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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man's wife is murdered, and now he wants revenge from the man that took it all, but not before he meets an unlikely guest.

Submitted: May 24, 2008

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Submitted: May 24, 2008





By Jared Pooler

Thomas popped a pill quickly into his mouth, while driving through the small town that he had grown to love. He looked at the buildings and plazas that now seemed to have changed into places of sadness, but only a month ago were full of happiness. Watching the shops and stores as they past by, he could only remember the distant life he had had, and the woman who had made that life a reality. The people walking on the sidewalks would continue their daily routines never knowing the affect of the terrible tragedy that was now consuming the mine of a young man. That young man, Thomas Daniel, held only one thing dear to his heart now, and that was to give back the tragedy bestowed upon him. Beside Thomas, lay the answer to completing that haunting desire. He knew what must be done, and at this point there was no other way. Thomas looked at the gun that lay next to him, but only for a quick second, for knowing what one must do doesn't necessarily mean that one should be consumed by the method of doing it.

It didn't take long for Thomas to find his destination, Memorial Park. The name seemed just as depressing as before. It had not been a long time since last he was here, in fact, he was here yesterday, and the day before that. Quickly he found the grave stone marked Daniel. Parking the vehicle, Thomas sat in his seat, hands still on the steering wheel, waiting almost, for some kind of sign to tell him what he was doing was wrong.... nothing came. He grabbed the gun putting it into his pants then exited the car, and walked down the same path that had walked everyday for the past month. Kneeling next to the gravestone, he reached out his hand and touched the letters of the first name on the gravestone ‘ANGELA‘. Those letters were all that now remained of his once desired life, and all that remained of his once living wife, who had nothing to show for her life besides a dash in between the numbers 1984 and 2007 and the memories with the mind of her husband. That was now all she was to the world, a dash, nothing more. Overcome with grief Thomas dropped his head, and fought the tears that were attempting, desperately to escape the lids that wished to shut them in. He lifted his head, glancing left and right, he looked for a place to sit, and to ponder the thoughts of his sorrow, and to regain control of his emotions. To his left there stood a bench, seemingly immoveable, almost like a rock foundation in which his troubles would not bleed through his eyes and disturb the woman he loved.

He sat at the bench, quietly, no word to be spoken, and not even a breath to be heard. He stared into the emptiness of the ground. The dirt remained still undisturbed by anything, it just remained. Thomas envied things that could not feel, for they have nothing to worry about, no feelings fighting to stay alive or trying to find a way out of the hole that it had dug. With that thought the last tear dropped to the ground moistening the dirt, disturbing it. As he remained in his thoughts, Thomas failed to hear footsteps. Footsteps that were making their way to him.

" Mind if I sit with you?" said a man, dressed in a black suit, and matching black shoes.

Thomas lifted his head. The man's face seemed familiar, but something was different which impaired Thomas from remembering it. His face gave off an expression of a, quite truthfully, emotionless face. First Thomas felt an honest and an eager spirit of help and then he felt a sternness that stared back into his eyes when he looked at him.

" Yeah, sure," Thomas said, still looking at his most unusual face which changed after hearing the words Thomas had spoken to him.

" Oh, so you do mind?" the man said, then looked off to the side then back into the eyes of Thomas.

"N-no, I meant, yeah you can sit down," Thomas said motioning toward the other side of the bench.

" Oh, alright," The man sat down, close, but still keeping his distance.

The two sat there for a while, waiting for the other to ask the first question or make the first statement. The man stared off into the sunset, which was occurring behind the trees, and was changing the color of the sky to deep hues of purple, then orange, and finally into a fiery red as it continued its descent behind the tree line. Thomas, like a statue, continued staring at the ground.

" So, are you new to this area or are you just visiting?" The man finally spoke up, attempting to break the silence and at least have a conversation.

" I‘ve lived here for a while, but right now I‘m just visiting," Thomas returned in an answering manner that implied his dislike of the conversation.

They both sat, occasionally looking to distract their minds from the awkwardness of the conversation.

" Your family, I'd presume?" The man asked.

Thomas looked straight ahead not wanting to answer the, in his opinion, inappropriate question. Thinking it over and over in his mind Thomas finally gave in to the man's inquiry.

" Kind of, my only family, my wife...... She..... passed away, but that was along time ago," he said.

" Which is why I assumed you were ' here," the man said with a smile, then noticing that Thomas had not made any gesture recognizing the attempted humor, he stoned his face, returning it to a serious expression, " I'm sorry for your loss,"

Thomas remained quiet, staring at the ground. He barely moved, the only sign of life was the occasional rise and drop of his body indicating that he was breathing. As they sat there as the wind began to pick up, and toss the leaves about. The color of the leaves, auburn, caused him to think of his wife. She possessed beautiful auburn hair that was cut to her shoulders.

" Angela," he whispered.

" Pardon me?" the man asked.

Thomas stopped looking at the ground and looked up to meet the man's gaze.

" It's been eleven years since it happened," Thomas began.

" Since what?" the man asked.

Thomas ignored the interruption know that he would eventually get to that question in a few short minutes.

" I've had plenty of time to adjust or at least I thought I had," Thomas finished.

" Well, death is a sorrow that doesn't leave very easily," the man said then sighed.

" So you've lost someone too?" Thomas asked.

" Well, losing, but yes, that's why I'm ' here," he said with his quirky smile, which he dropped just as fast as last time returning to a serious expression," I had a son, once, well technically I still have, but that's beside the point. He was perfect, in every aspect of life, a perfect man. Everything his hand touched would immediately personify that perfection. He was innocent of any wrong doing, but he chose to give up his life to save another."

Thomas was silent.

" So, he did as a hero?" Thomas asked, eventually.

The man took some time to think over what he was about to say.

" Yes, yes, in my opinion, and regrettably in the opinions of very few others, yes. He was a hero.”

The man looked down, almost in a motion conventional of trying to hold back or hide tears. Thomas refrained a few minutes before asking his next question. The man sat up, holding his head up, sniffling in quick short bursts.

" Sorry 'bout that," the man said.

"It's fine," Thomas said cautiously, pausing he asked his next question," Did you ever meet the person your son saved?"

"Yes, actually. Quite a number of times, almost a daily basis, you might say," the man returned.

" Doesn't that hurt?" Thomas asked.

The man sat there confused and perplexed, and then glanced at Thomas, looking at him right in the eye.

" I guess.......I don't understand what you mean," he said.

" Well, that you meet the person whom should have died in the place of your son," Thomas clarified.

The man shook his head.

" No, I don't think I have a reason to be hurt, by the action of my son. In fact I feel quite humbled knowing that he was willing to make that sacrifice," the man answered.

Thomas remained still, not satisfied with the answer.

" Well, I mean have you ever wondered why?" he paused," Why your son was killed and the other was left alive?"

" Outside of the fact that it was self-sacrifice?" the man questioned.

" Yeah," he said.

" Well, I've never wondered why my son did it, other than it being the right thing to do," the man paused in his speech," but I've wondered, if this will answer your question, what it would be like if my son hadn't saved him? And frankly, I don't see the world the way it is today. If my son that thought inwards, thinking of only himself, I'm sure that a lot of the later heroes you know of would have never existed and therefore, we wouldn't see the light of this world, however faint it may be. You see? Because one act of strength and courage, can inspire even the most evil of men to perform a righteous act, and in so doing they would no longer be completely evil, would they?"

" No, I guess not," Thomas ponders over the what the man had just said, and then remembers something he meant to ask earlier." What happened to that man? How is he doing now?"

" Not to good, I'm afraid. After what happened to him, I can see why," the man said," He's been wandering from place to place, trying to find an escape from the reality that he wakes up to every morning.

Thomas looks off to the side, intimated by the accuracy of what is being spoken to him.

" He recently lost everything he had; he lost his wife, his job, his money, he's addicted to anti-depressants, and now he's considering the last option he thinks he has left, but not before he finds him. The one who started that chain of events that led him to ' here."

Thomas, knowing that the man is speaking of him, looks back at him.

" What's his name?" he asked, just to be sure.

The man paused, adjusted his seated position.

" His name is................. Thomas Daniel,"

Thoughts began whizzing past him. Speculations, questions, and revelations all flooded his mind at once. Thomas stood up abruptly.

" Who told you........... how did you.....," he couldn't get the words out.

The man put up his hand stopping the mess of words that were involuntarily falling out of Thomas's mouth.

" You will find life much more worth living if you let go of your hatred. If you just let go of that false need of revenge. It only leads to more pain and more anger until it will consume you wholly," the man said.

" Who are you?" Thomas almost shouted.

" You don't remember, Thomas?" the man said.

In that moment, it all came back like a tsunami that overwhelmed the senses and washed away all reasonable thinking. He now remembered, everything

Thomas's back was up against the wall. His breath heavy, his pulse pounding his arteries so hard that it felt as if the blood would just leap out of his body. Then it sounded, the gunshot that changed everything. His heart fell to his stomach. With the scream of his wife and the sound of another gunshot, Thomas closed his eyes and dropped to the floor where he saw him. In the reflection of a picture, he saw him. The man. The same man that he was now talking to............

Thomas pulled out the gun, aiming it at the man. The man that took everything that mattered to him, the man that shattered the life that was his to enjoy.

"You! You took........ Everything.......Everything from me!" Thomas shouted.

The man remained seated, staring at his potential attacker.

" You know you have a choice, don't you?" The man asked," you don’t have to kill me............ you just want to."

Thomas didn't say a word.

" My son saved you, Thomas. Are you truly willing to slap him in the face for that?" the man asked, testing him, challenging him on a level he had never been challenge on before.

" What are you talking about?" Thomas asked, shouting just as before,” nobody ever saved me.”

" My son," the man began harshly," saved you, and everyone else in this world. Every person you meet or have met, every man, woman, or child. Even the man who is responsible for killing your wife."

“ You mean you,” Thomas said half-confused.

The man sat motionless on the bench, just staring at Thomas.

Thomas stared back at the man, his jaw quivering, partly because he was trying to hold back his anger and partly because he was realizing something different in the man that wasn't there before. Something..... was more calm than the man he remembered. This man looked exactly like him, but his attitude and his presence were much more different.

" One question, Thomas. Would you give in? Would you kill him to cease your lust of vengeance?" the man asked," you're only deceiving yourself, Thomas. The road of revenge leads only to your own destruction. So.......... would you kill him?"

Thomas stares, now fully realizing that this man is not the man who killed his wife. This man before him now is someone else. No, something else.

"No," Thomas whispers while lowering his gun as he begins to understand," You're not the one who killed her."

They both remain quiet.

" No, I'm not," the man smiles.

" Then how did you know all of that," Thomas asked.

" Well, because I know everything, Thomas," the man said, standing and walking away from the bench.

The true answer came over Thomas, causing a warmth and a disbelief to engulf his body like that of a hug of a lover. He closed his eyes, as a tear rolled down his cheek and slid off of his chin.

" Wait.... Why.....Why did you do this? Why did you come?" Thomas asked.

" I came, Thomas, to bring you exactly what you needed," the man said turning around," and so, I gave you closure and a second chance to live the life I had planned for you to live."

The man turned back around and continued walking until he came to a woman with auburn hair. Then in a instant flash of light he was gone. The woman turned to look a Thomas. She smiled, signifying that everything was alright. Turning around to vanish in the same way.

Thomas sighed, bowing his head down, tears filling his eyes, looking at the ground. Thomas smiled, something he hadn't done in months, with tears rolling down his cheek.

" Closure," he whispered smiling again. Looking up, he withdrew his gun and walked to his car and drove away, tossing out his anti-depressant pills and its container.


© Copyright 2018 Jared Pooler. All rights reserved.

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