Memories Are All That’s Left

Ngwa Emmanuel
May 7, 2020 - 3 Minutes
  Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
  Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

The scent of medication was thick in the air and yet, death and despair seemed to linger in defiance across the very fabric of the room.

It started with a series of excruciating pains cracking through every fiber in your bones. It was ripping you apart from this world. You wailed as you couldn’t bear it anymore. “Why me?” You had asked the messenger. But he scorned at you as his eyes burned with dread.

You made the hospital your second home as you spent your night and day with the messenger of death, lying by your side. With every day that passed, you wished this messenger took you home. But he had said, “not yet.”

It wasn’t going to happen on that hospital bed. It was going to happen somewhere private, somewhere more welcoming.

Your breathing became heavy. Fast-paced. And ceasing.

The doctors had said your chances of survival were very slim. They had said we should begin preparing invitations to announce your burial. That you weren’t going to make it out of that bed alive.

But you had made a comeback. Joy returned to our once sad-laden hearts, our faces littered with joy. I remember grand mum singing and jeering praises towards heaven when she heard the news — that you had defeated death. That you were going to be sticking around for a long time, a very long one.

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It was only four days until our hearts stopped smiling. It was just a mild headache that had sent you 6-feet below the earth.

When the news broke out, we were 10.000 miles apart. My heart dropped.

Your presence in this world was brief, but what you left wasn’t. Sometimes, I drown in regrets for not spending more time with you.

Your memories are all that’s left of you in the hearts of those who held you close. These memories still feel fresh like it was just yesterday.

I remember how mum sobbed, every time, trying to shield her grief from us when you left. I still remember how she wept into the pillow every time. You were her favorite as you were mine too. Though much younger, you always stood up for her when the older ones clamped down on her.

She had grieved for days, weeks, and months that dad had eventually figured it out. It was this one photograph of you she’d been feeding her eyes on, tears streaming down the photograph. Dad had rebuked us from ever making her glance at it again even by chance, even when she asked.

She had asked after it for about a week, and we had denied any knowledge of its location, every time, suggesting dad might know. But dad was a man of principle. He had been married to her for almost his lifetime, and knew just how to black out such sad memories.

Yet, these memories are all that’s left of you. When you descended below the earth, you left your memories behind. But you also left an impact in our hearts.

Your memories will continue to linger in our hearts after your footprints in the sand are gone.