Back from the Dead


There he stood near death, a mere shell of his former self.

“Come on Buddy, not yet!” I said with conviction, “You have so much left to live for.”

He didn’t respond. He just sat there looking so grim. I couldn’t understand what was wrong. I fed him well, nurtured him as best I could, but alas I failed.

He seemed so limp, tired, ready to surrender.

I needed to get through to him. “Who am I going to talk to, confide in if you give up? Can’t you see there’s no one else here for me?”

Nothing. He didn’t even acknowledge my words.

I thought about picking him up and carrying him to the window. Maybe if he could see the beauty out there, the light, the birds, the sights and sounds of happiness, perhaps he’d change his mind.

But then I reconsidered.

After all, what was the point of showing him such bliss if he could not partake of it or find it within himself.

“I remember when I brought you home,” I began. Maybe a trip down memory lane would cheer him. “You lit up the entire room! You brought such joy to my heart, this lonely young woman who had just experienced heartache. I took a chance on you and you took a chance on me. We didn’t know what lay ahead for us. But look how far we’ve come? You’ve grown beyond my wildest dreams. Can’t you appreciate the value in that?”

As I finished my monologue, he let go another bit of himself and it brought tears to my eyes. Why was he doing this to me? Or wait… was he communicating something? Was he in pain?

I moved in closer and took a real good look. He was parched, weathered, in ways I hadn’t noticed before. So I began to nurture again.

I fetched some water and tried to help him drink it all in. I gave him a slight trim, to brighten things up, make him more presentable.

Then I stood back and observed the newness. I smiled. Things looked hopeful. Only time would tell. I left the window open for him to breathe easy and then retired to bed.

The next morning, I jumped up eager to see if I had made an impact. I walked into the room and … I was ecstatic! His arms reached up to me. He seemed to glow vibrantly, healthy and robust again.

It worked! He did care. Perhaps he realized how much he needed me too.

I gave him another drink of water and then beamed. “I’ll see you later buddy,” I said and then paused at the door. “Nice to have you back.”

I’m not sure if it was the breeze flowing in or not, but he seemed to wave and nod in gratitude. That was enough for me.

I had saved him.

Paula Antonello Moore, Fiction. Copyright: Monday, June 8, 2015.

Writing Challenge: “A house plant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live,” from 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Image: Sheers blowing in wind from the blog of Gail Wahl.