The bar is covered in a thick layer of grease and dust which comes away when I scrape my finger along it. The windows are too. The only light is from a yellow bulb above the bar. ‘It’s time to go,’ says the man. There’s no one else here. I put down my glass, noticing it also has a film of greasy dirt around the rim. Its dark outside and when I open the door I realise that there’s nothing out there. ‘It’s time to go,’ repeats the man.
His final breath left his body at 9:32am. His wife was by his bedside. She was relieved. She had been sitting here for three days, listening to his breathing stop and then start again. By 9:33 she was starting to realise that this time it was real. At 9:34 she opened the curtains and looked at the day. She still expected him to inhale, but he didn’t.
The day her mother died Rachel forgot her face almost instantly. She spent days looking at photographs to try to create new memories but her mother’s living face was replaced by still images, which themselves faded quickly. After a few weeks she found she couldn’t remember anybody’s face. People she had known for years were unrecognisable. Her own reflection was a stranger. On her seventieth birthday she looked in the mirror and her mother looked back at her.