o n e

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I wasn't dying if that was what you were thinking.

I may act like it, and anyone who saw my life would probably think of it as the closest thing to death, but I wasn't dying. But it may as well be like death.

I always kept to myself. Barely spoke to another person unless I absolutely necessary. I was, and still am, distant. Always preoccupied with something, and if I weren't, I'd find something to do that'd let me stay home or somewhere where I can be alone and shut the world out.

My best friend, Mia, told me that most people at school would describe me as the perfect definition of an introvert. But that would imply I was shy and reticent by nature. The truth was that the life I had chosen to live was a choice I made comfortably. Not caring if that choice ended up hurting others and not caring how others thought of me. I don't think that made me a bad person. I was just never aware that I did it.

But I wasn't dying. I may act like it, and the thoughts running through my mind, may appear like it, but I wasn't dying. Instead, it was like I had an epiphany. That my life, as a seventeen year old girl, was embarrassingly boring.

"Hey, you okay?" dad whispered to me.

I jerked out of my train of thoughts and peered over to dad who sat beside me. I noticed the room was beginning to empty as people headed towards the lounge room.

I shook my head. "I'm fine," I mumbled.

Dad sighed, his eyes looking at me sympathetically. "I know you hate funerals, but the family asked me so many times, I couldn't say no," dad repeated.

I forced a smile. "It's okay. I was just thinking," I said.

Dad nodded once. "Alright. We'll stay for another ten minutes, then we'll get out of here," he said.

"Yes, please," I sighed.

"Tell Mia that we'll be at her house in thirty minutes," dad said. I nodded and sent a quick text to Mia.

I couldn't wait to get out of here.

I never liked funerals. I guess they weren't the type of event anyone ever looked forward to or liked. But I hated the sadness that lingered in the air. I hated listening to everyone talk about their fondest memories of the person who passed away. As if it was supposed to make us feel better and bring us closer together when in actual fact, it just reminded us that they were gone and were never coming back. I especially hated it whenever dad forced me to go.

As a doctor at the general hospital, he tended to be invited to a lot of funerals and dad never knew how to say no, much to my dismay. Usually, whenever I went, I would always sit in the corner, a little annoyed that I had to be there. I know I sound like a brat but being at funerals always reminded me of mums. And all funerals do is remind me of mum's funeral.

But for the first time, my mind didn't grumble with annoyance that I was here. Nor did I peer over to dad, begging him with my eyes to get out of here. Well, I was like that at first until Mrs Maryborough spoke.

I looked over to the front of the room where Mrs Maryborough stood beside her sister. She was holding in her tears and while looking at her made me feel sad, her speech kept repeating in my mind like a song stuck on repeat. Particularly, that two sentences: 'And while my dear Roger left us at a young age, there was so much he taught us. That is to live to the fullest, live with no regrets, and always try to achieve the impossible, because what other reason is there to live for.

Dad kept to his word and we left ten minutes later. During the car ride home, questions after questions kept running through my head. The same questions I wondered during Mrs Maryborough's speech. If I died tomorrow, would I regret anything? If I were on my death bed this very moment, would I be certain that I lived a life worth living like Roger had?

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