I look down at my arm and trace the date that is tattooed there with my finger. “4/5/2018.” I have had the tattoo my entire life. Everyone has one, most of them different, but all of them mean the same thing- the day you die. At least they are supposed mean that. Today is April 6th, 2018. A day after my death date.
No one fears their death date, no one that i know anyway. It’s a nice thing to get to know, you get to plan for it and make all of your arrangements. 3 days ago we had my going away party, i signed all of my belongings away and prepared my burial raft. I boarded it yesterday and prepared myself to leave this life. Yet here I am, a full 24 hours after my death date and still alive. Alone. In the middle of the ocean. On a wooden raft that has a cabin just big enough for my bed. No food, no water, no resources at all, besides a fancy bed and blanket.
I stood up from the bed, and walked out of the cabin and looked out at the unending sea. When you are growing up, they alway talk about how easy and harmless it is when your date comes up. You have your party, take care of your things and board your burial raft. A larger boat drags the raft out to sea, and you are left to pass away in a serene paradise, without others to get in the way of it. I am starting to think, however, that maybe you die from neglect in a wooden prison.
No, that is ridiculous, there is no way that, that is how this works. There is no way that the death date could all be a lie. Why would so many blindly follow something like this if it were not the best way to go? I sit down at the edge of the raft and dangle my feet in the water. A bright orange and green fish comes up to my feet and starts nibbling at my toes. I swing my feet back and forth, and the fish looses interest and swims off, leaving me by myself once again.
The sun was starting to set, sinking beneath the water now and I try to keep my mind from wondering off to a bad place, but it was getting harder and harder to do the longer I am left alone. I just don’t understand what this date on my wrist is supposed to mean. It obviously does not mean my death date, because the day has come and gone and i am still alive. Did i do something in my life that was wrong, did i not live “good” enough? Am i being punished, or perhaps they just read my death wrong. Could they get the dates wrong? I have never heard of them mixing someone’s dates up before, though, i guess, how could I? They send them off on a raft into the middle of the ocean. How would they tell their story?
I look at the tattoo on my arm again, and catch a glimpse of the time. My watch was one one the few things that i had insisted that i take with me. It was one that my grandmother had given me, and i just could not see anyone else getting it. It was a dainty thing, all silver with a small circle for the clock. Around the clock there was rose gold etched, vines that twist and turn all the way around it. I’ve been out here far more than 24 hours. I look back at the time, if i were at home this would be when i would be getting off work and just about to fix dinner. As soon has the word “dinner” left my brain my stomach ached in hunger in return. The raft didn’t have any food on it, why should it, you don’t need any food to die. Dwelling on food is not going to make things better, i might as well go to sleep. Sleep off the hunger, is that a thing? I catch my eyelids getting heavy and my head beginning to droop.
I pull my feet back up on the raft and dried my feet with the hem of my dress. And head off to my bed.
…To be continued