"Ankh" they call it
Death story teller tattoo determines everyone's fate except mine...
I always knew how I was going to die. It was written on my skin from the day I was born. Written in bold, it reminds me of how horrible my death is going to be, each and everyday, each and everytime I look into my right shoulder.
For so long, I thought it was only me who had this tattoo imprinted on. But the day my little brother was born, I have seen a tattoo of him being crashed by a car imprinted on his soft skin. I asked my mom,"Is this thing normal and found on everyone?"
"I never wanted you to know or understand what this was. That's why I never talked to you about it. But once you've asked, then see this.", she said. She then pulled out her right foot and made me see her tattoo. It was a picture of a woman giving birth to a child. I even then didn't understand a thing. I looked up from her foot while at the same time asking, " Is it you giving birth to me or...?" to find her staring to the void, looking to nothing, breathing not.
The tattoo I have, the dreadful tattoo my mom had and the uniquely creepy tattoo everyone has was nothing like I thought but it was the true teller of our death story. A death story no one has the power to change or escape. A death story that shouts out loud our fate. Our fate of living with no life after losing a mother who breathes life even while dying. A fate of my little brother who has never got the chance to see who brought him to life, being alive. Above all, our fate of living with remembrance of our death more than anything and everything else.
I might now have understood why my mom never told me about the tattoo. After knowing the truth at the age of twelve, there hasn't been a single day that I haven't thought about it, until my present age of thirty two. Yes, thirty two bitter years of waiting for my death. This would have been the perfect description of my life, if a staggering incident hadn't happened in one of the days.
It was on a dark cold time of a summer night. While staring mindlessly through the window of my room, the wide cemetery right in front of our house, with dried flowers and wreaths, suddenly glowed then dimmed. It ws so quick and sudden that I hardly noticed it. Eager to know what it was, I woke my brother up and we went down to the cemetery. We walked warily into the darkness. Me brother whispered, "Let's get back! This is awful!". I told him to be patient to know what's there to be known.
All of a sudden, a voice started speaking abruptly out of the blue. "WELCOME", said the booming voice. "Welcome to the home of the dead. Dead shall everyone be one day from the days. Known death doesn't mean known destiny. Come closer...allow me tell you what I know...allow me make destinies known." The voice repeated these words again and again nonstop. My brother and I stared to each other, then on the spur of the moment, he was running home. "Stop! Wait!" I shouted. The next thing I've heard is tyre screeching, deafening thud and glass shattering. "NO!...Nooooo...!", I screamed .
Looking at my little brother who was covered with blood, not moving or even breathing, I was hollering, yelling and bowling. The voice came back again and told me to move away. No human or any creature was on sight. However, I could hear the voice in a closer distance than before.
"You made me lose my dear brother. It's all your fault.", I cried. "No, I was only going to help you and I still am going to help.", it replied.
"Well, I want you to stop this dreadful tattoo from being imprinted on newborns after now on. All I've lost, is because of it."
"Sorry, I can't. The most I can do is exchange it with the dead."
"With the dead?"
"Yeah, show me your tattoo and I'll let you choose the less terrible death. I'll let you not only know but also choose your destiny. A little bit of glow will flicker then it's done."
Taking off my shirt, I told the voice that it was a picture of being hung on a rope. Staring at my tattoo which I until today doubt the real meaning of, I streched my arm out for the voice to see. A loud laughter followed my words.
"Ha..ha...ha..ha, this is not a picture of a person hanging on a rope. It is a symbolic cross with a loop at the top - 'Ankh' they call it. The symbol has a meaning of 'eternal life'. Life with no death to taste.", the voice acknowledged.
Eternity with no life is what I call my life after losing everything dear to me. Eternity sounds shorter than a day and longer eternity itself when live alone. Unpleasant it is. Unhappy I am. Lifeless my living appears to be.