Chapter 1 : Today
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The old man wants to go outside and feel the cold, crisp wind against his wrinkled skin; he wants to run around in it, play in it like a child. But he's no longer a child, he is an old man with grey hair and a pair of very unsteady legs which won't carry him further than to the front door and that's if he is lucky.
Old age is something you can't prepare for – mostly because you'll never see it coming. You'll go about your life like you always do and then one day, wham! You'll look yourself in the mirror and you won't recognize the person staring back at you. Your once vibrant hair will have turned grey, your rich brown eyes will have faded to a dull, mud-like colour and your skin, which was once covered in small freckles and scars, will be too wrinkly for those to show.
After you notice that, you'll notice all the other bad things. You'll notice how your back goes to hell, as do your hips, and your knees and your arms – and bleeding hell, you need your arms! Once it becomes a pain to simply keep your wand raised high to cast a spell an eleven year old could master, that's when you'll really hate old age.
All of these realizations and thoughts happened a long time ago for the old man in the window, but the hatred of old age still lingers. He reckons many people should consider him lucky, knowing just how old he is, but he doesn't feel very lucky. Mostly he just feels lonely. To have outlived so many of your loved ones does that to you. Because really, who wants to grow old if there is no one left to spend your days with?
The man sighs and turns his back to the window, letting the snow fall without an audience while he walks towards the bed in the middle of the room. He only ever sleeps on the right side of it, it's a habit from when he used to share his bed with his late wife. A habit he can't seem to shake. He shreds his clothes and puts them by the end of the bed, neatly folded and gently handled.
When he lies down, he knows that today is the day.
It's not a bad day to die, he thinks. Of course, there's nothing special about the day. It's a day like any other. He'd gone about it as usual, hadn't done anything out of the ordinary and he reckons that's how it goes. You live your life like you normally would and then - then you don't, then it's over. You're finished. You're done. You've lost. You've won.
Perhaps you did something great with your life – perhaps you saved the world, perhaps you didn't – in the end, it doesn't matter. We die just the same, there's no getting around it.
He's a little nervous about it, he has to admit that. He doesn't know what to expect and that both excites and terrifies him. He closes his eyes as if to go to sleep and waits.
For a long time, he waits.
Then he hears it, a voice he wasn't sure he'd ever hear again and he knows that it has happened.
He really has died.
"About bloody time too, I've been waiting for you for decades," the voice says, flinging a young arm around his neck. He's not quite sure if he wants to laugh or cry. He does both. "You ready then, George?"
"I'm ready, Fred,” he replies.
[Long time no see! I hope you like it, feel free to leave a review if you do :)]
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