Julia had lived a full life. The huddled bodies of her children and grandchildren gathered around her hospital bed. Cancer had finally ravaged her body to a point where it was unsalvageable and now her modest life was coming to a conclusion. Just last spring her forty-three years of marriage ended when Thomas had passed. Now she looked forward to seeing him again in whatever afterlife awaited her.
“Goodbye mom,” the ragged voice of her son pierced through sobs. Just yesterday they had been reminiscing about past accomplishments like when Julia won a tennis tournament in college or her prom night when she experienced her first kiss. Her date that evening wore a lovely sky blue corsage and she could still remember those tomato-colored cheeks after she laid a single kiss on his thin lips. She wanted to go back, reset the clock, experience that joy once more. Instead the nurse was disconnecting wires and the laughter of her family was replaced by sorrow. Soon she’d just be a memory to all of them.
But at least she’d get to see her Thomas again. No matter how scared she was to die she clung to that piece of hope.
Her breath vanished, the lights went out, the last thing she heard was the slow, repetitive, beeping of the heart monitor. Until that faded out too.
Suddenly her eyes were overwhelmed by light. Noises that were far too loud. Her body was hauled through the air by a giant of a being who looked down on her. She couldn’t see. It was all just bright shapes and sounds. She opened her mouth to speak, to cry out for help, only to find that the words failed her. They were replaced by loud screeches.
They were the cries of an infant.
“It’s a boy!” a boisterous male voice called out. “Honey, we have a beautiful baby boy!”
“Oh, how wonderful,” a female voice cooed.
“We’ll name him Kieran,” they said in unison.
Where was she? Who was Kieran? Why couldn’t she control her limbs or her speech or her mental faculties? It was all getting hazy. What was the name of her children again? She had known just five minutes earlier. Now they seemed so far away. She had to hold on to what she could. Her husband’s name was Thomas. He had been a car salesman. They were married for… how many years? His favorite food was salmon. He loved going to watch baseball. He… what did he do for a living? His favorite food was…
She was forgetting it. All of it. Everything in her life. Why did they call her Kieran? Why was she being wrapped in a blanket and stared at by these strange people? Her husband’s name was… what was it?
Kieran’s mother straightened the corsage on his vest. It was a beautiful light red color which had been specially ordered to match his date’s dress for that evening. He’d scored a date with one of the best looking girl’s in his class and the fact that they had been friends already meant prom night would be a low stress event. Which was good, he needed to relax and celebrate now that he had secured a scholarship playing tennis.
His mom looked at him with a huge smile. Right as she insisted that he pose for a few photos he felt the deja vu hit him once again. A crowded dance floor, staring at a boy with a blue corsage, then moving in to pluck a kiss on his lips. The name Thomas flashing through his mind. He’d been experiencing this kind of deja vu for weeks now but he never could place why. Kieran would’ve brought it up with someone if it wouldn’t have made him sound absolutely insane.
For now he’d just ignore it. He’d enjoy prom, his last summer at home, and his freshman year of college. After all, he was still young and he had his whole life ahead of him.