The Birthday Party


Hubert Martell was looking forward to his big day. He had booked into The Spring of Tranquillity facility just two days ago. His suite was luxurious, catering for every want and need he may have. He sat silently on the veranda looking out over the lake, just as he had done two years ago with his wife, Alexandrina. Now all he had was his memories. They had been married for 46 years, he had a lot of memories.

Hubert could remember births of his three sons with clarity and now they had children of their own and only last year he had become a great-grandfather. Alexandrina would have been so proud of their grand-daughter and her beautiful son. Tomorrow they would all be here, just as they had been for her.

The invitations had gone out a few weeks ago., once the arrangements for his 70th birthday had been arranged. Tomorrow they would all be here to celebrate. There was plenty of champagne on ice for the toast to be made by his eldest son, Leo.

Hubert had made the toast at Alexandrina’s 70th. Then he had been caught in conversation with Leo, he saw her step into that room, just as he would tomorrow. He knew the routine. When they had opened the door to the room to the family Alexandrina was laying on the ceremonial bed, looking serene and beautiful.

Hubert remembered how it used to be when the government had introduced the law of three scores and ten. Protests of death houses dispatching people to the next life like they were animals in an abattoir had erupted on the streets. Of course, it wasn’t like that. In the fifty years, it had been law facilities like The Spring of Tranquillity had made death into a ritual of celebration.

Back in the day, when he was a young man, Hubert had been one of the protestors. He had met his Alexandrina on a rally. Now he saw things differently. Yes, tomorrow he would die and years ago that would have been a sad traumatic thing for his family. Now it wasn’t, it was simply a right of passage just as getting married and becoming a father and grandfather had been.

He was still relatively fit so would never have to endure the rigours of old age as he had witnessed his own grandparents suffering as things got dragged out to the bitterest of ends. This way he kept his dignity. That was something he was grateful for, he never saw his Alexandrina suffer, that he would have found unbearable. Instead, she had been euthanized painlessly and just drifted into death as if falling asleep.

Hubert sighed on the breeze, and as he turned to go back inside he whispered, ‘Tomorrow, my darling, I will be with you tomorrow.’

Yes, Hubert was looking forward to his 70th birthday.



©JG Farmer 2018

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