not that easy, you see, with all those other tensions gardening my brain.
As I saw the birds teasing my flightless structure, a memory attacked my head like a supernova. As I started to indulge in the memory, the bright day turned into a lightly lit evening in front of my eyes. I was thinking deeply as if my brain took me back in time to that moment. I was reliving the most enlightening time of ‘my time’. That unfortunate evening, I was taking a walk in the same garden that happens to be in my home. My curiosity driven treasure hunt was going just fine or should I say, unsatisfying. My feet took me to a little bush where I saw a bird, wounded and hurt badly; a sight that always debilitates me. The bird was a fluffy little fellow and its mother or some aunt/ friend was flying relentlessly around it (wait! Do birds even have relations?). I think they do as it looked nothing less than a family member to me. I was imagining the bird screaming, “Help!”. The other one looked worried. For some time, I sat there blankly, feeling helpless. The evening was running away and so were the bird’s breaths. It is foretold, foreseen, what it was being dealt with. It was dying and so were the hopes of the fellow bird. It could fly no more. I was so lost in its little eyes, tearing every bit. I was all shaken (blaming the cause of it). I rushed inside my house to bring pen and paper. Shakespeare taught me that writings never die. I wanted to immortalize the bird in the histories but was I too late? When I came out, the bird was shivering to a point that could freeze any heart. The other bird was gone. Did it lose all the faith? Did it go to bring help? I had never seen a death before. It was the first time I witnessed the end of someone’s time and I could do nothing to stop it. Every single day comes to a night. I gazed the bird’s eyes and it begged from mine. The shy stars came to mourn as well. The bird was sighing, trying hard to stay alive and it suddenly it squealed. It grew pale. Did it want to see a friend before it flew to heaven? The wings were almost broken and yes, friend, I understood the feeling as we are all united by souls. We don’t need any language to feel the pain. A cold wind was blowing, spreading a dark atmosphere. I was writing a melody for my new friend. The brown feathers were beginning to turn white, the thirsty tongue was starting to come out. It might be missing its mother. The cruel situation was killing the bird, slowly. A tear rushed down its face. Time and space paused and I could see it living its whole life in those few minutes. That evening sucked every emotion out of us till one of the two sounds of breath, stopped. The bird went away forever and took my friendship with it. That day I died with it.
Death is not the only killer, I suppose. I opened my eyes and my brain brought me back to the present. The day was at its peak and the sun was on my head. It was a memory I loved and loathed at the same time. Now the day did not seem as beautiful as before. Did I mention, I had an appointment with the doctor? Since the past few years, I had been diagnosed with migraine; a pain that was poisoning my head and caused me to drop out of school and stay at home. Those headaches had made my brain a graveyard, where I buried my curiosity. I would dig deeper to find it but all I had was remains. But I was happy as I was alive. I was waiting for the moment which would make everything alright and grant me a chance to be the writer I always wanted to be. Every day I used to wish to be the same again, the one without any disease. I always thought the younger me was the better self of mine as I was energetic, lively back then and now I was just like that bird, waiting for someone to come and help me. Every fair morning, I would wake up and waste the whole day at home; grieving, thinking about the beautiful past and waiting for that ‘One Fortunate Day’ to knock at the door when I will show my talents.
My headaches were getting severe. The next day, while taking bath, I started to feel dizzy. My head was on flames and brain on fire. The geyser was leaking gas. My weak head could not take it and neither could my oxygen-thirsty lungs. As I finished and started to walk out of the bathroom, my legs became weak. I could not walk, I opened the lock but could never get out. I sat there, all sweaty and breathless. My whole life flashed in front of me and I could remember everything which I could never remember before, even if I tried. It was my time to bid goodbye to the greatest chance I had; life. I was shivering but could not call for help. My body turned blue, dryness conquered my tongue. I tried to scream but the voice would not come out. The temperature was falling and I was as cold as ice. My eyes were watery and ready to fall out, waiting for a small glimpse of any friend. It felt like my soul left my body and I was witnessing my departure. I was helpless. Was I the bird now? I waited and waited and there was a blackout.
When I opened my eyes, I squealed and was on the bed with my whole family around me. Mother was crying. The doctor told I was nearly dead. But I know, I was born again that day. That is when I realized that the day that I kept on waiting for, comes every day. This is a golden secret, but I know I met death that day. Maybe I was granted life again. In the state of pure unconsciousness, the death gave me another shot at life. I never looked at life the same way again. Now I see it as a chance to fulfill my dreams because that ‘ONE FORTUNATE DAY’ is today. No one knows when doom will fall upon you. That day I lost the fear of death. I know it is peaceful. The same sun shines every day for the same you. Maybe I had some unfinished business. I know I was never supposed to sit and regret. So, I was fortunate enough to get another chance to live life ‘differently’. Death whispers every day in my head, “You have to bring the day that you wish to live. You wanted to be a writer? I have paved the road for you but stop wishing to bring back the past. Now you wish that you were like the way before but that time, you wished you were something else. A human is never satisfied. These wishes are never-ending.”
Two years later, I am sitting in the small garden. The headaches still live unshaken. I can feel the raindrops making music and the wind howling. In this paradise, I am lucky that I have a LIFE because most people don’t. I like to believe that my old friend gifted me its life. Now I will live it just the way the bird would. I will fly.
By Avneet Sandhu