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Our Days Are Numbered

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

By, Wendiann Alfieri

This is one I wrote like two or three years ago. It’s not written well, in fact after I wrote it I didn’t even want to edit. Because no matter how people react to the topic this was One I couldn’t edit because I was so different when I wrote it. I believe that this was written based on emotions I don't even know how to categorize. If reading it over made ME, the author feel so gut wrenched well then I hope it makes you feel the same way, if it’s a worthy story anyway. Sometimes as a writer you have to take risks. If posting this is a risk then so be it. I hope it gives you, the reader, something to think about


* this story involves suicide, but in no way did the author mean ro glorify or encourage suicide. If you are suicidal and need help please call 911 or a Suicide prevention hotline**

Title: Our Days Are Numbered

Missy: I couldn't wait for the world , I just wanted my day to come. My birthday had passed and I had turned 13 but I wanted my prize( for choosing) to come sooner than it was coming.

Sadie: when I got the email I was shocked. 12? This girl was 12? And she had chosen already? My manager had already said yes, and I knew as a musician that was just becoming popular, I should expect this. My mom had told me that children's last requests after choosing were often meeting their idol, and as a semi- popular artist I'd probably be getting a lot of these kinds of emails, I didn't believe her I really didn't want to believe her because I wrote music to stop this thing and didn't even consider I'd be on a kids last wishes list. But what could I do? Say no? It's a last request, I couldn't say no. It was morally wrong. And looking closely at the email I noticed something I didn't notice originally. She wanted to meet me the day before, at the meal. She wanted me to have a last meal with her. And my mistake, by now she was probably 13. Oh , god

Missy: my parents  were very different after I came home from school. I saw the look on their faces and knew that the school counselor must have called them to let them know I had chosen. I knew that, the counselor told me they'd have to call to tell my parents I was considering. But what they said I had to tell them myself was if I had sent in the application, and, that it was approved. Like my dad would say, " it's a done deal". I really felt sad , (a sad puppy as my mom would call it) having to tell them I sent in the form. But I didn't feel sad about actually doing it, I felt sad that I had to be the one to tell my parents. Besides that I was really happy. I'd finally be able to meet Sadie Sakins, my favorite songwriter! She was my idol with her bright pink hair and " screw you" attitude. And she'd be joining me and my family for a nice dinner and we could gossip all night long until it was time to go to sleep. It was my parents job for that part , specifically my dad, because my mom wouldn't be very capable of doing that. I also had a secret promise I made with god right after submitting my form...

Sadie: the next day after receiving the email, I confronted my manager. I walked up to his place, which was two miles away from me and my moms place, and arrived at seven am. We were supposed to meet at the studio at nine, but I thought I'd get a head start.  I had left a note for my mom so she wouldn't think I'd gone crazy again. But then again, maybe I have. He didn't notice me standing by the door when he walked out, of course, cause I was on the side where he wouldn't see me. But when I called out his name( Jones) he immediately turned around. " Sadie, what the fuck?" Cause me and my manager had that kind of relationship, it was none of that ," oh Sadie how nice to see you! What are you doing at my house at this early hour, may I ask?" bullshit. It was always , as expected , a "sadie , what the fuck?" , or a " Jones you fucking asshole".  I think anyone would have responded " Sadie what the fuck?" In this situation, though. So I replied in a way I knew would let him know something was seriously wrong.  " oh Jones my dear fellow, so lucky I caught you out here!"

" sadie what's wrong?"

" oh I was just in the neighborhood"

" okay, but why are you outside of my house at 7:30 in the morning?"

( I could tell at this point he was using a cautious tone)

" just out for a morning run!"

" in your Spiderman pajamas?"

" I may need a ride"

" Sadie I don't think your safe to take with ..."

" just let me get in the fucking car"

He nodded

Missy: it was the day after my I had told my parents. I had not told them what my last request was though, or that Sadie's manager had said yes. My mom didn't really approve of Sadie's music. Neither did my dad. But I was hoping that today , a brand new day, that I could tell them. No one mentioned my recent birthday or that I had sent the form a couple months before, along with the last request that me and my counselor had sent to Sadie's manager. But of course, as the rules go, until the form is approved the last request can be neither denied or accepted. It was also known that last requests can't always be carried out, say if it's a crazy hard to achieve thing or if the person you want to meet says no. But I knew Sadie would say yes I just knew it! Or rather, her manager said yes. What if Sadie said no? No, she wouldn't say no, would she?  My nerves got really high but eventually I told my parents. Their complacent smiles were all I needed to feel better. But none of that mattered as long as god could fulfill my one selfish request for my soul: to fly.

Sadie: we were oddly, or not so oddly considering the situation, quiet on the way to the studio , our usual meeting place. When we arrived we went to our usual meeting spot , my mom was already there. " Hi Jones! How are you today? Gosh, work was so busy yesterday, so many requests to try and fulfill! Speaking of requests, Sadie here tells me she got your email about Missy, which is why we're here , so let's get to it!"

" Ms. Sakins, Sadie showed up at my house and demanded a ride. I think this takes precedence"

Me and my mom got quiet. Jones was never this polite to anyone. The meeting consisted mostly of Jones and mom discussing when the last time I talked to my psychiatrist was, how I had been doing so much better, then my mom said something utterly horrible to me,( but with today's society it was by no means horrible), she said this, and I quote, " Sadie , if you'd applied at sixteen like the doctor suggested, you could have been happy"

At this point , I flipped. She knew my position on that, I didn't agree with it. She knew how hard I had worked to become twenty - three years old , and she knew I knew perfectly well the last possible year to apply was sixteen. But I got up and threw a fIt. " How could you say that to me? How? If I'd applied, what would've happened? You would've tried to get me a great last request? And then I'd go to sleep? You know as the only living parent you'd have to do that! Dad isn't here anymore! What, if I'd applied you would have gotten a do over? Start a new family and life after having lost everyone?"

Mom got condescendingly quiet.

" You know, I don't understand why you're so against it. Don't you realize accepting this last request from this Missy child is supporting it?"

The next few seconds consisted of a glaring contest.

" Sadie..." Jones trailed off.

" Well then. Are you going to accept it, or are you going to deny it because of your... beliefs?" My mom said giving me an ultimatum.

" Yes, I accept it" I said, no hesitation required

As much as I didn't agree with choosing, I wouldn't ever deny this poor child a dream come true, I just had to work on making it a good one.

" Jones, I have an idea"

" what is it , Sadie?"

" what about a farewell concert?"

" like a big one?"

" no, a private concert. With songs written for this girl"

" But we don't know this child," That was my mom

" Trust me mom, I don't have to know her to understand how painful this must be for her"

My mom made a " hmmph" sound

Missy: I had the date marked in my calendar . Two months from today was the day. April 13th. Huh. Some people think thirteen is an unlucky number, but it's lucky to me! Finally one day I can be free, and that day was two months away. But I could feel the doubt creeping in. I know , though, that the counselor said this was normal, and yes, I knew there's no going back from an application. But what was important to me was getting some , as the counselor called it, " final closure" (whatever that means) with my friends. Not that I had many in the first place. It was required that I go to school up until the last two weeks of my time here. The counselor said it was important to get an education even if I didn't think I needed it because who knows what will happen on the other side. I was also required to go to a doctor to assess if I was healthy enough to make my own decisions, both mentally and physically. They are called Last Time Doctors. Or LTDs, and many kids at my school liked to joke about how it sounds like STDs. My parents weren't too happy when I learned all about that sex stuff when I was nine , they said nine was too young an age to learn all this and back in their day yadda yadda yadda. My school said it was important to learn this stuff at a young age since the world was very dangerous back in the day and that people had learned from their mistakes by not teaching their children about stranger danger. But anyway, that day was a strange day, because after I got dressed for my first day back to school as an " Official" or as the kids called it, " Officially Gone"  , I felt weird. I knew people would probably know by then, even though I hadn't told any friends, I thought everyone already knew because Jackie Jeggs saw me come out of the counselors office after school. The counselors usually pick a time to meet with applicants after school, particularly on a day when there aren't any other kids around, they try to keep it very private, they thought it was important that us applicants would tell people on our own agenda. But there's this thing called rumors and the counselors can't stop that, and Jackie Jeggs had a big mouth. So as I had gotten onto the bus, the whole bus got silent. I went to sit with my best friend in the front seat, Gabby. She let me sit next to her but didn't say a word. That's when I started to feel it. The doubts. It was very possible that she'd never speak to me again. I tried to remember all the good times we'd had, but it was all too clear. Karaoke sleepovers, singing loudly at midnight while my parents slept and pretended not to hear how badly our voices were. Potato Wednesdays, because one time Gabby called me a couch potato so I went to school the next day with a shirt that I had in the back of my closet, a cartoon potato waving. Gabby found the same shirt online or something and we started to wear the matching t-shirts every Wednesday. Sharing my deepest darkest secrets, things I never told anyone( like how I always cried at night, or my nightmares, or how I sleepwalked a lot)( most of my secrets come out at night) Now she refused to look at me. Eventually though, we landed up at school and when I got out of the bus I heard her walking behind me. I turned around when I heard the start of a sob. I walked over to her , seeing Gabby with her head down was weird. This was a role reversal, I felt confident and Gabby was sad and silent. I walked over to her. People were starting to stare. They know, I thought, they know

Sadie: After the meeting, I went with my mom to her car. We actually did come up with some good ideas for songs and concert locations. After my somewhat- popular album " Lay me down" was released I had gained a subtle fan base. It was subtle but it was there. And I was afraid but happy. Afraid for the kids. Like previously mentioned, I didn't agree with the decision to become an applicant... no that's wrong. Die. No, " die" is to soft a word. " murder" yeah that's right, murder kids. I didn't agree with it. It was all an illusion the special treatment, the rewards, everything, probably just for some stupid population thing. Your not allowed to kill yourself past sixteen it's illegal, your family friends and/ or spouse would be severely impacted and fined if you did. I think it's a ridiculous ploy, and when I had my breakdown at fifteen they kept presenting the option of being an applicant, like it would help. I refused and was okay till seventeen, when my mom found me with a knife on the bathroom floor. She had screamed that if I had tried to kill myself and didn't succeed then I would end up in prison and she'd end up with a fine either way. When her scare tactic didn't work, she cried and said she was sorry, that I had missed my chance and it was too late now and she knew it hurt but I had to push through. I'd gotten a lot of help after that , therapy meds etc. But when I started writing songs at eighteen it all changed. I felt so happy , and at twenty- one I made my first record. I vowed that one day I would encourage kids to push through and somehow get them the help I got when I was seventeen, that it wasn't too late. My music was that outlet. But now that all turned to bite me in the ass.

Missy: I walked over to her. And she looked up. And she punched me right in the jaw. I fell to the ground. This wasn't an angry slap across the face, no, this was a Go- to - hell sock right in the jaw. I was on the ground when I heard the silence. " How could you do this?" I heard Gabby shout. How could I? It's to help me, not hurt me. But Gabby obviously didn't understand so I kept quiet. I looked up from the ground and saw how everyone seemed to have disappeared. That was when my counselor ran over and told Gabby to calm down, and soon a hand reached out to me to help me off the ground. I took the counselors hand, and she took me to the nurse. A second counselor  had talked to Gabby telling her she needs to go to the principals office. Gabby was quiet then.

Sadie: we were quiet for about the two seconds it took for the car to start. Then we blew up at each other. Screaming words that neither of us meant, and screaming words that we did mean, neither of us able to tell the difference we were too busy getting our two cents in. I decided that I should listen to my mom and so I got quiet and it was just her. Finally I could hear what she was saying. " Sadie I love you! I just wanted what was best for you, it has nothing to do with do overs or a fresh start for myself I just want to help!" If she wasn't screaming this might have been a good sentiment. She looked at me when she realized I wasn't screaming back. We both looked at each other. Then I started to cry.

Missy: I sat with an ice pack in the nurses office. I was told that after Gabby met with the principal we were both to report to the counselors office. The nurse kept checking on me, asking who my LTD was. I told her I didn't know yet. She kept checking my temperature. I felt the doubt creep in again, telling me that it's only now that I'm supposed to die that they care if I'm healthy. Uh oh. I thought of it as dying, and that's a bad sign for an Official. I've heard the horror stories of kids like me resisting the process after their last request is filled. It's rare for that to happen though, it happened a lot in the early days as I learned in history class. I call the nurses name. She came right over. " What is it , Missy?" " I think I have a problem"

" what's the problem?" She said. " I'm having doubts" .  She nods and headed over to call the counselor . I take the ice pack off my head and put it on the chair next to me. And so it began .

Sadie: when we got home I darted in the house , just barely heard my mom shout for me to take my meds. Yeah okay mom. I'm twenty three years old and she still thought she had to remind me. She sounded so cheery too, I guess since we had both apologized to each other after me bursting into tears. I grabbed a ham sandwich from the fridge and scarfed it down while my mom had just entered the kitchen. I looked at her. " What is it Sadie?" My mom asked kindly. I wondered how we could go from zero to a hundred getting - along- together points, but I had learned from the past that I should enjoy it while it lasted. So I pretended. Just how we were always pretending suicide was okay. " Mom, I was wondering... can you find out more about this Missy kid? I want to plan her songs for her concert" I didn't know this Missy kid, but let it all go to hell if I didn't help her go out with a bang.

Missy: I entered the counselors office, and passed right past Gabbys chair which was right outside counselor Davi's office. I walked into Davi' s office with my head down. I quietly shut the door behind me , and Davi looked at me. " So it seems that we are in a retaliation stage here, Missy," she said. " what does that mean?" Davi smiled, she always was patient with me and my ridiculous questions although she never ever thought they were ridiculous. " It means your friends have begun to be in denial about your status , as an Official, and according to the rules, what your friend Gabby did was highly unacceptable and looked down upon. She will receive three weeks worth of detention" I stared at Davi. " So no suspension?" I felt relieved and upset all at once. " Nope no suspension, we think it is appropriate that she remain in your life for the remaining period you will be here at school, and also Missy, why did you tell your friends so early on? You know that was ill advised" I shrugged and mumbled " Jackie saw me here after school one day" " what did you say, Missy?" "I said Jackie Jeggs saw me here after school! She's got such a big mouth!" Davi looked to the side and nodded. " Anyway , Missy, I hear your having some doubts. I encourage you to talk about them, it will help you part ways with your old self and be ready to move onto bigger and better things. But of course, you don't have to tell me. You are , however, required to talk to your LTD about it, and don't worry, I had a long talk with your parents about who that should be" I looked up. " You talked to my parents?" " yes I did. I informed them of today's incident and I talked to them last night about who your LTD should be. We agreed on Doctor Tomas" I breathed out a sigh of relief. I knew doctor Tomas. He was a good doctor. He worked at my regular doctors office in the LTD department.

" so about those doubts..." Davi waited patiently. " I just... I don't know Davi. Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe I'm not ready to leave. And today sure showed that, I can't leave my friends and family like this. I don't want my last memory to be of their disappointed faces. They're always so disappointed, in everything I do. Gabby used to never be disappointed, but now she's on the same boat my parents were on. WERE. Now they're all nice and kind to me. And Gabbys not. It's a total role reversal, I'm the ring leader but I can't tell if the audience is cheering or booing" I looked down at my lap as I chewed my fingernail.  After a long pause, Davi sighed. " Oh, Missy, I understand. It's like this for a lot of kids your age, but I want you to know, a lot of kids go through this" " even if they're not an Official?" I asked. She nodded. " but think of it this way Missy, your friends and family know Time is limited so sure they may be different but soon they will come to terms with the fact that they need to enjoy family and friend time now. And maybe not all problems will work out in the end, but at least there will be some closure" there that word was again, closure. I still wasn't sure what she meant by it, but I trusted Davi. " you'll figure out what you need to figure out, Missy. Now let's bring in Gabby"

Sadie: I was up all night that night, and after all the writing and knock knock knocking on my door by my mom, I had finally written a song for this Missy kid. I had done it.

Missy: After we all met together, the two months seemed to fly by. At first, I was bullied at school but Gabby helped me out. It was weird because after that day we never spoke about her punching me. She helped me report the bullying to the principal and after school we walked home together every day. We both got out at the same time because I met with my counselor and she had detention, and when her detention was over she stayed after school anyway for art club. She always made me the most beautiful pictures and I hung them all around my room. My parents were always cautious around me, like I was a ticking time bomb, and in a way I was. My parents also had been setting up this last request thing like crazy. They told me I couldn't have Gabby over for the last meal so we all ate together two nights before April 13th. It was a nice meal but everyone was crying, and not holding back, and you know what? I liked them crying. It felt good to be cried for. Before I knew it it was the day. I woke up with a start and a deep long breath. This is it

Sadie: I arrived at Missy's house an hour early to set up. Her parents were there to greet me and were very kind. I could tell they loved Missy. They had said that missy and her friend Gabby were ice skating as a last time spent together event. " so she's with friends?" Her parents exchanged a look. " friend" her mom corrected. " we were trying to get her to make more friends but now we'll just have to hope she does once she's on the other side" her mom smiled a sad smile. " so we'll have to do you to leave around ten pm,thats when Dr Tomas arrives to help Ben," she nodded to her husband, " set up for the procedure. So , um, Sadie , your mother is here?" " she's around the corner at a coffee shop, she said to text her when , uh..." I trailed off. Missy's mom nodded. " of course" she said. I chatted with Missy's parents while I set up the speakers and cords in their living room. They were really nice people. When six pm rolled around we all were waiting for Missy. When we heard the doorbell we all jumped. When missy came in, and she looked at me, with big brown puppy dog eyes, her whole face lit up. She ran over and hugged me. At this point I had to excuse myself to the bathroom so I could cry. Why was I doing this? Didn't I hate this concept? Why was I endorsing it? Couldn't I have done something, protested, write a letter, something? I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath as I heard the knocking and Missy's mom declare it was time for dinner. Showtime.

Missy: it was a pleasure to meet Sadie. We sat down to my last meal and Sadie laughed when I said I had chosen a simple stupid pizza. " stupid?" She asked " in no way is pizza ever stupid!" As we snacked on garlic knots and pizza, I couldn't help but notice how formal my parents were compared to Sadie . Sadie was down to earth and honest and I could tell from her face she was trying her hardest not to curse. When seven o clock rolled around, Sadie said it was time for her performance. " what song is it?" I asked. " lay me down? Or ' pick the pieces up'? I love pick the pieces up! It's such a good song!" I exclaimed. She got quiet. She shook her head and got ready.  When she was all prepared ( with a microphone speaker ready!) she turned the microphone on and stood there awkwardly. She didn't have any instruments, just a microphone and speaker. She took a breath, closed her eyes, and started to sing.

" Oh sweet mother who gave me birth

Looks like you've landed a first

A perfect child

To hold in your arms

But my oh my

It looks like she's gone

She's evolved

Into someone else

A different person

On society's shelf

So cheers to the old times

Cheers to the bad

Cheers to the first times I never had

We raise our glasses

High in the sky

Now it's time for our birdie to fly

Oh great dad, so strong and proud

You have a child

Who has spoken so loud

A silent cry

As the night nears an end

We will always be here

So cheers to the old times

Cheers to the bad

Cheers to the first times I never had

We raise our glasses

High in the sky

Now it's time for our birdie to fly"

She finished the song on a high note. Me , and only me, stood up to clap. My parents smiled and got up to clap too. Soon she was cleaning up equipment, my parents told me she could stay till ten but it appeared she didn't plan on sticking around. Just like me. She left as soon as she came and soon Dr. Tomas arrived. I got up and gave my mom one last hug, and we went into my bedroom. I was lying down as dr Tomas inserted the needle and my dad was holding my hand and I kept thinking, now it's time for our birdie to fly, as the colors around me blended I know the last thing I saw was one of Gabbys paintings of a tree person

Sadie: on the ride back to my house, me and my mom were quiet, the whole ride back. I couldn't stop the tears. Years later I could never stop the tears.

The End

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