i was dead.
i was in a house, but it didn't look familiar. the house seemed rural, with its sloped roof, thick walls and old paint job.
i was young.
i can't say how young, but much younger than I am today. not young enough to be a child though.
i was lying on something. it could have been a stretcher, or it could have been a coffin.
dad and kevin were there.
they were pottering about, moving small things around the room, probably setting it in order for the wake.
they didn't really pay much attention to me for some time. at one point, they discussed what would be a suitable location to place me. they decided i should be moved to the other side of the room and face the other way.
once they set me down in my new location, i felt a wave of emotions. it felt like all the emotions i've ever experienced in my life, all layering themselves one on top of the other. this barely took an instant, and before i could even realize what was happening, the layering of emotions was complete - i now felt the sum total of every emotion i've felt in every moment my life.
i felt sad. just slightly sad, but still, sad.
i didn't want to feel sad. i wanted to feel something else.
but then i realized, my life is over. nothing more is going to happen to me. if the sum total of my life is to feel sad, i must feel sad.
i said "i feel sad"
it didn't seem like a spoken voice. more like a transmission of thoughts that had verbal form.
dad and kevin immediately left what they were doing and peered at my face.
one of them (i can't remember who) suggested they video call my cousins.
kevin took his phone and did something with it. a few seconds later, he held the phone with the screen facing me, on a video call. aunt lilian and uncle jude were on the call. i heard kevin ask if gillian was around. they said gillian was next door, playing at the neighbours'.
while they spoke, i thought about what i wanted to say.
i started off wanting to say that everyone should live with no regrets.
i then thought, what else do i want to say? would anyone hear me? would they care? would it matter? is one of my cousins going to take out a notepad and scribble every word? would they be able to keep up? would they get bored after the first few sentences?
and then i thought: it seemed weird that i wanted to say anything at this moment. what could i say now that i haven't said before?
that's when mom walked into the room, looking at me as she walked.
everything - my thoughts, my vision quickly faded to blankness.
and that's when i woke up.
i shook shruti awake and told her i dreamed i was dead.
i told her i feel sad.