Eighteen

“Come on!” yelled Sobia. “What does it say?”

“Yeah!” said Farez. “Tell us!”

It was my eighteenth birthday and I had just blown the candles out on my birthday cake. Fortunately I didn’t get saliva all over the cake this year. For the past few years, my friends have been calling me ‘The Spitter’ for that very reason. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had made sure I swallowed all my saliva before attempting to blow the candles this time. However, this year my friends didn’t really care about the cake. They were more interested in my final words.

They would have appeared somewhere on my body, but I had no idea where they were yet. As far as I could tell the words didn’t appear on my face or my arms, if not my friends would have seen them already. Oh dear, I hope it wasn’t on my ass. That would be a pain to read.

I was the youngest of my friends in the group. All my friends had their last words appear on them last year. Most of them had typical last words like, “Goodbye world.” and similar variations. Some of them had more amusing ones like, “I told you so.” Which led us to speculate how they would be leaving this world. As for me, I had no clue yet.

“Come on guys, can we just enjoy this cake? I didn’t spit on it for once!” I said trying to change the topic.

“Don’t leave us hanging! We’ve waited all year for this!”

“Fine, let’s finish the cake and then I’ll go check it out.”

Tanzeel was ahead of me. He grabbed the knife from my hands and started dividing the cake for all of us.

I sat down there, waiting for the cake to be served to everybody before I started eating my own piece. It was a silent occasion and nobody hesitated to wolf down their helping of the delicious chocolate-flavored dessert.

“For fuck’s sake, guys! Are you serious? Did you guys attend my birthday party only to find out what I’ll say before I croak?”

“Yes,” Farez replied sheepishly.

“You guys are assholes.”

“Come on, we’re done with the cake, now go find out what your last words are!”

“Did you know birthday parties are a celebration of life? Not a ritual to find out what someone is going to say before they die?”

Nobody listened to me. They just stared at me, waiting for me to get out of my seat to look for my last words.

I grumbled and got up and headed to the bathroom. A couple of them followed me to the door. I could hear them from the outside talking among themselves. “What do you think it’s going to say?”

“I bet it won’t be as epic as yours, Sobia.”

“What if it’s something sad?”

“Oh shit, I never thought of that.”

I put their voices out of my head as I removed my shirt. There was nothing on my body. Craning my neck around, I checked out my reflection. Nope, there was nothing on my back. Hmph. I guess I’ll have to check my lower body. I took off my shoes and my pants. I noticed some letters trailing out under my boxers. It was on my thigh. Not too bad I guess, it would be easy to keep concealed. I pitied those people who had messages on their foreheads. Nobody understood how these last words appeared or where they appeared. It was just an accepted fact of life. We all just learned to deal with it.

I pulled one leg of my boxers up to reveal the full message. Oh fuck. Is this some sort of joke? I stumbled backwards and fell to the floor on my ass.

I heard banging on the toilet door. “What’s up man? Don’t leave us hanging!”

I took another look at the message on my thigh. I rubbed at it, to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of marker pen joke. The words remained, as clear as day.

“What are your last words? Do you need help in there?”

I tuned out their voices again as I sat on the floor, pondering my last words. No, this can’t be real. Why the hell would I say such a thing? I remained speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t tell my friends what my last words were. Nobody could know. I broke down and cried.

“Are you alright? What’s wrong? If you don’t reply, we’re coming in!” yelled Farez.

I couldn’t reply. My friends kicked the door in and found me on the ground, a whimpering mess.

“Holy fuck, Zoraiz. What the hell are your last words going to be?”

I didn’t reply. They inspected my body and saw the words on my thigh, still revealed for all to see.

“There is no God but God, Muhammad is His messenger.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: When a person turns eighteen, their last words appear somewhere on their body. Yours frighten you intensely.

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