But an afterlife disappeared along with my God, and suddenly time is flowing through my fingers too fast. Here I am with everything I ever wanted: a seemingly happy marriage, two perfect healthy children, a comfortable first-world life. Yet I'm haunted by lives not lived and all the world's mysteries never to be revealed. If these seventy-plus years are all we get, I've missed so much already.
Work fills our days, cleaning and nursing and changing diapers our nights. Wringing the last drops of energy out of our exhausted bodies just to spend a few minutes having a real conversation, sharing a sleepy kiss. Passion and connection put off until a tomorrow which never comes. I wonder if we'll even know each other anymore when we're finally alone together again.
When I think about dying with so much of the world unexplored, so little time spent on what really matters, I feel a thickness choking my throat, a steadily building terror. I want to run, just leave everything behind me and circle the globe, clutch life by the collar while there's still time. There must be a way out, a way to fit everything I've missed into the few decades I have left.
Then Sass runs over to me, her pigtails tilting as she tugs at my pant leg. "Mama?" she whispers, and I turn to see Little Man peering over Jay's shoulder, his soft downy head bobbing as he coos at me.
If this is all there is, it's enough.
Fastball - The Way
I wrote this for a Write on Edge prompt asking us for 350 words in any genre, as inspired by a song of our choice.