Written from beyond the grave

April 15, 2012
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I’m not trying to be arrogant, but I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy.
I don’t gamble, I don’t waste my money on things I don’t find necessary and I keep a close connection with all of my good friends. I’m an art student and I study photography at the local university. I still live with my parents even though I’m 23. Unfortunately, I have a rather grim secret; everyone I am and was close to, has died, and I can always find myself responsible for their deaths in some sort of way. Just in the last 2 weeks I have attended about 8 funerals, 3 of them organized by me and whatever was left of my family. My best friend died just last week. We were walking along on the street, when a storm started. We quickly ran over to my house. He wanted to get home quickly, even thought I invited him inside. So I ran inside while he started towards his house. At one point, the storm got so bad that he had to wait for the weather to calm down a bit. The only place he could find was near the huge oak about two streets from his house. Sounds like a bad idea, right? Well it was. Not 2 minutes after he had gone under the oak, a bolt of electricity hit him. He died right on the spot. Freak accident they called it. Thing is, the city council had asked me and a couple of other guys to help cut down the oak about 2 months ago. We didn’t help. So the oak stayed. And I involuntarily caused my friends death, even if I wasn’t directly responsible for it.
I’m a pretty smart guy, so when the other accidents and deaths started happening, I didn’t think too much of it. Random events, right? No chance I was responsible for any of them. A day after my grandfathers funeral, me and my brother decided to go on a road trip. We had both had enough of going to funerals and wanted to relax a bit. A this point, I had started to lose my nerve a bit and started acting a bit paranoid. I had a hobby of sorts, namely taking photographs. Just before we left, I took one of me and my brother, for safekeeping. We didn’t even drive for 2 minutes before he was dead. You see, Mr. Shroedr wasn’t paying attention when he was driving. He was drunk and immensely depressed. His wife had left him 2 days ago, and his son had died less than a week ago. You guessed it; his son was my best friend. So Mr. Shroedr, decided to drive to work that day, instead of taking the bus, and he also thought it would be a good idea to drink a bit (which for alcoholics basically means to get drunk out of your mind..) before driving to work. So when in his drunken stupor, he didn’t stop at a red light, and plowed right through our car, killing himself and my brother in the process, who could I blame but myself? I escaped with only a few minor injuries. But I couldn’t help to think that it was my fault that his wife had left him, and his son had died, causing him to kill my brother.
I’m a pretty smart guy, so when I got home, the first thing I did was to look at the last picture I took of my brother. The only picture of him and me. Only he wasn’t in the picture. I was the only person in it. It was as if his death had caused the picture to permanently erase his image from its surface. I immediately searched for a picture of me and my grandfather. The first one I found, was a picture that was supposed to show me sitting on his lap, at a dinner party. I was 4 at the time. The only problem was, I was floating in mid air. My grandfather was erased from the picture. He had died not 3 days ago. He was using a ladder to clean out the roof gutters, when one side of the ladder broke off, and he fell down, breaking his neck in the process. Problem was, that the last time I used it, I had left it outside, where it was riddled with termites, instead of putting back in its rightful place. My fault. Again.
I knew it was the cameras fault. Not really, but I was scared to take a picture of anyone or anything, much less with me in the picture. So when my mother fell ill 2 days after my brother’s death, on her birthday, I was naturally worried. I made her a cake, bought her a few presents and brought them into her room. She was overjoyed. For the first time in ages that she looked genuinely happy. Then she asked me to take a picture of her and me. My mood dropped. I refused. My mother’s mood dropped as well, and I immediately felt sorry. As much as I hated to do it, I got my camera, and even thought every nerve in my body screamed at me not to do it, I took a picture.
I’m a pretty smart guy, so when my mom took the camera to look at the picture and frowned, I became worried. “That’s strange”, she mused.
“You’re not in the picture”.

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