Move along, you idiot! I haven’t got all day!
It was the angry shout of a young man after a long day at work sitting behind the wheels of his second hand car, a gift when he turned 18. Plans were made when he held the key in his hand for the first time. Road trip through the country with his girl by his side and a backpack, all other worries left behind. They would spend 5 weeks on the road, sleeping in motels and testing out the famous dishes in every state they covered. As quickly as those plans were made, they came to a halt. She left him for another man who could afford a brand new car and this poor guy fell back in life without realising it. His work became his constant companion. Most nights went by in a blur, getting either high, drunk or both. Most days begin with a headache or waking up next to a woman whose name he’d never recall. He isn’t tired with life, really. He’s just uninspired.
Does he notice me observing him? No, he can’t see me. Another angry press of the horn escapes his car. The teenage girl in the pink Mini Cooper in front of him is on her way to a friend’s birthday. She is aimlessly scrolling on her social media. Only 30 minutes ago she rolled up a bill and sniffed her way out of reality. Lights are dancing around her and deep inside she knew she should have stayed back. I move closer to her car. It’s almost time. She sees me but I am blurry, just like everything else around her.
Just moments before someone leaves the world, Time herself slows down. She is one other most disciplined, merciless worker of nature I know. She has never stopped for anyone. Time slows down for the departing ones to see their lives flash before their eyes. A mere 5 seconds could be stretched long enough to see one’s important life events replay in their minds. The unconfessed love, unuttered apologies and long held grudges go to waste. She’s seen some desperately recalling all their life events. Rarely, she comes across those thinking of a place called Heaven and looking eagerly forward to see Him. I see her leaving the girl’s car, nodding at me, signaling that I have to get to work.
The teenage girl tries to turn right but the last thing in her mind was to check her side mirror. A bus was speeding from the back, the driver eager to get home after his long shift and wanting to avoid the shouts of his passengers who were already delayed due to the traffic. He scrambled to hit the brake and the horrible sound of broken window would be in his nightmares for the following months. It happened quickly, again, work of Time. The teenage girl died instantly at the impact.
A crowd has gathered around the crushed car and bus. Civilians were helping the passengers out of the bus. The medic team tried their best to revive her. No one sees her soul walking towards me now. I take her hand and walked away from the chaos. She’s calm and understands what just happened. I felt her squeezing my hand as she thought of her mother. It’s time to go, I told her. She bursts out crying, tears of regret dripping down her young face. I hugged her firmly, telling her it’ll be alright and it’s part of life.
We walk further into the light. At the end of the tunnel I nudged her forward. My work is done, I’ve delivered her to the higher Heavens. You’d think that after all the eras I’ve spent taking humans through the tunnel, I’d be used to me job. No. No one has seen my aching heart when I bring the loves of Birth herself to an end. Poetry has captured love shared in this world but no one has captured the ultimate love we have for each other; Birth and I, Death. I am the destruction to her creation. I am responsible for the sad smiles on her face. We long to be together, away from these duties we carry. Our duties overlap once in awhile; during the birth of a child where the mother is lost or even when the child itself never manages to survive. Oh, how we yearn to love one another! The time will come, but until then, we’d wait on either ends of the human life.