This piece was written as an exercise for my writing club, Bogota Writer’s Group last spring. The prompts were centered around different types of kisses. I was asked to write no more than 400 words about a “kiss on the forehead”. Around this time, I also experienced loss. 2 times in one month. One expected, the other not so much. I was in the middle of exploring these feelings about death and what it means. How it would feel to know you were about to leave this earth and how your loved ones might feel. While it’s a bit sad, it’s a notable and inevitable part of life. I hope you enjoy this piece. I hope it makes you appreciate your time with others.
Kiss On the Forehead
I’m sick. I’m sick and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. We even paid people to make me better but they say it was “too advanced”. Now I have to stay here and lay low for about three months, maybe four, until it’s all over.
My cousin asked if I’m scared, but honestly, I’m just pissed off. I don’t show it though. I want them to remember my smile. I had a lot of work left to do. Now I can’t do any of it. I quit my job last month. What’s the point of working for a pension when you can’t even spend it? I was also training for a marathon. It was something I never got to do. Sometimes, when my husband is at work, I sneak out and run a few miles. They don’t advise it, but they don’t advise against it and anyway, it makes me feel alive. I figure, that’s the most important thing right now. Feeling alive. I don’t have many more moments to do so.
I looked at the calendar to see when three months was. September 24. It’s not that far off. Twelve weeks, sixteen if I’m lucky. I remember when I was a kid, I used to think that the summer months were an eternity. Endless hours of sun, of swimming in the pool, of going to bed late. School felt years away. It wasn’t until I was older, maybe 27, and with a job that I realized, summer is just three months. Same as three months in the spring, or in the fall. They go by fast, regardless of where they are in the year.
I decided to use my last three months to cook for my husband. To spend Sunday evenings with the kids on the dock. I don’t want to exhaust Paul with trips to the clinic. He says it’s fine, but I can see soft wrinkles starting to frame his beautiful eyes. I think we’ll take a trip, just the two of us before September. And then another with the kids. One time, I heard him crying in the garage. He hadn’t realized that I heard, but when he came back to the kitchen, I gently kissed his forehead. That used to be our thing, when we first met. It always makes us feel better. Safe and at home. Home is with him. And I hope he knows that I’ll always be home for him