Your morning sun creeps upwards in your sky – like it does for me, at The Beginning. The birds, which were singing so much, in my dawn, just a few of my moments ago, are calming down now around you, in the future.
As you enjoy your clean teeth and the morning light, you realise you have come to love the sunrise, just like me. You wish you could tell me this. Don’t worry – I already know.
At The Beginning, once I stop writing, you will wake in our house for the last time – in your room, next to mine. You will pull on socks and clothes, layering your daytime outfit over your pyjamas – the amount of times I’ve told you not to do that.
You’ll think of me, in the room next to yours, and you’ll enjoy ignoring my imaginary voice in your head. Shrugging in advance, at whatever I might say later – of those things adults say.
You will imagine yourself replying sarcastically, with one of those things children say.
Later, you will regret not listening to my imaginary voice in your head, as you walk six miles – from the crossroads where you are dropped off – sweating hard, in your layers, your pyjamas stuck to you.
Know, at this point, I would say one of the most regular of those things adults say:
“I told you so.”
The midday, midsummer heat will shimmer above the sticky, tarmac road. You will be scorched, as you travel up the centre of the valley. And you will have a little one to carry for the last part of the walk too, remember?
Imagine me now, at The Beginning, shaking my head – knowing this would happen – which I am.
Remember, how I would get, when I would give you a list of all the things you hadn’t listened to me about?
Well, I knew you would regret not charging your phone last night.
I knew, on the journey, you would feel wretched that you can’t text me, or check if you have any messages from me.
When you eventually switch on your phone, you will see After Words.
You will read my story once straight through, then read it again slowly, many times, clicking on all the links.
I’ve tried to stretch time, make ten minutes of the written word speak of a lifetime of me – far away, but also next to you.
I’ve put myself in a story for you, hoping it would help you later. But now you are reading the story, I’m not really in it anymore – you are.
The sun has again risen,
I am letting the light in
This story is like a poem –
It has The Middle,
A looping rhythm, of me and you.
Once upon a future time,
You’ll get lost in your story,
You’ll feel lonely without me,
It’s going to be okay.
You can choose The Beginning,
You can write The Middle, The End,
You let the light in,
On this After Words day.