Kids…A Short story

“What happened?”  he asked, staring at the body in front of him.

“He’s gone,” she said.

“Where did he go?”

“No one knows.”

“But he was here a minute ago.”

“Yes, well, he’s gone now.  His body stopped functioning.”

“But where did HE go, the part that wasn’t his body?”

“I already told you that no one knows the answer to that question. Everyone wants to know the answer, but no one does.”

“But he wasn’t just his body,  A body by itself doesn’t do anything.  Why can’t the part that’s not his body still be here?”

“It might be but without the body to translate, he has no way to communicate.  He would need working lungs and vocal cords, as well as a beating heart and functioning brain. Do you understand?”

“I think he’s still here.”

“It’s possible but it won’t matter, unless you’re psychic and even then…who knows.  The body is the computer and it needs to work properly.  If your computer is down, you know nothing will work, even if you’re sitting right in front of it.  And death, when it arrives, only takes a fraction of a second.  It’s like pulling a plug.  Actually, it’s just like pulling a plug, or pushing an ‘off” button. The part that’s not the body is disconnected from the thing that interacts with everything on this planet.  So it can still be here but just not be able to do anything on this plane.  I mean you can’t see the part that’s not the body, right?  It acts through the body, not by itself, even thought that’s the part that is who we are.”

“So everyone who ever lived could still be here?”

“Maybe,  but I can’t imagine why anyone would hang around here, if they didn’t have to.”

“I guess.”

She nodded.

“It does’t seem fair,” he said.

“It isn’t fair.  Nothing in life is fair, everything just is and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

“That doesn’t seem fair either.”

“No, that isn’t fair either.”

“The body doesn’t mean anything, once the personality is gone.”

“It’s like an abandoned car,” she said.

“But you think the personality is more important than the body?  Is that what you’re saying?”

“Neither one works without the other.  It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s all about awareness and being awake and having a way to keep it all together and move around at the same time.”

“But why does everything always break down?”

“Faulty equipment, entropy and planned obsolescence.  Everything comes with an expiration date.  Everything breaks down and dies.  Everything.”

He nodded.  “I get that,” he said.  “I just thought of it more with machines and gardens, like our phones and flowers, not bodies.”

“A lot of people feel that way.”

“Why can’t we pick when we die?”

“Some people do.  When they don’t want to stay here, they kill themselves.”

“I forgot about that.”

“No one has to stay if they don’t want to.  But nothing can stop death, even someone wants to stay.  If someone is supposed to die, he does.”

“And if he isn’t supposed to die?”

“He won’t.”

“Is it like that for everything?”

“Yes, it’s like that for everything.”

“He never did anything wrong.”

“Death isn’t a punishment, it’s a release.”

“From what?”

“From being here.”

“But he was happy.”

She shrugged.  “That doesn’t matter.”

“We should probably bury him now.”

“I think the hole is deep enough.”

“He was a great parakeet.”

“The very best and he was beautiful too.”

“Should we say something about him?”

“He knew he was well loved.   He got so many kisses and pets every single day and kind word, as well.”

“He did,” said the boy, his voice thick with tears.  “I’ll miss him.”

“I’m sure he will miss you too.”

“Why are we supposed to love things, when they can just be taken away.  That’s mean.”

“Some people stop loving because they are tired of the pain.”

“Like when your brother died?”

“I think I’m going to be one of those people,” she said.  “Love isn’t worth the suffering.”

“Maybe I’ll be one of those people too.  What’s the point, especially when some lives are so short.”

“I think it’s a good decision to skip love and the pain it brings.”

“We can always change our minds when we’re older, I suppose,” he said.

“We can but I’m going to be self sufficient and live alone…entirely alone.  That way I won’t know anyone who can suffer and die.  I won’t have any bunnies or mice, cats or dogs, either.  They always end up dying.”

“Thats true.  Marlene’s hamster died last week and she was out of school for three days.  Her sister said she couldn’t stop crying.”

“So, let’s make a pact,” she said, holding out her hand.  “No love for either one of us.  We can reevaluate when we are twenty-one.  If worst comes to worst we can share an apartment and not love together.”

He pulled out his pocket knife and cut his finger.  She took the knife and did the same. Then they pressed their bloody fingers together and said, “I swear to not break this pact for any reason.”

After Henry was tucked into his cozy silver box and covered with a soft yellow blanket, to compliment the color of his beautiful feathers, he was placed in the ground and covered with soil that was wet with tears.  A lovely pot of yellow daisy was planted over his grave along with a cardboard sign saying:

Here lies the body of
Henry the beloved.
His heart was pure
and he could say
“love you”
so clearly
because he really
meant it

 

 

 

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