To move on

Tiny fingers wrapped around a giant thumb

“What’s it like to be old?”

Old … old

I suppose I am

Old

“It’s sad,” I say

“Everyone you love disappears,

one by one.”

 

“Oh.

“And how does that feel?”

Little legs swing under the chair

“Like the oceans sucked into a vacuum.”

“Huh?”

“Like a hole in the heart.”

“Oh.

 

“Can you stop it?”

Yes, disappear too.

“No, but you can make it easier.”

Or harder.

“How?”

“By treasuring old photos and remembering.”

Reading old texts and emails, even letters

Reviving someone who is so readily gone.

 

“Are you going to disappear?”

Someday.

“Not for a very long time.”

“How do you know?”

I don’t.

“Because you and I have a long way to travel.”

And I would never leave you alone.

 

“But what if you do?”

“Disappear?”

Small lips tremble.

“Yes.”

“Then you will be brave and move on.”

“Move on?”

Forget about me.

“Find other ways to be happy.”

“But no one makes me as happy as you.”

“They will.”

 

Tiny grip unwraps

clutches the waist instead

head buried in the side

“I won’t ever let you go.”

Yes,

but one day you’ll have to.

 

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About natashabrowne

Natasha is a freelance financial journalist and is a student of economics.
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