Coffee with Death

***Author’s Note:This is a very rough beginning to something, not sure what. Probably a poem or a bit of flash fiction. Feedback is welcome and certainly appreciated!***

Death sits at my shoulder

We share a coffee together.

“I might have had you, of course,” he reminds me.
“No,” I reply. “That, you could not have done.”

“Why?” He asks. His dry, dark face of bone has managed to twist into an illusion of sadness. “What made you fight me?”

I think on that. My husband’s face, the warmth of his arms and the touch of his lips, come first to mind. Then I recall the concern and love on the faces of my mother, aunt, and sister. I hear my nephew’s tittering laugh and the low, rumbling, soothing voice of my father.

I recall the vivid blue of my husband’s eyes as he held my hand at my bedside. Valiantly he forced a smile into his eyes, pushing that smile through the thick wall of his own anxiety, to show me a face which would not frighten me, to give me a kiss which would soothe me.

Not for a minute do I forget this. Even in moments of fruitless anger, I do not forget this.

Not for a minute moment do I forget his significance, or the simple truth that without him, I could never have embarked upon my current journey: my book, which is my lifeblood and the final key to my soul’s freedom. Not for minute do I forget that without him, that key would have remained lost.

“You see,” I whisper to my friend, Death, who refills his cup of coffee. “Some things are larger than you are.”

He nods; this is a lesson he has already learned.

“Do you fear me?”

“Oh, to be sure,” I say. Emphatically, I say this to him. “There have been many nights I have lain awake with my heart thumping hard in my chest and my breath coming in short gasps as I contemplate in fear — by what method might you take me? At what age? In what place? Will I have the chance to tell my husband I love him before I go?”

I smile into his face of bones over the rim of my coffee cup. “Yes, my love,” I tell him, “I am afraid of you.”

He nods; this satisfies him. I scold his simplicity, but it does no good.

-Amanda N. Sebring
January 2014


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