I can't seem to recall now where exactly we were or how we had come to be there. I remember the orange, straight back plastic chairs sitting in neat rows. The sky was unusually clear that day, for it was usually not that pretty outside during the colder months. As I looked around me, I could see miles of yellowing, dieing grass. Scattered sporadically about were a few large tin buildings, beginning to rust after years of weathering and unuse. I remember thinking that they must have been old warehouses, but I recall that they were nothing more than accents in the background. That was not why we were there.
I can remember the children. All seated quietly, anticipating in the straight back chairs. All leaned slightly forward in their seats, waiting. The feeling in the air was not tense, though everyone was watching, waiting. I remember wondering why I was seated in front of them. In a single, orange, plastic chair I was waiting too. I didn't know those children, that place, or the man approaching me with a syringe. But I was not afraid.
Actually, I do not recall feeling much at all. There was no sting, no fear or pain, though I can tell that the needle was being sunken into my neck. I look up at the man, but I do not see him. All that fills my vision are the faces of the children, and the vast plains that lay behind them. It was only then that I noticed the train tracks. They, too, seemed aged and unused.
The children were all watching me. I tried to speak, but I could not seem to force a sound. I tried to move, but no muscle in my body responded. It was then that I realized I was falling.
Not quickly, or suddenly, but a gradual descent. I could not feel this, but I could tell by my view of the children. My body had leaned to the side, and fallen from the chair. I could see clearly the large pieces of gray gravel. The faces of the children were far above me now. Their unmoving figures paled against the blue, cloudless sky. I realized that I was on the ground, but still I was not afraid.
The children never moved from their chairs. I remember thinking of how calm everything felt, when it all began to fade. It didn't happen all at once, but a plain blackness began to creep into my vision. It started at the edges and began slowly to erase everything. The children, the gravel, the silver and glistening legs of the orange, straight back chairs. It was then that I realized I was dieing.
The fear and panic that I had expected when during my life I had imagined my demise, was non existent. I felt only calm and serene. As the final sliver of the world was beginning to fade I remembered something that I'd read, and I realized that everything really was beautiful. The curious children, the yellowing grass, and even the long walk to the mailbox that I took everyday and always resented in the winter, all remained in my mind, when I felt my mind start to fade as well. I remember that it felt like a million tiny fingers moving all about my brain at once.
At that moment I recalled the white peace lilies that had been positioned prominently on my porch, and how proud I had been when the began to bloom.
As I felt the world finally slip away from me, though no movement would have been detected on my face, in my heart I smiled. Finally, I truly understood that my life, my death, and everything was beautiful.