Veena Was Dead
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Veena was dead, but what really bothered her was that no one took her seriously. They insisted on smiling at her as though she were still alive.

“How stupid,” she wanted to say, but dead people didn’t talk (though she was often forced to break this rule). Veena just didn’t understand how anyone could question death.

“But what makes you think you’re dead?” The doctor asked. “Why should a young, healthy woman be so morbidly preoccupied?”

Veena’s eyes narrowed; her pallid cheeks took on a pinkish hue. “Death by nature is morbid, Doctor, and had I been healthy I wouldn’t have died. Furthermore, I did not ask for your opinion. What I need from you is a letter stating that I’m dead.”

The doctor removed a thumbtack from the bulletin board and stuck it in her finger.

  
 
“Ouch!”

“Can dead people feel, Veena?”

“No.”

“Can dead people bleed?”

“Negative.”

He pointed to the blood trickling down her finger. “Well then, I guess you’re alive.”

Veena stood. “I see that my coming here was pointless. You are only going to argue with me.”

“It pains me terribly that we can’t see eye to eye, Veena,” the doctor said. “I’ve known you since you were a child, and I hate to see you leave with bitterness in your heart.”

“My heart is neither bitter nor sweet, Doctor, as it has ceased to beat.”

The doctor extended his hand, which she did not shake: “Enjoy your youth, Veena; fulfill your dreams. Life is beautiful.”

“I am dead, Doctor, and death is not optional.”

She marched from his office and into the street, where a speeding taxi hit her full on. Her body flew into the air and landed with a sick thud. The doctor, having heard the screeching of tires and ensuing screams of passersby, rushed from his office, white lab coat fluttering in the breeze.

“Oh my God, Veena!” He ran to where her body lay twisted grotesquely. “Wake up! Wake up!”

The bystanders stared at Veena’s ashen skin and blackened lips.

“This man is a doctor,” they whispered amongst themselves. “Isn’t it obvious to him that she’s dead?”

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