Barnes is an intelligent man, son of a wealthy business owner. Why, he asks himself, am I here running away from a top secret organisation. Every step is a near death experience and all he can think is that he must figure out what is behind death. How did he get there a week from sitting in his office pushing papers?
One week earlier….
"Excuse me Mr. Adams, Mrs Wilkinson is on line one." Spoke his secretary from the doorway " thank you Maria". She only left when he raised his eyes to hers, asking if there was anything else. Her answer; a wink and an elaborate hip swaying strut back to her office chair. Barnes shook his head but couldn't help his lips twitching up at the corners.
"Hello Mrs Wilkinson, how can I help you?"
"Hello Mr Adams dear, I'm sorry I have some bad news for you, your Uncle Davis has just passed away this morning, I am so sorry for your loss."-
"I don't understand… he's dead? How?"
"I don't know deary, they say that they think it was a heart attack."
"But Uncle Davis was so healthy, and young. Are you sure?"
"Yes Joseph, I am very sorry once again. Why don't you come over for a cup of tea?"
Joseph couldn't comprehend his uncle's death, he was only 32 and healthy as a horse, they even played basketball together on Fridays. Mrs Wilkinson was he elderly neighbour. "oh.. .yes of course, thank you, I'll see you around six and I'll bring some pastries. Good afternoon."
Joseph lowered the receiver slowly and spent the rest of the day in a soft daze. Why did he die? He thought as he moseyed through the halls. Even Maria's electric blue eyes piercing him through hummingbird eyelashes could no longer cheer him.
That evening he had tea and cakes with Mrs Wilkinson and they chatted about Uncle Davis. How he was a wonderful lively man taken too early, and so on and so forth. All the while Joseph couldn't figure it out.
"when I think of your uncle's death I wonder about my own mortality, old woman like me, my time should be coming soon. We really never know when. "
"yes youre quite right we never do…." Joseph looked down, drained. With a sudden burst of angered rage he banged his fist on the old mahogany table and cried out to the sky "it's not fair!" it was almost pleading.
" I know deary" she patted his knee :the mystery of life, why do we die? An old smoking alcoholic can life until 100 and a healthy young man can just …die…. Its terrible."
Joseph went home soon after and flopped into bed as he was. His apartment was a plethora of the newest and most expensive. Looking around, at everything he had worked hard fo,r none of it seemed important anymore. Uncle Davis always knew he was wasting his life although he did not tell him directly, he never visited his apartment.
For the rest of the night, he lay in bed and thought. Why do people die? If they are healthy, if they stay fit. Why?... he dazed in and out of a shallow sleep, dreams of the wealthy alive forever and the middle class, although healthy dropping dead plagued his mind…..
He sat up suddenly in bed sweaty and wide eyed, the horrendous adventure from his dream, one he would embark on, caused a question to continually dance across his mind.
Why must we die?