I used to be fearless. I used to laugh at death. I used to invite death to come to me. I courted death and dared it to come to me. I was young, and I felt invincible.

I did all the foolish things fearless young people do. I drove like a maniac, drank like a sailor, smoked like a chimney, and partied like crazy. I had no fear. I thought I was going to live forever.

I never feared for myself. I had nothing to live for. Nothing to be afraid of. If I was going to die, I was going to die. I accepted completely that death was out of my control. People afraid of death are people afraid of living. I could spend my whole life cowering in a corner and still be struck by lightning. Or I could dance in the rain and laugh while lightning crashed around me.

And then my son was born. And then I knew fear.

And I was reminded of the protagonist in my unfinished story saying to his wife:

“Look for it in the eye of a storm. In that calm, seek it. I’ve stared death in the face and longed to sleep with it many times. But death is a fickle lover. It’ll sleep with those not in love with it. So if you wanna live, you must love death.”

and years later, the following conversation takes place:

Boy: Mama, how do you become an Empath?

Woman: It’s a long story son – but you’re part of that story. And I hope someday you’ll come to see your father in a good light.

Boy: Why Mama, where is Papa?

Woman: Death has finally fallen in love with him, son. He took one look at you and his heart came to life. He started wanting to live. And that’s the most surefire way to get death to notice you, you see?

About Jao

freelance writer, daydreamer, aspiring filmmaker, voracious reader, internet addict, incorrigible procrastinator.
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