I stop pacing when I reach one of the walls. I study it very carefully while my fingers touch its smooth white surface.
I feel a twinge in my head. It’s so painful I have to close my eyes and lay down on the floor. It’s a memory from my past. The past that I never actually lived. The past that torments me every hour of the day. Every minute. Every second. Tick. Tack.
I’m 95. I have lived a wonderful life. Learned so much. Seen so much. Felt so much. I loved my parents. I loved so many people who I was glad to call my friends. I loved a man with all my heart. I gave birth to two beautiful children and I watched them grow. My parents died, but they died being happy. My children had children of their own and I watched them grow. My lover died, but he died being happy. And I was never really there, during those moments.
I’m 20. I have made a great mistake. I made a wish. And it was granted. But like any other wish granter, mine turned my wish against me. I wanted to be old. I wanted to have the knowledge of an old man while I was still young. I wanted to be wise and a child at the same time. And here I am. Remembering a life I never lived. Remembering people I loved but never met. It’s so tormenting. So tiring…
My body is so resourceful, so young. But my mind is so tired, so old. I just want to let go. To disappear. But I can’t. Because I’m too young. But I’m too old. I’m young. And I’m old. I’m old. And I’m young. Old. Young. Tick. Tack.
I start pacing the room again. This is the only thing I can do in this empty white room.
This room is my punishment for wishing such an impossible thing. They think I’m crazy. My parents think I’m crazy because I said I watched them die. But I did. And it was painful. They locked me in this room. Alone. With my fabricated memories. And my wide knowledge that I can’t use. Alone. Losing my senses with every second that passes. Tick. Tack.
The clock that’s ticking is a cruel joke from my benevolent wish granter whose help I, so impulsively, accepted. Such a youthful thing to do. This is exactly why I wanted to be old. But I am young. And old. Young. Old. Tick. Tack.