I was gonna name this “Death” but on a second thought, that is not what I am actually afraid of. Death is a state, an end result for (unfortunately) all of us living beings. Time, on the other hand, is a quite abstract yet concrete concept. We all have time but none of us really own it. We smart humans made a clock to quantify and monitor time then somehow we get this sense of control over time. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 24 hours in a day and 365 days later to make another new year resolution. Ever since we can remember, we start to operate according to time. “It’s time for bed.” “It’s time for school.” “We are running out of time to prepare for final exams.” “It’s time for you to get married, and have kids.” “We don’t have time to visit our parents for Christmas this year.”…

Yet, time is just quietly passing by. Whether we like it or not, time never paused for anyone, under any circumstances. It just keeps on going. In the past, before the technology days, people seemed to have more time to use than now. Talented people spent days carving up a giant stone to make delicate sculptures. Lovers patiently waited for months to get a letter back delivered on horseback or by a pigeon (I think).

The scary part about time is that we tend to forget how it is constantly running in the background and we are only given limited amount of it. I was raised by my grandma. In my memory, she is always 68 years old with curly grey hair and loves to enjoy her cigarettes on our 6th floor apartment balcony. She used to make 4 pieces of chicken wings, only enough for me and never let my dad “stole” my food at dinner. Truth is that much time has passed since she was 68 years old, almost 20 years as a matter of fact. Yesterday, when we were video chatting, she forgot my name.

On the phone screen, her smile was so bright. She was laughing adorably for having that moment of not knowing who I was. She asked my aunt :”Is she your sister?” My aunt, who is taking care of her in China right now, replied calmly, “She is your granddaughter, remember?” My tears came down uncontrollably. My grandma could still remember me last week, but now… I haven’t been back to visit her for the past 5 years. Every year, she asked me if I would be back for Chinese New Year and I thought I would but I didn’t have “the time” to visit in the end. Now, can she wait for me for another few months? Will she even recognize me if I go visit her? Time, why are you so cruel?

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Tick, tock, tick, tock…

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