9/19 Short Story

This week starts me buckling down and putting in the time and effort I should have been a long long time ago. I’ve worked out a schedule that I will make a page for or add it to a page on the site. Mondays are my to post a short story. It will always be random and something new from me. So here goes my first.

Sitting at a red light three blocks down from his favorite coffee shop, Edmund thinks about the 9mm pistol hidden beneath his oversized coat. Is it there for protection? Is it there for bad intentions? Is it there to end the inevitable pain he’ll have for the rest of his life, however long that is? 

These are the questions going through Edmund’s mind as he sits at this red light. Even he has no idea what his reasoning was for buying the handgun. It was an impulse buy he made on the day he found out, or in his mind, the day that he died. When the doctor told him the bad news it hit him almost instantly. His mind went right away to his wife and two kids who, in the end, would be more affected by this than he will. The doctor told him the knot on his head was brain cancer, and that as far as it was not only was there nothing they could do for it but it was also a miracle that he was even still alive.

The light turns green and Edmund presses the gas lightly as he proceeds to the next traffic light, which turns yellow about halfway to it. I could have made that, he thinks to himself as he begins to slow down for the upcoming red light. No need to be in a hurry though. The coffee will still be hot when I get there, no matter how long it takes me to get there. Sitting at this red light Edmund begins thinking about all of the birthday parties they’ve had for the kids and all of the vacations they’ve taken together. So much fun they’ve had through the years. Then his thoughts turn to all of the birthdays and vacations that he’s going to miss. Hopefully my life insurance policy can afford them the vacation I was never able to give them, he thinks to himself. His heart begins to race, and everything around him starts to get really bright. So bright it was almost impossible to see, then everything started to slowly go back to normal, if you could call it that. The light turns green again and Edmund slowly proceeds to the next light, not even trying to beat the clock to catch the next green light.

Beat the clock. That’s an interesting thought. Now only one block down from the coffee shop Edmund begins looking around for an open parking spot. Why is it that I know I have limited time left, and yet I’m still just casually strolling along like I don’t have a worry in the world, he thinks to himself. It almost feels wrong, like he should be out skydiving, bull riding, or something wild and possibly fun (yet terrifying). Going for coffee should be the last thing on my mind right now, yet here I am feeling drawn to it just like I was doing my everyday routine. The light turns green again and Edmund presses the gas pedal and moves forward. He stops next to an open parking spot and parallel parks. Then he just sits there.

Here I am, he thinks to himself as he looks over and up at the sign to his favorite coffee shop. For all I know this could be the last place that I ever go. He waits for traffic to go by, then he opens his car door and gets out. As he gets out he is reminded by the sudden weight that there is a pistol hidden within his coat. He asks himself why he even bought this thing. It’s not like he has the balls to do what he bought it for. Then why did he buy it? He hurries out of the road and onto the sidewalk. He takes a deep breath and walks into the coffee shop. The shop is almost completely empty. The only people here are the barista and one other person sitting at a table on their laptop. He figures they’re probably blogging because isn’t that what people do? Sit in a coffee shop soaking up all the coffee and free wi-fi they can. He walks up to the counter and the barista looks at him with a smile. “You want the usual today Ed?” Edmund just gives her a nod with a half smile. 

She returns a short moment later with his coffee. “It’s on the house today”. Edmund just looks at her with a confused look on his face. “You look like you have something on your mind. If there is anything I can do just let me know”, she tells him. “Thanks”, he starts, but then gets cut off by a thought. Do I really look like that, he thinks to himself. Like something is on my mind. Is that what people look like when they’re planning something and don’t want to talk about it? He takes his coffee to a table and sits down. He takes a few sips of his coffee. For some reason this is the best this coffee has ever tasted. All of a sudden his heart rate starts getting ridiculously fast again, and everything is starting to turn white and fade away again. What is going on here? Then the only thing Edmund can hear is a long steady beep, as if he were hooked up to one of those machines and it can’t find his heart rate anymore. What is this?

Then, after having been in a coma for about a week, everything for Edmund just stops being. He is lying in a hospital bed with his wife holding his hand and his 2 children asleep on a couch in the same room. She knows what just happened and she’s too emotional to move. Then nurses start rushing into the room to see if there is anything they can do but she stops them. Her husband had already signed a DNR in case this would happen. The kids both wake up confused with all of the commotion. Their mother walks over to them, unable to hold back her tears, and she holds them. 

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