Reflected in your eyes

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  • Published: 28 Mar 2017
  • Updated: 28 Mar 2017
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Being sickly she often meets and talks with Death. Death wonders how she can smile The relationship the two of them build, how will it end? ______________________ UNDSKYLDER FOR MIT NOK DÅRLIGE ENGELSK PÅ FORHÅND T_T Kunne ikke få skrevet den ordentligt på dansk, så endte med engelsk /:

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1. Reflected in your eyes

I was always with her. She was a sickly child, and whenever she was in between life and death, we would talk. The conversations almost always started with her asking if I would take her with me now, and with me answering only time would tell.

It often felt like I was her only friend. After always asking the almost mandatory question she would tell what she had experienced while we hadn't seen each other. Not that she could experience a lot from a room covered in white, inside a cold hospital filled with the stench I was all too familiar with. Death. The deodorant I always had to wear.

We met when she was but 1 year old. She was born with a weak heart but it was only when she had lived a year the problems really started. She couldn't talk, and while she was awaiting her life and death sentence, she just sat there, and kept smiling at me, like I was a good fairy, or a new toy. She couldn't talk, and since I didn't usually engage in conversation either, I didn't find it weird.

When she was 3 years old, we met again. This time she was able to ask the question I had heard so often before. Would I take her with me now? Like I told everyone else asking me this, I told her only time would tell, and usually the people would be satisfied with the 'Maybe' that the answer really was. Mostly because people didn't really wanted to know the answer, but also because they needed hope and a light in the end of the tunnel, so they didn't give up. Some didn't want the hope, while other took the hope as a chance to make themselves better the next time they opened their eyes. The conversations would usually end there, but not with her. She would ask me if I had any ice cream, because she wasn't allowed to eat any. Her parents said so.

It was very hard for me to understand, because the sentences from a 3-year old is far from finished, and not very understandable. Mostly it was just "Ice cream ice cream" without stop, and a lot of pointing and jumping up and down near my scythe. As the master of death, however I had a few privileges in the void between life and death, and with the only reason being to stop the noise, I would make ice cream appear. Sadly she didn't get any before the doctors made her come back.

Next time I met her, she had matured a bit. She was now 5, and a bit better at talking. The first thing she said to me was "Ice cream", followed by a big smile. She would then ask if I would take her with me, and answering what I always answered, the conversation would go on. She was clever for a sickly little girl. She knew she didn't have the same privileges as other little children. She was strong too. Being able to smile, even though having already met Death 3 times was something I hadn't seen before, and I would lie if I said I wasn't intrigued. But she was still but a child, and for a being that was older than time, I had seen a lot. Even though she was interesting, she wasn't worth my thoughts. Or so I thought.

We met again the next year. It was getting more often, but she still smiled every time she saw me. Like greeting a friend you haven't seen in a while. Not that I was her friend, and she really shouldn't be looking forward to our meetings, but from my experience, she truly did. We started the conversation as usual, and after quite a while she began talking about her bed. How she hadn't gotten any toys that looked like horses, and that she still wasn't allowed to eat ice cream. She didn't quite understand those parts of life, and was pretty annoyed about it. I, who was so immersed in death, that life was just like a weird thing people had, didn't understand either, and so we talked about that. The injustice that was in her parent's strict rules, not allowing her to eat sweets. How they were stupid because she wasn't allowed that new awesome teddy bear she had seen in a commercial. Before I knew it, I had already taken a interest in 'her' life, and was immersed in it.

We met again a half year later. A happy feeling I wasn't allowed to feel sometimes poked inside of me, and I could tell it was because of her. She smiled at me happily and told about how she actually had gotten some candy from a nice nurse. She had also gotten the teddy bear she wanted, but it wasn't quite as fulfilling as she had hoped.

She slipped to and from me a lot that year. She said she was been told by the doctors, that she was in a "Critical condition", whatever that was. Even though she talked a lot in the start, she had begun to speak even more. The room she was in was a private bedroom. Her parents didn't want her to be disturbed more than she had to at night, so they had chosen that. She wanted to have princess or witch curtains around her bed, but the hospital said they had to maintain a professional image. She told me she didn't know what they meant, and that her parents had told her the doctors just was afraid of witches.

I found myself fascinated by her stories. Those about her parents, where she lived, and what she was doing while she wasn't with me. I wanted to hear everything, and for someone who was usually shunned or being begged by people, I wanted to know more about this tiny person who smiled so much, even after knowing who I was.

As always, she asked the usual question, with me answering the usual way. She was now seven and even more energetic than she used to. In the void between, that was. In 'life' she didn't do much. She told about her hospital bed, and how it was always covered with flowers, but they wasn't enough to cover the smell that came in everywhere. She wasn't all too sure of what exactly the smell was, but I thought i might be the smell of death, and asked if she smelled the same here. For some reasons feelings unfamiliar to me, some kind of unease rushed over me as I asked. However, she just smiled, shaked her head, and laughed a bit.

As time past she got better at talking, and changed a bit. Both the subjects she talked about, and her looks. I had never really noticed that she was quite scrawny and light-looking. It was like a single blow could make her fall. It made sense, because she almost never went outside, and I knew she was in bed a lot, so it wasn't that, which surprised me. It was that I actually noticed it. I had lead a lot of people away from Life, but I never noticed their looks. Only the pain or relief or disbelief in their eyes, as I took them away, or told them time would tell. I didn't have one memory of any person that I can remember what looked like. Other than her.

The time between her being nine and her being eleven was quiet. I didn't meet her much, and I felt a bit weird about that. I didn't want to meet her, but I didn't NOT want to meet her either. I couldn't seek her out, but I wanted to know how she was doing. But for that to happen, she would had to be dying, and for some reason, the thought of that alone, made me feel the unease I hadn't quite familiarized myself with yet.

I didn't have to wait long, when she was twelve she greeted me again, with the smile I was all too familiar with, and the question I had heard so much before. After that she told me how she had gotten games, and how she was now in school. It was at the hospital, and she wasn't able to go that much anymore, but she had met new people, and she was really happy about that. She told me it was because she had gotten better. But since she was here, she wasn't all better, I said with silence. She heard it. Or felt it. I don't know exactly what she sensed, but she stopped talking, and her usually radiant smile was a bit dim.

When she turned thirteen she began to be curious. She found out she could ask questions other than the usual one, and it made her interested what I was. When she was smaller she seemed to just accept the fact that I was, but now it seemed like she wanted to know what and why. Her questions at first seemed silly and was easy to answer. How old was I? Did I cut myself on my scythe? As old as time was usually a good answer, and I had never been cut on my own scythe. It was mostly for show anyway, but I only answered the first part.

Her questions started to get a bit more serious. How many people had I taken? Did I work alone? How come I looked like a ordinary human?
Even though I would have like to answer them all, I could only answer that I didn't work alone, and that people some times stayed behind and helped. Her last question made me silent, because I didn't even know I looked like an 'ordinary human' before she had told me. Nobody had ever told me how I looked before, and I had never wondered.

On her fourteenth year, she asked me her last question. Every time we saw each other she bombarded me with then, and I had to put an end to it. Mostly because it made me realize that I didn't know that much about myself, but also because a feeling of wanting to hear more about her made its way to the surface of my being. The question she had chosen, however, made my whole body hurt.

"Are you lonely?"

I didn't get to answer, she was pulled back before I could get a chance. But in a way I didn't mind, because the ability to answer that particular question wasn't anything I had. I didn't know if I was lonely, and wasn't that, and feelings in general, only for human beings?

She had planted doubt in me. Something I didn't have a need for. Feelings had begun to form, and I wasn't able to do anything about them, other than reject or ignore them.

She came back when she was fifteen. Her body looked scrawny and little as ever, and it didn't look like she had grown. She had, however, changed little by little. Something I only realized because it had been a year. She looked more and more like a woman, and less like the girl I had always known. When she came the feeling of wanting to escape made its presence for me, only to be replaced of the warm feeling I still didn't quite know what was. For some reason I had thought she would ask the question again, but instead she began to speak of the things she had experienced.

Her parents had a new child, so she was now a big sister, which seemed to make her even more happy than usual. Not that I could understand. New life only meant more death. Somehow my own thoughts made me want to let water flow out of my eyes. Something I had seen others do, either when dead, or when saying goodbye to a deceased, but I wasn't quite familiar with how it worked.

When she saw it she asked why I was sad, and I couldn't tell her anything other than I wasn't able to feel sad, and that she wasn't allowed to ask more questions. This seemed to have upset her in some way, because her usual smile, I almost had gotten used to, even though it was oh so bright, had turned around. If I didn't knew better I thought it was her that took souls, that's how mad she looked. We didn't talk after that.

Sixteen years was what she was the next time. Her womanly form had begun to take, and while she still looked sick, her smile was back as bright as ever. Both of us seemed to pretend last time happened, and after asking about the usual thing, she talked about her birthday. Celebrating life. Typical humans. I didn't think this in a cynical way, it was more just a fact that humans like this sort of celebrating. While she talked I prepared a little surprise, and as soon as she looked away, I pushed an ice cream over to her. Her smile, which I didn't think could become any brighter, went into a blinding smile that covered all of her face, while including her eyes. She told me that she had actually forgotten about that, and was impressed that I remembered. I was also impressed, because why would I remember such a thing?

We saw a lot to each other that year, and the next that came. We talked a lot about what she wanted to do when she got healthy, and a pain I didn't know began to grow in me. It was worse than the uneasiness I sometimes felt, and because feelings shouldn't be something I had, I began to question my own sanity. I would get far, because she would be there a lot. Talking about her parents, her little sister. How she had moved to a sharing hospital room because her parents couldn't afford the other anymore.

Her happiness was that of others. If people smiled at her, she smiled at them. I began to understand why she was always so bright. It wasn't that she didn't know the situation was serious. It was just that she knew she couldn't do anything about it, and rather would make the best out of it. But beginning to understand the way of humans was something that was like poison to me. The pain kept coming.

The day came where she turned eighteen. She came and as usual, she asked if I would take her with me. I told her only time would tell. For once she didn't seem satisfied, but she didn't dig any deeper than that. It seemed like she wanted to ask me something, but she had trouble doing so. Mostly because she thought I would cut her off like last time. This didn't seem to stop her, and she hesitantly began forming her question. Or what I thought was a question at the time.

"You look different" she said with caution. I couldn't quite understand what was wrong with looking different. I didn't grasp what she meant by different, and since I had never seen myself, I neither know what I usually look like, nor what different would be. Thus, I didn't take it for anything serious.

She didn't come to see me when she was nineteen. The growing feeling of pain grew ever stronger, and it felt like it had taken root some place deep inside of me, and slowly grew more and more, feeding on something I wasn't sure what was. It was like a tree, keeping to grow up, while the roots digs deeper. I was able to get people to cross over none the less, but it felt like I was getting more and more weird looks. People had a way of striking up conversations, much unlike how it was before.

To my fright, feelings seemed to have taken a hold of me, and while not know why, or what to do, my mind kept thinking of her, and how she was. It was a good thing I haven't seen her, I kept telling myself, because then I knew she was alive and well, but it still seemed like my mind wouldn't be at ease. It needed her.

When she turned twenty I almost wasn't able to recognize her. She was still the scrawny and sick girl I had talked to so many times before, but her smile had vanished a bit, and she looked sad and worried. She looked at me like she did last time, seemed like she wanted to talk again, but decided against it. She didn't even ask the usual question. After a while of silence I wasn't able to conceal my joy over seeing her. I had wanted to see her. But as soon as I wanted to start a conversation with her, the light began to shine and I knew it was too late. I looked at her, and she knew too.

"Before you go, I need to know. How could you always smile?" I asked her shakingly. I was Death. I could give her a few more minutes with me.

She looked at me. Worried a bit what to say, and then deciding to talk.

"Because I was never lonely" she said.

"You made me happy. I was never ever lonely or scared. I had my parents in life, and you in death. You were my only friend. And I'm sorry. So sorry" she said while beginning to let tears out her eyes. Her voice almost broke while saying sorry. I didn't truly understand why she said sorry, and it looked like she could she my troubled face.

"Look me in the eyes" she cried, and took a good grip on me, while pulling me closer. For the first time I could see myself. My reflection in her eyes. I looked human, as she had said. And first there, I saw that my scythe was gone. I didn't have any memory of having it. The very symbol of me being Death was gone.

"It has been gone a while. I don't remember when you didn't have it anymore. I remember how you looked when we first met, and this wasn't it. I'm so sorry" she said again. Trying to find head and tail on her words, I couldn't do anything else then look at myself in her eyes. Her eyes were beautiful. This was the first and the last time I would ever get to see her eyes.

Things started to make sense. I had lost my scythe. I had feelings. I was looking more and more as a human.

"I think I love you" I said while not giving it enough thought. I wasn't able to feel embarrassed, because in all of my life, I had never known what those words actually meant. I wasn't really Death anymore. I had lost my place in the universe. I wasn't a human. I couldn't die. She had made me love, made me an almost human, and made me lose my place. That's why she was sorry. Now she would leave me forever and I wouldn't be able to do anything else than being in the eternal darkness, now with feelings, and no job to do. That's why she was sorry.

"I think you do too" she said, making it clear that the feelings was returned, without saying it. It would be too hard to say, and too hard to hear. I couldn't keep away from her eyes, but at some point the light began to shine even brighter, though not as bright as her smile, and with it she vanished.

"I'm sorry to leave you alone. I don't want you to be lonely" was the last thing I heard before everything around me turned dark.

 

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