Scraps of broken memories

They say your life flashes before your eyes in your final moments. What they don’t tell you is that it only shows you the things that make death all the harder. She had thought about death a lot but never enough for it to bother her. But the hilarity of the moment resides in the fact that it wasn’t dying that bothered her but the idea that she didn’t know what moment to hold on to as life left her body. She had watched her entire life pass her by in an instant, but these last 15 minutes seemed to last an oblivious eternity. She closed her eyes and waited for Death and when she opened them, she was lying in her parent’s lawn with a boy beside her. As she turned her head to look at him, the grass kissed her cheek ever so gently, and she let herself be consumed by a moment of peace.

“The clouds are waltzing,” said the boy, as shadows played tricks with his eyes and the sunlight seemed to dance on his lemon colored hair.
“Maybe they just want you to see them. I get it,” she said, with half a smile in her eyes.
“I always see you.”

“Why do you always paint inside? Aren’t painters supposed to like sunlight or something?”
“Because there’s a beautiful mess inside. Now sit still, I’m almost done.”
She hopped over to his side, much to the boy’s dismay, and saw her image through his eyes. The beauty overthrew her, and she couldn’t decide how to tell him that his soul was a jewel, and she was merely a pretty stone. She kissed the boy with paint on his fingertips, and his mouth tasted like colors.

Blood was engulfing her like the clouds on that starry night, getting closer to cover the entire face of moon. The force of the collision threw her straight out of the windshield, and the glass had found its way into her abdomen. It was only fair that she died on a lost road; she had always preferred the isolation that came with befriending the night sky and cigarettes. ‘Poetic justice,’ she thought. She tried to laugh but she coughed up blood instead. She had tried to get out of the car, but she started losing more blood, and unconsciousness had started to wrap itself around her, like a protective blanket. She welcomed it. But there was one more place she needed to visit before death took her.

As pain threatened to pay her a visit, she escaped into a college dorm room, with a poster of Westlife on the wall, watching as their walls came crumbling down with their hands on each other’s faces, and half told love stories in their eyes. The girl touched her hair like it was glass, as if she would shatter it if she was too crude.
“I fear I might break you,” said the girl, with her head tilting ever so slightly as if she had just seen something fascinating.
“I can’t think of a better pair of hands to ruin me,” she said, with a shadow of love in her voice.
“You’re too beautiful to break.”
“So gather me in a glass jar when you do, and remold me.”
“You’re not sand,” the girl laughed.
“Then what am I?”
“You’re the girl with music in her hair,” the girl watched her fall in love all over again. She smiled as her entire vocabulary failed her for there are moments when all the words in the world can’t make up for that one burning kiss felt on two souls. She leaned in and kissed the girl without a moment’s doubt, and saw words hanging on the girl’s breath.

“The girl with music in her hair,” she whispered into the dark night and almost tasted the girl’s words. She smiled in her final seconds of consciousness, and heard the boy’s colors in the last notes of her beating heart. Scraps of broken memories; the boy who tasted like colors, and the girl who had words hanging from her breath. The two reasons a dying girl’s soul on an abandoned road was singing when Death carried it away in his arms.

– Ushna Shoaib (


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