Q storms back home in a rage.
“I told her she’s a bitch”, he says. “Total bitch.”
“We had an argument.”
“I know, right! She can’t keep her mouth shut. Well, neither can I. Who cares if she lives or dies…”
That’s a bit extreme, no?
“P, what IS wrong with you, ya! Can’t you understand we had an argument and she was wrong!”
Q, you know what, P says gravely. There’s something you don’t know about her.
“What?” Still aggressive, still I-don’t-care.
Tell me, would you feel the same way if I told you she could die any minute? It’s rather uncertain…
“No way! For real?”
Really. Apparently, there’s no guarantee she’ll make it for a week, even a day or two. The verdict is sort of like, good if she lasts as long as she lasts, but don’t expect her to live a long life necessarily.
“Shit! How, when, whaaa-”
Oh, for a while now! I thought you knew, says P and goes back to washing a tea cup.
“But what is it? What does she have?” Genuine shock. Repercussions hitting home. Regret. “And why didn’t someone tell me this well in advance?! Holy crap… SHIT man. I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have said any of it. You, P! Why didn’t you tell me?!!”
But you already know that, Q.
“No I did not too! How in hell was I supposed to know she could DIE any day?”
Because so can you. And so can I. And, therefore, so can she. Life, it seems, does not come with a guarantee card for X years.
No, don’t scoff, Q… or R or whoever you are. Never scoff at the truth.
Life is a bit unpredictable that way, meri jaan. And the basic facts we learnt back in childhood? Pretty damn true. This minute could be just about anyone’s last. It’s a game of chance and no one volunteers to die NOW, so we all drew straws. And ours say we didn’t have to go yesterday, so we’re around today.
What this does NOT mean is that we’ll be around tomorrow for sure.
This is true of her (the one you argued with yesterday), him (the one you’re always telling yourself you should call, but keep putting off) and him, her, her, him and him (all the people you mean to say sorry to, thank, gift something to, hug, have a beer with, travel to Africa with. Every last one of them.
What this does also NOT mean is that you should give all you have away and anticipate death any second. But live with no regrets – or at least as few as humanly possible. That’s good enough… that seems to be tough enough.
Tomorrow is a bit choosy and temperamental. May arrive. May not arrive.
… Go on, stop reading this and go do whatever you’ve always been planning to. Oh, and do it TODAY.