She Said, She Said

She said, “You joke about it a lot, but do you realise that you could have died?”
She said, “I never thought of dying.”
She said, “Maybe not coherently but emotions have memory. You might have not thought of death, but you felt it.”
She said, “I never thought of it that way. Although, now you mention it, I suppose I always come back to one moment: the flames had wrapped themselves around me like a fiery corset. I could feel them lick my neck. No one was moving. Not even me, not anymore. The world had gone silent. I saw Hope staring at me. I remember thinking, There’s nothing I can do. This is it. I didn’t think of dying, I just couldn’t see a future where I wasn’t on fire. Then I closed my eyes and slumped to the floor. That’s when they were able to put it out. But I never thought I could die.”
She said, “Perhaps the idea is too scary but, ultimately, you faced your own mortality. And you are allowed to treat it like a big deal. You are allowed to take care of yourself.”
She said, “Oh.”


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

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