The International Writers Magazine
:Futures: Time to Go

21st Century Goodbyes
Sandra Philip

rs Philip. Sandra. Can you hear me? Slight pause, muffled voices then: "Mrs Philip there’s a visitor here for you, your granddaughter Ellie. Sandra can you hear me…?"

The ward sisters rather overly chipper voice wrenches me out of my comfortable morphia induced dream, where a young Johnny Depp was about to throw me bodily onto a strategically placed hay bale, and as lovely as it was to see my dear granddaughter, she was no compensation for the images now cruelly fading fast.

I opened one eye, Ellie’s face appeared huge and moonlike, I was reminded of those distorted mirror images you discovered at the end of the pier, of course the sea had encroached into so much of our precious ‘tera-firma’ these past years that ‘pier’ had become somewhat of a dirty word.
I opened another eye, the morphine apparently still doing its work (wonderful drug) as Ellie's smiling mouth took on the form of a huge banana stretched as wide as a canyon before me.
"Hello Nana" she cooed."Bloody hell! You look out of it!"
I smiled in a knowing way, of course I looked out of it her mother had signed the forms, I was going to be out of it, hopefully nestled in the glorious recesses of Mr Depps warm places, until the time came for me to experience my very own ‘demise option’, a moment I was looking forward to with enthusiastic anticipation.
Ellie plonked herself on the bed, her face was beginning to realign, and it was no big improvement. I attempted a smile. "Hello darling" I slurred. She patted my hand
"How are you nana? I can’t stay too long, I just wanted to see you before, and well anyway I’ve brought you some flowers"
I nodded, I liked flowers, although the rather brash bouquet of tropical exotics she was now thrusting onto my face, bore little resemblance to the delicate delphiniums and roses that I loved, but climate changes had eradicated so many of our indigenous species the result was garden s that looked brash and to my mind well tacky!
"Thank you Ellie," I said, "why don’t you ask sister for a vase"

I studied her as she stood, so much like her mother, obviously more expertly sculptured, her breasts were quite magnificent. The many thousands of verichip credits paid out by her husband had been worth the expense, or at least im sure he thought so. I glanced down at the crepe paper bags tucked under my armpits, I was glad that my final memories of myself would be altogether more glamorous. I had opted for the ‘romantic tryst on Orient Express’ demise, and as I understood it, this consisted of 2 days of romance with a dark haired stranger, followed by wild and passionate lovemaking, at the end of which I simply drift away lying in his arms, fabulous. It was a good choice, although bore little resemblance to any real experience of love id ever had in these past 97 years!
Ellie returned with vase in hand. "It’s so hot outside nana", I nodded, bored already "How is Stephen?" I asked not really caring.

Stephen was Ellie’s husband, a dark little weasel of a man, something big in personal security, apparently he was an expert in data analysis, what that meant exactly I had little idea, in my day I think he would have been the kind of person who rooted around in other peoples rubbish bins, sifting the contents to glean information about the owner. These days no one seemed the least bit bothered about the invasion, having gradually surrendered his or her privacy for the sake of security.

Or at least that is how the European Government had sold the compromise. Of course now Europe had been swallowed up into the New world Global Community, it was a necessary part of life to have every detail about your movements and social activities made known to the powers that be, for security reasons of course, although to my mind debiting your verichip account if you were seen to be eating the wrong foods or consuming too much alcohol had always struck me as a bit of a bloody cheek!

"Stephens fine nana, he sends his best wishes, and actually I have some exciting news, you know we had applied for a family extension permit?
I nodded hating her terminology, "well we have our medical interview next week, isn’t it wonderful nana?"
"Yes it is Ellie, really wonderful"
"I’m so nervous" she continued without hearing my reply, " I know that my genetic data is acceptable of course, that’s the beauty of having Stephen in the work he does" she laughed, I didn’t, " but there’s always that little bit of doubt, you know what if they find something wrong?"
Actually I didn’t really know. In my day babies were just born! Sometimes you planned them sometimes you didn’t, but always they came from intercourse, and no one ever needed permission for that.
The sister came back into the room, "Its time for your medication now Sandra" blessed relief flooded through my body, I looked at Ellie, still deep in thought about her suitability of parenthood. "Oh ok then nana, I had better go,"
"Yes dear" I said smiling at her, taking in all of her, knowing this would be the very last time I would see her, I felt suddenly sad.
"Good bye Nana, you know we will all miss you very much don’t you?"
I nodded and smiled at her, "Goodbye Ellie, and say the same to Stephen would you dear, I hope you will soon have a baby, I know you will make a lovely little mummy"
She hugged me, and I was touched, "Mums coming in later…"
She drifted of awkwardly, "it’s ok dear" I said, get along now, Stephen will be wondering where you have got to"
"Yes I will good bye"

And with that she was gone, I sighed, contended, and lifted my arm so that the nurse could send me back to the arms of Mr Depp once more. "Not too long now Sandra" she said, "I think you down for tomorrow afternoon"
The morphine had started to take effect, and her face merged with the pictures behind her.
I was tired, my body let out a vast sigh, tomorrow, how wonderful I thought, I had no desire to stay in a world where I didn’t belong, I surrender gladly to the drug, and as I closed my eyes, I heard Johnny's voice say, "Well about time, Sandra, I’ve been waiting for you".

© Sandra Philip December 2005

Sandra is a mother of grown up children and studying Creative Arts of Portsmouth University

More Futures here


© Hackwriters 1999-2005 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.