“She doesn’t have much time. I’m sorry,” the doctor said compassionately as he met the family outside the ICU. Leaning against a wall, Death stood in a corner as though he could be seen. He hated this part – sad, weepy faces consoling each other.
Why do they have to do this to themselves? Why can’t they just get used to me?
Death looked over his shoulders and sighed disinterestedly. Birth never got tired of trying to ‘scare’ him even though he was never alarmed. Except for the first time. Death had been observing the woman jaywalking on a fairly busy road, waiting for the truck to run over her when Birth ‘Booed’. Thankfully, Death didn’t miss his aim.
“Are they cursing you yet?” asked Birth, looking over Death’s shoulder trying to get a glimpse of the weeping family.
“Maybe once they’re done crying,” Death said, rolling his eyes. He couldn’t understand why humans hated him so much. Isn’t it obvious that everything has to end someday? What puzzled him was that they were scared of him. It’s not like they are going to have ‘feelings’ once they are dead. Why they loved watching scary ghost movies and dressing up in bloodied costumes was beyond him.
“You seem happy,” said Death, taking a break and turning away from the sobbing family. There was still some time left.
“Well, you know how it is. Smiling, happy faces as usual. This time, it was two,” Birth said enthusiastically.
“Why… how could you do this? Please… please don’t die” cried the woman sitting by the man’s bed.
Well, now that’s not possible. There must be a reason for a man to slit his wrist. This man wanted to die and end his misery and Life and I have agreed that he’s done a pretty good job, justifying my presence here. I’m just helping him. How is that a bad thing?!
“I need a vacation,” said Death, rubbing his forehead. He loathed his job but he had to do it. Day in and day out, the routine of dealing with whining and weeping people was wearing him down. He always thought it was unfair that he was paid to be depressed while Birth was paid to be happy.
“Aren’t you supposed to go in now?” nudged Birth.
Death looked at the time. “Yeah. What about the vacation I was talking about?”
“We need to figure out a place where there are no births and deaths,” said Birth thinking about the options.
“Of course! Your imagination, for instance. As long as their species exist, you and I are never going to be out of work,” Death said scornfully as he entered the room.
He looked down at the man.
Perhaps he was one of the few who realized that the end is one of the easiest ways to escape his pathetic life filled with worries and pain and agony. That’s why he called me himself. The people crying now will eventually move on and live the lives they make for themselves.
Death stepped out of the ICU. A woman wailed loudly. It was deafening.
“Done?” inquired Birth.
“Yeah. I want to have a cup of cocoa,” he said, relieved that it was over. It was a truly stressful job.
“Okay. But you’re going to put on a lot of calories this way. Let’s get that cocoa and hit Hawaii.”
*My post in the Shut Up & Write! Challenge