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Jun 2013

Over a year ago
My theatre teacher told me
And a group of my closest friends
To write down
Exactly what we would do if
We found out we only had
Twenty-four hours left
To live.

My original draft was very juvenile,
Full of dramatic kisses
And dying in my crush's arms.

It was beautiful
For a seventeen-year-old romantic.

I don't know if my teacher realized
That I would become slightly
Obsessed with
What I would do
If I had twenty-four hours to live.
But whether she realized or not,
Obsessed I became.

I wrote "24" or my hand each day
For weeks,
To remind me that I could be
Dead in twenty-four hours,
Or less.

I wrote at least fifty drafts
Of what I would do
If I found out at that moment
That I had twenty-four hours left.
I would write a new draft when I decided
That the previous draft was
Too out-dated.
I think the longest lasting draft
During my surge of
Twenty-four hour hypotheticals
Lasted one week.

I was totally obsessed with daring greatly,
Doing the things I had longed to do
For weeks or months or years,
And suddenly I had the permission I needed
To do them:
Twenty-four hours to live.

My drafting came to an end when
My best friend
Handed me the best
Twenty-four hour outline
I had ever seen.

At the top read the disclosure:
And you get into heaven no matter what.

I couldn't surpass that list with any of my own ideas.
And my obsessment was already dimming.

A year and a half or more later,
I don't make drafts.
I'm not obsessed.
I'm not going to die.

But every once in a while
When I feel like I'm not living
To it's fullest,
I write "24" on my hand for
A few days.
Just to remind myself,
That at any moment,
My twenty-four hours left to live
Could be up.
Written by
Victoria Truax  USA
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