Lemonade

The old lady had that wan look hanging on her face, suddenly aware that death was soon to come and claim her weathered bones. Life had been sweet, maybe too sweet, and a tremendous wave of agony shook her as she realized it was all going to be taken away from her. Utterly tired, her bones creaked as she turned to her side in the fetal position, like a baby, sighing of weariness. She dreamed of her childhood, on one of those days under the fire-red sun, her dress plastered to her skin as she dragged her legs home. The girl, the old lady’s past, came home in a tired, filthy mess, heaving slightly, but very happy. Her mother waited at home with a fresh tall glass of lemonade.

The girl’s eyes bulged at the lemonade. Throat clogged by a dried sandy substance, she jerked the glass without a second thought, dunking it in her mouth, a few drops spilled onto the floor, wasted. But she took no heed, drinking gulp after gulp, satiating her thirst. An immensely crisp sap flowed down her throat. The little girl took it as granted, with no thought of conservatism. Before she could take a breath to dunk her head again into the glass, a sudden feeling of regret and remorse over took her; she realized the precious liquid was reduced to the last bit. Looking at the glass gingerly, the little girl used the hemlines of her dress to wipe the splashes of the glass. She sighed and took another sip looking eye level at the lemonade surface. And then she took another sip, slightly fretting, very careful to not finish the whole glass. There were five solid drops of lemonade left, and each drop of it was valuable as liquid gold.

The first of the five drops rolled onto her tongue. She savored it, eyes closed as if that heightened her taste buds.

Four.

Three.

The old lady in the hospital bed cringed. She struggled hard to keep the dream alive, but her senses were failing her. But despite all that, she smiled unconsciously, and the little girl did so also in the dream. But the girl disappeared, and all she could feel were her diminishing senses. She tried to savor the last bit of the lemonade.

Two.

One.

As the last drop of lemonade hit her tongue, her body relaxed, trying hard to savor the last of it.

Of lemonade.

Of life.

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