Dating : Party Time

h2>Dating : Party Time

When she next awoke something was unmistakably wrong. It seemed all the guests were already there. Betty sprang out of bed without thinking and rushed out to join the party. Why hadn’t Thea awoken her?

“Tommy!” She greeted her son with outstretched arms, “I’m so sorry I overslept,” but he didn’t reply or accept her embrace. “Are you angry, Darling? I am a hundred years old, you know, I’m allowed to oversleep.”

Still, he said nothing. She turned to her daughter Joanna. “Jojo, do you have a hug for your mother?”

Joanna turned away from her mother to speak to Tommy, “We can’t just sit here all day,” She touched his arm gently, “we’ll need to make some decisions.”

“I know. I’ll go talk to them,” but he didn’t actually move. He continued to sit there, staring off into space and ignoring his mother.

“Jojo, what’s wrong with Tommy?”

“C’mon, Tommy. I’ll be right with you. Let’s go see her.” Joanna stood taking his hand and pulling him up.

“Wait. Jojo, Tommy… Wait! Why aren’t you speaking to me?” Betty followed them down the hall to her room.

Thea joined them from the nurse’s station as they passed. “She was so excited for her party today. She was dressed and ready by eight am and had tired herself out. She asked for a nap but made me promise not to let her oversleep. When I went in to wake her she was already gone. I’m so sorry. She was a wonderful woman. We all loved her very much.”

Betty, listening, felt the world tilt on its axis, “Thea… What? Am I…? What about my party? I wanted to see my whole family.”

They paused silently at the doorway to her room for a moment, taking a breath to prepare themselves. When they crossed the threshold Betty could see herself, her body, the shell which had contained her for all of one hundred years, lying motionless in the bed. It was a strange sensation to stare at her unmoving body from outside as if she hadn’t recently been tethered to it but it suddenly made sense…

She had leapt out of bed and ran to greet her children. Why hadn’t she realized that was odd? And had she really thought they would be angry she had been late? They weren’t talking to her because they couldn’t see her!

“Oh my God, I’m dead. Some party this turned out to be…”

Originally published for Instagram’s Romance Writer Challenge June 2019
 Prompt day 11 “Party Time”

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