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Every Good Story Ends With a Death
Every good story ends with a death. This is no exception. This will be a good story (I hope), and I will die at the end. Why do I tell you this? I don’t know. Maybe I just ruined my story. Who cares? Nobody is going to be reading this after I die.
Let me make one more thing clear. This is not a suicide note of any kind. I’m not trying to explain why I plan to kill myself. I am not planning on committing suicide. Just because I know when I’m going to lose my life doesn’t mean I want to die.
But it is because I know when I’m going to die that I am writing this letter. I don’t have time to apologize to everybody and say goodbye and everything emotional like that, so I am simply writing this to take care of all that work quickly. This is a letter to my parents, my friends, my siblings; this is a letter to everyone who cares enough to read it.
I don’t want to die. But I since I know that I’ll be passing away soon, I might as well prepare.
I glance at my cell phone quickly. Thirty-six more minutes. I look out my bedroom window. The sky is overcast, and a gust of wind brings a rainfall of dead leaves from the trees, reminding me of the season. Fall. Like what my body is going to do after it dies.
I turn away from the window, hoping that I can distract myself from my impending death by staring at my white bedroom wall. Wall. Rhymes with fall. My body will fall after it dies.
I shake my head, trying to force the depressing thoughts out of my mind. I want to spend my last few minutes of life enjoying myself. I walk down to the kitchen, saying ‘hi’ to my mom, who has no idea of my soon-to-be death.
After saying my last living word to my parent, I walk out the front door and hop in my car. I look at my phone once again. Thirty-four minutes. I have enough time to drive down to seven-eleven I won’t die in a car crash. That’s a relief.
I pull out of the driveway, failing to resist the temptation to look at the time. Still thirty-four minutes. I drive through the subdivision, looking out for any danger that might kill me in thirty-four minutes. Nothing. I reach the main road and accelerate to forty-five miles per hour.
I look once again at the small digital clock built into my car. Thirty-three minutes. I pull into the Seven-Eleven parking lot, getting out of my vehicle without looking at the clock again.
I walk into the store, examining the shelves stocked with candy and chips. I walk over to aisle two, picking up a Hershey Bar and them move to the counter where I pay. I look at the clerk.
“Hello. How are you doing?” I ask, looking right in the face of the teenage, male employee. Almost like me.
“I am doing great. Now, a dollar, please.”
I reluctantly hand over my last dollar and exit the store with candy in hand, opening the wrapper and taking a bite of the chocolate once I am out of the store. I savor the chocolate flavor. This will be the last time I taste chocolate.
I hate this feeling. I look at my watch. Twenty-nine minutes. I feel sick. In less than half and hour I’ll be dead. I toss the last half of my chocolate bar onto the parking lot’s pavement, too nauseous to care about littering. I jump into my car, pull out of the parking lot, and drive away from my house.
I don’t want to die near home. I know that if I die close to my house, then every time my mom passes my death spot, she’ll cry. She’ll probably be driving, and when she cries, she’ll lose control of her car and crash. She’ll die too.
So that’s why I’m not driving towards my house. I’m driving towards Necrosis Pond. Don’t tell my how it got that name. Maybe somebody died here. Maybe somebody will. Maybe I will.
I wonder if that’s how I’ll die. Maybe I’ll trip, fall into the pond, and die. That might be an interesting legacy to leave. Fall into a pond and die. That’s not depressing. Even as I ponder my soon-to-be loss of life, I can’t help myself but pull into the parking lot bordering the small pond.
I get out of my compact car and walk to the shore of the pond. I kneel down, picking up a stone and then skipping it across the water. I pick up another stone, glancing at my cell phone. Twenty-three minutes. I pull my arm back, getting red to execute another perfect stone’s throw.
Then, I spot a Great Blue Heron, its head down in the water. I twist my body, pulling my arm back. Then I let go of the rock. It shoots across the water, skipping once and nailing the bird in the head. Even thirty feet away, I can hear clearly the skull being crushed by the impact of the stone, and then I watch as the bird’s body crashes into the water.
I instantly feel guilty. I bet that bird knew it was in its last minutes of life. I bet it was wondering how it would die too. He was probably counting down the seconds to the end of his life. I feel bad now.
I look at my phone. Nineteen more minutes. I picture myself as the bird. Maybe I’m going to die by being impaled in the head by a stone. That would be an interesting way to die. Get hit in the head by a rock. I guess if the rock’s going fast enough my death will be swift.
I put the hand in the pond, feeling water for the last time in my life and spitting in the pond to attempt to add some legacy, no matter how small, to time. I figure there’s a chance my spit may save some life someday, and I might as well take the chance, no matter how small it may be.
Trying to wash away my guilt from killing the bird, I left my car at the pond and started jogging out to the main road, reminiscing on my season as a cross-country runner last year in eleventh grade. I was good. I got second place twice at a statewide competition. Interesting, how I am glad I got second place now. I remember that right after I finished the race, I was so frustrated that I hadn’t won. It all seems so silly now.
Life itself seems silly. I’ve spent the last eighteen years living, preparing for my future. And the ironic part is, I have no future. Everything I worked for is going to disappear in less than twenty minutes.
I look at the time on my phone. Fourteen more minutes. I’ve been thinking about eternity a lot. In fourteen minutes my life will have ended, and I will be face-to-face with God, if He even exists. I guess I didn’t live my life as good as I could have.
It doesn’t seem like there is anything I can do now. I lived life, and there is nothing I can do to change my history. I hate that. If I had a second chance, I would do so many things differently.
There isn’t any chance now. Time waits for no one. I look at my phone again. As if to demonstrate the point, the time changes by a minute. Nine minutes. I slow down to a walk, taking a deep breath as my body almost collapses under the stress that in nine minutes, I’ll be dead.
I keep walking though. Keep making progress, though I guess it isn’t really progress if I have no destination.
I look ahead to a street intersection, watching as cars rushed past each other. I remember driving. Every car seemed like a robot. It never felt like the people were actually human. I always felt as if the people were animatronic, their destinations programmed into them.
I reach the crosswalk, glancing at the watch inadvertently. Three more minutes. I plan on crossing the street, and the sign for walk flashes quickly on. The small boy in front of me starts to walk, oblivious to the oncoming red pickup truck that is refusing to stop.
Instinctively, I dash out and grab the young boy, tossing him a yard onto a small patch of grass next to the road. Then the truck hit. It felt as if a wall going a million miles an hour hit me in every possible place on my body, and I quickly flew skyward, landing somewhere in the middle of the intersection and slapping my head on the concrete street.
I can see the blood pooling around my eyes. I gasp for my last breath; and I notice my cell phone just a few feet away from me. I reach out, turning it so its screen faces me. It’s cracked, but I squint to tell the time. Its twelve forty two. I’m dying a minute early. My death was my choice.