Sunday, 6 January 2019

7 minutes - I

The Event.

They say when you die, you have 7 minutes of brain activity left. Your entire life flashes before your eyes, like a slideshow. You see the things you have done, the people you have loved, the ecstasies you have experienced and the tragedies you have lived through. It’s a precision, really, everything but in a flash. You don’t feel it being a flash though. All you do is simply relive your life through the stages -- all the highs and lows -- concisely. You see the things that made you, the things that broke you and everything in between. But mostly, you see the happy faces of your beloveds: something that calms you even in your last moments. I think everyone dies a satisfied death. A dying person doesn’t hold any grudges, I guess, they let it go. That’s what I have heard until now.

                The ringing I hear is very loud. I lie on a hospital bed; sheets stained of blood. There’s a sharp, shooting pain in my head. It seems that it would burst. The stringing ache in my left arm and chest is unmistakable, I can feel the blood dripping out. Every drop I lose makes me weaker and weaker. Things are blurry and vague, but the doctors are trying, I can see. My breathing is becoming heavier every passing moment. The pain that I feel right now is just too much to bear for a single time. I don’t understand a thing that’s happening. A drop of tear trickles down my eye, but I cannot feel the trace of it. I have become numb, yet am as vulnerable as I can possibly be. It’s weird.

All I can think about is how much I don’t want to die. There are so many things I yet have to do. I still have to make so many amends, I cannot even begin to tell. I never even got to say my goodbyes. But the next thought that finds its way in my mind is that no one really does. Life is so impermanent, yet we assume we have forever. One’s life is the most extensive thing they experience, but it is just ephemeral in cosmic terms. Everyone matters, but somehow, nobody does. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence. John Green never fails me. I smile in my head.

I hear the sound of the machines around me and the doctor’s voice saying something but I can’t quite figure out what. I open my eyes a wee bit more, but it seems like it consumes all the energy I have left in me. I still cannot see clear. Near the door, I see people standing. I can tell they’re crying. Despite the loudness that’s deafening my ears, I can still make out the sobbing noises coming from where they’re standing. I want to cry too, but this pain that I’m in right now is making me incapable of doing so. Or maybe I’m even crying, I don’t understand. Everything is hazy and I still lie on the bed, unable to move, unable to feel. I don’t even feel my heart beating, or my lungs breathing air. It seems I am on the verge of stopping, maybe I’ve even stopped. Have I?

The one thing I do understand is this experience – death. You hear people talk about it, you read it in great books, you see it in award-winning movies, you even see people die in front of you. But it is nothing like one can ever imagine. The feeling of you just not being after a few moments is terrifying. Completely unexplainable. I think about what would be more painful – dying yourself or dealing with the death of your loved one. I get no answer. I don’t know what Sam, Mom and Dad, Misha and Jenny would do. How would they deal if I don’t make it today? Suddenly, I feel even drowsier. My eyes are closing and I struggle hard to keep them open. I’m passing out, maybe because of the fluids being injected in my body or what, but what if I close them now and never open them again? It’s horrible to even think about it.

Thinking about dying doesn’t really help. So I decide to divert the course of my thoughts into some other, happy direction. Happy. I smirk in my mind. I think about books, my most favourite one being The Fault In Our Stars, I think about Hazel and Augustus, I think about their love, their numbered days; about people, and the first person who comes into my mind is my mother, surprisingly, as I haven’t talked to her in forever; about places,  I think about the little vacation Jenny, Misha and I had taken and how wonderful it was; about love, about Sam and about how better my life has been since the day I met him and how I never want to lose him, but then I realize I’m going to lose everything and everyone today, and they’re going to lose me, and somehow every thought integrates back to dying, to me lying on this bed, with needles being pierced through my veins and a burning sensation on the surface of my wounds. I didn’t want to admit it before, but I am scared. All I want is one chance, one tiny opportunity to take my loved ones into my embrace and tell them that despite everything, I love them. But that seems undoable now. My heart somehow sinks at this thought.
I try to think of my happy place – Sam and I in our living room, cuddling, watching some random show on television, talking about nothing in particular but everything in the world. I love being with him. I remember fighting with him over silly things and teasing him until I’d see him lash out on me and me laughing so darn hard at how his face would get red due to irritation and anger, and we’d just run around in the house and cuddle later. I loved kissing that face. I still love kissing that face, if only I get a chance. . .  There’s peace with him. Once in a while, he’d always kiss my forehead, and I loved it. It always has been a gesture of the love we have for each other. When I’m with him, I never want to be anywhere else. But right now, I know I actually am somewhere else, trying to search for that calmness, that peace in my thoughts, and with this, reality hits back. My lungs have become incapable of holding any air inside and I have started palpitating. This is it. Is this… it? I don’t want to die. This time I feel the tears that escape my eyes crawl through the sides of my cheek, over the sides of my neck and hit the pillowcase under my head, it becoming instantly moist. I grasp for air, but I cannot. I clench my fists, holding the sheets and with it, I feel done.

So this is death, I think. Suddenly everything has quietened down. Moments ago, everything was so loud and now, it’s all just so dead silent that I cannot bear the sound of that. I want to breathe again. I want to live again. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about not wanting to live all my life, but I’ve learnt my lesson now, I was wrong. I do want to live, to love, to be. Is a second chance too much to ask for from life? How the hell am I thinking if I’m dead? Maybe, they’re right. People have souls. Maybe this is my soul thinking, hoping, wanting to live but nothing makes sense to me. Everything just seems to have stopped, inclusive of me.

I feel no pain anymore. My eyes are open, but things are getting dark until I can’t see anything. The hospital ceiling seems to get murky, and I feel it slipping. I feel myself slipping through my hands and after a certain point, I am gone. I’m here, but I’m gone somehow. I don’t hear the sounds of the doctors screaming, or that of people crying, or the machines around me beeping endlessly which were so loud a few minutes ago that it felt like my ears would bleed but now, there’s none of it anymore. Nothing. A dark void stretches itself infinitely before my eyes, and even though I’m not, I feel like I’m blinking, and it feels like I can move again. It suddenly gives me hope. I can turn my head and move my hands and my legs and I can breathe but I can’t see anything. Why can’t I see anything?

It seems like I’m walking through a void, I see no ground, no path, no sky, nothing. Everything is pitch black and as usual, I have no idea what’s happening. I rarely know what I’m doing anyway, half the time I’m just as clueless. I think if I ever wake up, I’ll write about it. So authentic, I tell you. But right now, I’m afraid I will stumble and trip because nothing’s visible. Or maybe it’s not that I’m not able to see anything, there’s just nothing to see. This isn’t painful, but fearsome. I keep walking anyway, just to get out of it. I feel like it’s just in my head, but I still have to get out of it somehow. I don’t want to be stuck here for all eternity, if I, in fact, have died. This is a weird place. I have to get rid of this place because I want to see my people for the last time, maybe yes, maybe that is going to be the last time because I do remember the hospital and the bleeding and the not being able to breathe and the pain as well. I remember giving up hope and dying.

As I move ahead, I start seeing a light, literally the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel a little hopeful, and I wonder how I can still feel things in my dead heart. Am I really dead? Well, it doesn’t matter because I am seeing a way out right in front of my eyes. I start running towards the dazzle, and the closer I get to it, the more I feel it piercing my eyes. I keep running anyway until I reach the source and until my eyes can’t hold the light anymore. It seems like I’d disappear into the brightness so I cover my eyes with my bare hands, and wait for what seems to be an infinite amount of time. Suddenly when the illumination seems to have lessened, I open my eyes back.

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