• Raji Writes

If the World Ended Tonight


So this is it, it seems. In the time that remains, I want to see smiles, as many as I can. On the two faces that I love the most: daughter, mother. The children smiling. All the children. Smiles on people that I'm looking at in photos or videos. The phones have stopped working and I can't call any of them. Oh, here's one: my daughter as a baby, sitting in her high chair, wearing a footed and toed onesie, yellow with white polka dots, a peach bib with white piping fastened behind her neck. She holds a small spoon with a red plastic handle in a fist, banging the tabletop. She is not angry, just curious to hear the sound. She is sleeping now, eyes lightly shut, lips slightly parted. Before she slept I told her I love her as I do every night. Here's another: my mother's smile lighting up the world. Her head is thrown back. I can hear her laugh, loud, open and infectious. And the other children. Here's my brother as a child, holding my hand, smiling at the camera. I stand next to him, having sneaked a look to see how he stood, how he placed his hands, trying to copy him exactly. And here, from many years later, nephew and niece -- children of my brother. She is posing for the camera, playful and smiling with her six-year-old exuberance. He, a few years older, his smile wide but a little shy. I fill my heart with the love I have for them, with their images. I go back to my sleeping daughter, hold her in my arms and close my eyes. If I am not to awaken again, let me die with love in my heart.


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