As I stood still in the shower, the lukewarm water flowed over my waxen skin— which engendered feelings of liberation. Sarah McLachlan’s, In the Arms of an Angel, suddenly started playing on the radio—which I thought I unplugged earlier. There must be a spiritual aura capable of carrying out my thoughts’ deeds. It was a strange but hauntingly satisfying feeling. The melody played the tune of my heart—prompting feelings of peace with myself and the world. Beautiful memories flooded my thoughts, sprinkled with a few regrets.
On a night identical to this one, I chose my friend’s birthday dinner over visiting my ailing grandma—she died that night. Ridden with guilt, I opted out of going to her funeral—I was too embarrassed to confront the rest of my family. Now, look at me! Just shy of 40, resembling an aged man who overstayed his time on earth. Sometimes I wonder how I would feel had my choice been different that night. It would still hurt, but maybe a little less—unsaid goodbyes are monsters that eat you alive. Time never really heals, it’s just a test. It tortures you for as long as you can endure the pain. My body was exasperated from all the worrying and self-blame. I looked down at my fingers and toes which wrinkled from me being in the shower for way too long—about three and a half hours.
The radio’s volume amplified when I turned off the shower—the water wasn’t melting away the stress from my brain as I had anticipated. The song came on again, and my soul agreed to dance along. I turned on the tub spout and sat in the tub—gently rocking my head while I hummed once more to the song playing in the background. As I closed my eyes and rested my head against the tub, I heard a familiar voice—it was subtle but calming.
“Hurry up, Phillip. It’s time to go!”
A final gasp of air slowly escaped through my partially closed lips then I answered.
“There is so much I have to explain to you Grandma, I am finally ready. I knew we would meet again, I am glad to be home.”
© Jenoy Merchant and merchantwritesagain.wordpress.com, 2020