We met on the worst day of my life, at my mother's funeral. I was too young to understand what was happening, only seven years old, surrounded by mourning people, standing around the closed casket. I couldn't find my mother in the crowd. I didn't understand that she was gone. I ran from that room of weeping strangers, breathless and scared, hiding on the back steps of the funeral parlor, huddling on concrete that scraped my legs through my black tights.
You found me there, shivering and alone, and quietly sat down beside me. You laid your hand on top of mine, a strange warmth against the chill air, and scared as I was, I leaned into you. Burrowed right against your side. We sat together in the comfort of your silence until you spoke into the clear, cold, night.
"Do you see the stars above? Some are already gone, blinked out for years and years, but their light continues to shine. Eventually they'll completely fade, but other stars will be born from the same dust." You looked at me then, your eyes kind. I don't recall their color or shape but I imagined I could see galaxies swirling within them. "Everything fades, like starlight, but nothing truly ends."
I didn't understand you then, I still don't. You remain the biggest mystery of my life. But I carried those words, I carried you, in my heart.
For years, I thought of you as an inescapable inevitability. The creeping specter that, if we were lucky, reached us once we were old and wrinkled but always reached us in the end.
I had it wrong. I would think of those words, and the kindness in your eyes. You are a constant companion, or a patient, reverent lover. In every moment, in every breath, in the pendulum of pain and pleasure that is the human experience, you whisper to me to savor, to take it all in and treasure each sensation.
It is an understanding wrought through time, through experience, and through all the delicate and brutal moments of life. To see the endless connections between us, life and death, and the intricate dance we perform. You are not the creeping shade but the one who will accept me, no matter my faults or shortcomings, no matter how I appear before you.
I know we will meet again at the end. You'll lay your hand over mine, and bring me into your warmth. You will remind me in your butterscotch voice that it is okay to be scared. No light truly goes out. You will cradle me as I fade, delivering a final tender kiss.
I know your lips will taste of stardust.
-Until we meet again
I also nominate YOU, all of you, and ask: If you wrote a letter to Death, what would it say? Submit your own letters on your profiles and tag them with #CollateralBeauty or share your letters in the comments section of "Collateral Beauty: A Collection of Short Stories" on the Romance Profile.
YOU ARE READING
Dear DeathShort Story
If you wrote a letter to Death what would it say? What if Death could answer back? 'Dear Death' is a commissioned work by Warner Bros inspired by the upcoming release of Collateral Beauty. Packing a cast of stellar talent such as Will Smith, Kate Wi...