Thawsan t1_j6jrsbw wrote

"The first thing you'll notice is the sound." She said. "There will be none. Or rather, you'll think there's nothing. But that's only because you're still on this side of the world." She looked up at the white tile ceiling, gaining composure as she continued. "The closer you get to the other side, the clearer you will hear it. It won't get any louder, you'll just be able to make it out better as you move."

His blue eyes shined brighter than they ever had when he wasn't sick. He was staring up at her as she spoke, "What will I hear?" He asked.

"Everything." She responded. "Life is too big, too complicated for us to see how it works, but we can hear it. When the time is right." She gripped his hand even harder. "You'll hear about everything you've done in ways you've never thought of. All of the good you've accomplished, all of the lives you've affected, all of the changes you've contributed to the world."

He laughed, "Because that list is huge for somebody like me." He looked down at himself. She turned and shot him a deep gaze, not of anger or frustration, but one that a teacher might give their promising pupil.

"But it is." She said, "Every person you've ever given directions to on the street. Every bug you stepped around instead of on. Every hurting soul that you took the time to say 'hi' to in public, whether you knew they were hurting or not." He turned and returned her gaze, thinking about what she said.

She continued on, "The moments you took to play into a children's game, all of the customers you sold to, every person you played alongside in online games for no more than a few minutes, every question you asked in class that others were too afraid to." She could see his eyes as he thought about the words that left her mouth.

"Life isn't about the hit novel you succeeded or failed to publish, or the Supreme Court case you did or didn't argue. It's doesn't matter if you were a president or a famous director or a global philanthropist." Tears began to form in her eyes, "None of that is what matters in the end."

He began to tear up alongside her as she continued, "It's about the sweet 70-year old Grandmother looking after her grandchild who remembers the kind young man who assisted her with navigating a confusing website. It's about the old man who never forgot the adult stranger that played along with his medieval speaking game when he was just a toddler, a moment he thinks about when he plays with his own children. It's about the barista who you told had nice hair, which was the first compliment that had received in a long time, a moment that became a bright spot in their life they turned around."

"And you'll hear all of it, all at once." She spoke as her voice began to break, "It may seem like a lot, but it won't feel like it, not when it's happening." She gripped his hand even tighter as his own grip loosened, "In what feels like moments, you'll feel your mind expand as the universe thanks you for what you've done, for the moments and happiness you've created. It thanks you by showing you what you've done." She spoke through a tight throat and a stuffing nose, "It'll sound like a song as you pass along, the most beautiful song ever composed. A song that helps you find peace."

Tears were streaming down her face now as the time between beeps grew longer. Suddenly, he gripped her hand tightly. She looked up and met his gaze. Nothing else mattered but his eyes, his bright blue eyes that seemed to shine despite the lack of natural light. She could see nothing except the appreciation and thoughtfulness that sat just behind his gaze.

In that moment, nothing else mattered as he held her hand tight.

Then he spoke,

"I can hear it."


Author's note: I can't believe you've done this, u/katkaneki . I don't know what's happening or where you are, but I'm thinking about you. Because of you, I've written something that I am proud of and I feel grateful for. I really hope, if this isn't just a prompt, that you find what you're looking for, whatever that is. But I also hope you understand that my life is this much better because you took the time to post the prompt. I would not have written this or felt this way unless you had taken the time to post this. Thank you.


Thawsan t1_j0a81lo wrote

Does it make me a psychopath to admit that the first thought to cross my mind upon hearing of my Nan's death was to explore the attic?

No grief.

No mourning.

No crying.

Just curiosity.

I certainly feel like a psychopath. I don't know why those feelings didn't creep in. I loved my Nan. She took me in from birth, raised me, guided me, she is the reason I am who I am and the reason that everyone who knows me feels the way they do about me. She made me.

I should be wailing in my bedroom. I should be stricken with grief. I should be sobbing myself dry. I feel like I should want to do all of those things. But, for some reason, I'm just curious.

Nan's attic has been a mystery for as long as I've been alive. Her greatest treasure, hidden away just above my head. I'd often lay awake as a child, I'd dream of gold coins, of bounty from lands afar, or of ancient treasures from deep below.

As a I grew older, I thought of photo albums, old and irreplaceable documents, of letters from those gone too soon. Items that were sentimental to me, much like my Mother's letter to me or a photo album of my family from long ago.

Now, here I stand, at the top of the ladder, unfeeling but wanting, looking into the darkness of the old attic.

The dusty lightbulb hung above my head, with the chain dangling lowly and softly by my head. Without looking, I reached my hand up and pulled. A dim, warm light filled the area around me. I could see the wooden support beams and nails sticking through the top, holding the roof tiles on. I could see the pink fiberglass insulation that caused childhood pain around the ground. There was the AC unit sitting on a plywood walkway, acting as the desire path of the land, just sturdy enough to support me.

I stood onto the plywood from the ladder. I had to bend over to avoid hitting my head on the roof. It was low, it was dank. I took a step forward toward the A/C unit and looked around. Just ahead, 5 or so steps, I could see the light reflecting back at me. It was another lightbulb.

I moved to it, keeping low, going around the A/C. I stood beside it and pulled. Another dim blast of light. I examined my surroundings once again, but saw nothing.

Then, at the back wall, another reflection. Another light?


I stepped toward the reflection. Then stopped. Movement? My heart skipped a beat for a second, I waited and watched, but saw nothing else.

I took another step and again, movement from the back wall.

I took two more steps, still crouched when my shoulder tapped something. Dangling. Another lightbulb. Without thinking, I reached up and pulled.

The dim light of the three bulbs was enough to now illuminate the whole of this tiny attic. And there was nothing. Nothing but fiberglass, roof nails, lightbulbs, the A/C...

...and this mirror.

I saw myself in the mirror. My hair was disheveled and clothes wrinkled. My eyes looked dark and baggy and my face tired. If Nan saw me right now, I'd get an earful.

If Nan saw me right now, she'd be worried sick.

If Nan saw me right now, she'd take care of me against my wishes, her tender care.

If Nan saw me right now....

I don't know why now, I don't know why here, but seeing myself and thinking of Nan, it hit me.



Tears. Heavy, endless, sad tears.

The mirror. Her greatest treasure. It's not the mirror, it's what's in the mirror.

My bum hit the plywood floor as my hands caught my falling head, dripping, soaked with sadness. I felt everything.

I miss my Nan. I love my Nan.