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Alice

Alice had celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, most likely a Monday. She didn’t really keep track of the days so much anymore. It’s not that she had trouble remembering, it’s just that it simply didn’t matter as each day was more or less the same. The prescribed days of the week did not affect her nearly as much as the weather, an unexpected absence of her caregiver, or some kind of world event that she could view through the television.

It was a Tuesday, and on this particular Tuesday the sun had risen brightly as if it was eager to jump into the day and start chasing the fall chill from the air. Alice could see the brightness of the day peeking into her darkened bedroom through the shades; she knew it was time to get up and begin her morning routine. Little Lulu, the chubby chihuahua, crawled from underneath the blankets and used her small ramp to get off the bed and onto the carpet. Alice slowly sat up, swung her legs over to the side of the bed, and felt for her walker which was waiting as usual to help her through the day.

She shuffled about, careful not to trip on Lulu who was ever so excited for the day and running circles around Alice’s feet, huffing and chuffing with excitement. Perhaps Lulu, too, was aware of the fragility of life and for how many years her great owner had walked the Earth. Lulu knew that every day is precious and she loved Alice more than anything.

Alice made her way to the two windows and lifted the left shade halfway letting in the bright sunlight. When she went to raise the right shade, as she pulled it down it slipped from her fingers and snapped up rolling all the way to the top of the window, at least four or five feet above Alice’s highest reach. The bright sun glared into the room, blinding Alice and knocking her backwards. She tumbled back, tripped on Lulu and started crashing down.

Here she was, falling, falling swiftly and yet somehow everything was in slow motion for Alice. As her eyes burned from the sunlight, she slowly floated backwards knowing that this was the end. Everyone had always said if you want to grow old, just do not fall. The fall sends you to the hospital which sends you to the nursing home, which sends you straight to the end. The sad stories of her friends and peers rattled through her mind causing desperate sorrow that Lulu would no longer have a friend. 100 years of life is simply too many to just flash before your eyes, and so Alice simply thought that she was content. She was content to get here through 100 years, but she had lost so many already and besides leaving Lulu, she was ready to go.

As peace came to Alice’s mind, time returned to normal and she crashed down backwards, landing surprisingly on a very soft and fluffy surface. She had tumbled back upon her very own bed full of pillows and a comforter. She barely even fell over, but just at a strange angle with her back and head askew on the pillows and her feet barely off the floor. It was as if she was doing some form of adapted “old lady yoga.” A true sun salutation, indeed.

Lulu looked up confusedly, but then continued huffing and chuffing in circles, letting Alice know it was really time for breakfast now. Alice’s mind slowly caught up to all that was happening and realized that this day would carry-on quite normally. The sun shone brightly into the room, more brightly than most days when the shade was at its proper place. It lit up an old hanging crystal that Alice had gotten when she was a girl and saved for many years. The sun shone through the crystal and threw tiny rainbows all around the room. Still half on the bed, Alice looked around the room and laughed at the little rainbows twinkling all around her. As she chuckled, she heard the fast footsteps and the subsequent knock of the food delivery driver, the very tall girl who could surely reach the shade and pull it down.

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Author
Rodafina
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