I took a stab at writing a short story a few years ago. Haven't figured out where I'm going with it, but here's the beginning:
A short story by (Las VegasRN)
I was getting very irritated too early in the day. I couldn't blame the exhaustive energy of my granddaughter (I'll spare you the number of "great's" she has before her title). She was bursting with pride as the nursing home staff buzzed around with excitement over my birthday. They were calling me "the ancient wonder" being the oldest verifiable living human being on earth at 155 years of age. I call myself tired. I often wonder if God forgot about me down here, that perhaps my passport papers to the next life got lost so many years ago. There are people who come by every so often and ask about my world that has long since moved on. They stare at me in awe, giggling over the way I describe past events and the way life was over a century ago. I don't mind it so much anymore I am used to their inquisitiveness. What I do mind is this present world being shoved at me at a pace too fast for me to comprehend.
"Nanna! The news crew is here!" my great-great-great-granddaughter shouted seemingly bursting at the seams. She was truly a beautiful girl, full of so much life at 18. I'm too old to envy her, but I believe a century past I would have envied her tall slender stature, long thick black hair and hourglass figure. She still had my caramel colored skin. I guess I'm good for something.
"Nanna? Aren't you excited? They said the President might come by!"
"Lauryn, help me with my sweater, it's cold in here."
"You mean to tell me you aren't the slightest bit concerned? This is going to be on national and international news, Nanna!"
I could hear the growing disappointment in her voice over my nonchalant attitude. I normally don't make it a point to change my attitude to suit others, but out of all my living relatives Lauryn was my steadfast and most ardent fan. Where so many of the residents here would never have visitors, Lauryn was practically part of the staff coming to see me every day after school, even after she graduated from high school. We had one of those rare relationships where she felt comfortable telling Nanna everything and anything. For some reason, she thought my aged wisdom was priceless.
"I'm too old to be excited Lauryn, but yes, I feel very honored. Will you help me with my hair?" I replied. A smile came across that beautiful face of hers.
"Nanna, you aren't going to cut your hair are you? I think it's fabulous! Here, we'll wear it down so everyone can see how long it is - it will make you look more matronly," she replied, taking the comb and unraveling the huge single braid I had going down to my waist.
"I can't get much more matronly at 155, baby doll."
The year was 2120. Somewhere in a small community in the state of Colorado was a nursing home of about 40 residents who had chosen to live away from the mind-reeling fast paced technological society that had long since forgotten how to relax. Shady Pines was considered a relic with it's old electrical hospital beds, ancient aluminum wheelchairs, and holographic nursing monitors. The modern "Advanced Care Facilities" had the very latest in magnetic lift mattresses, simulated caregivers, and holosuite rooms. Delores "Nanna" Carter would have told you that over a century ago those were fictional ideas from a television show. Although, no one from her present time would know what a television was or what it did, unless they went to the capitol archives. There, in one of Shady Pines' immaculately clean rooms, a tall, slender, long-legged caramel skinned teenager with long dark brown hair, big brown eyes and a warm Audrey Hepburn-esque smile stood behind an old woman gently taking down a single large braid. The old woman, not looking a day over 65, sat silently looking out the bay window, pulling her sweater over her shoulder.
It was finally over. Yes, the president came by, gave a nice speech about "America's Treasures" and gave me a nice plaque to hang on the wall. The nursing home administrator told funny little stories about things I've said or done through the years and at least five men at the press conference asked my Lauryn out for a date. A huge birthday cake with enough candles to heat the building was brought out and the guests and residents of Shady Pines sang happy birthday until I wanted to puke. So much for the festivities. I wanted to go to bed.
"Nanna you look tired, want me to help you to bed?" Lauryn said.
"Yes, it's been a long day, would you get an extra blanket for me?"
At that moment, a man walked up to the doorway of my room. "Is it too cold in here for you Miss Dee?" the tall man said.
Nanna fell back in her chair. Lauryn quickly raced over to her grandmother fearing something had happened. The tall man came over to Miss Dee and knelt in front of her.
"Oh my God, Nanna! Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself? What happened?" said Lauryn.
"Miss Dee, are you okay, did you get dizzy?" stated the tall man.
I couldn't believe my eyes. It had been over 120 years ago, but the memory came crashing back to me so suddenly that I couldn't catch my breath. Now at my age the mind will play tricks on you and I know I have had my fair share of confused moments. But, I could have sworn, on everything I hold sacred, that the man standing before me was a man I shared a secret passion with, well over a century past. A secret that I'd never mentioned to another living soul and vowed to take to my grave. Here, at this very moment, he was kneeling before me, hand over mine, asking if I was okay.
"Nanna! Nanna!" my granddaughter gently shook me out of my daze.
"I'm sorry, yes, I think I just got dizzy, I'm okay now."
"Who are you?" Lauryn asked the tall man.
"Oh, my name is Rick." He stated, standing up from in front of me. " I'm the new night orderly, I was just coming by to meet our star resident and the patients I'm assigned to in this wing."
I could have fainted. His name was Rick? It couldn't be. I considered that I may have had my first manifestation of an age-related dementia, but my mind was intact, for the most part. Was I hallucinating?
"Hi, Rick, I'm Lauryn. And this, is my great-great-great-grandmother, Miss Dee."
"Hello Miss Dee, I'm honored to meet you" the man who called himself Rick said, holding out his hand.
I let out a very squeaky sounding, "Hi, Rick". And limply shook his hand.
"Wow, I can tell you are tired, Nanna, you always have a firm handshake. Let's get you to bed."
That night, I tossed and turned in the most restless sleep I've experienced in the last 50 years. I had asked the man who called himself Rick to keep my door open. I wanted to look at him, without him knowing. It was eerie. He had the same sly smile, the same hair, same stature of that tall slender body that I used to enjoy the pleasure of. If modern technology had not eliminated the need for glasses over 80 years ago, he would have worn glasses over those seductive eyes I would always avoid looking into, for fear of getting emotionally attached. I shuddered as I heard the man who called himself Rick laugh. It was the same laugh. A laugh I heard while watching a movie with him in a now extinct theater so long ago. I wanted to ask the man who called himself Rick who he really was. I wanted him to tell me how he could be here, why he was taunting my soul, why he was making me question my sanity. But, I couldn't.
(Copyright 1999 LasVegasRN)
That's as far as I got.