Last Hour

The last hour of my life went by very fast. People say that your life flashes before your eyes right before you die, and it does. It’s called life. Every moment you live since you are born passes in front of your eyes, it just happens that at the point when you seize to exist, your brain relives everything in rapid succession. Think about it as copying files to another hard drive. Just because it took you thirty-five years to build up your memories, your knowledge, and everything you have stored in your brain, does not mean that it takes the same amount of time to copy it. Every sad moment, anger tantrum, life-changing event that made you happier than you have ever been; every memory that you have of your childhood, since you were born, got married, crashed your car, got wasted, had kids, got that promotion, will be condensed into a fraction of a millisecond, and you will feel and see everything that you have ever lived again all at once.

The last hour of my life went so fast and I think it was attributed to not knowing that I was going to die. I would have never imagined it, but I realized it at the last possible moment, right before muttering the word “Fuck”. If I ever get the chance to meet someone like me, I should definitely ask if when you have a slow death, you still have the same experience as I did. The gunshot was loud and thunderous, and I did not even get a chance to flinch. If I was only facing the other way, maybe I could have had a chance to react, but at that time, my excitement blinded me and I was preoccupied at the moment. One thing that will always stay with me this time around is that you should not hold on to anything, especially regrets, because it is all meaningless.

The last hour of my life could have been one of the happiest hours of my life, instead, it turned out to be the one that took me to my end. My soon-to-be wife witnessed the whole thing. She was not next to me, but I am pretty sure she saw what happened from afar. Across the street she stood, waiting for me, while someone put a bullet in my head. As irrelevant as it is, I wished I could have seen who it was and why he did it. My whole life I have preached situational awareness and I failed because I was focusing on what was going to happen that day. The day that I would ask her to marry me.

The last hour of my life consisted of driving from my hometown, after visiting a jewelry store. I could not afford to buy the ring I wanted cash, so I used my credit card. My job was not the best paying, but it was a stable job with many perks. Not being a big spender myself really helped me. I still remember the song on the radio, Sublime. Ninety miles an hour may have been a bit too fast on the highway, but I was in a hurry to give my love her gift. There were no cops, sheriffs, or highway patrol. It was the perfect sunny day, with eighty percent humidity, partially cloudy with a ten percent chance of rain. As I arrived at her workplace, I could see her through the window, picking up her things, and waving to her co-workers. Checked my coat, made sure the collar was right, no stains or wrinkles on my slacks, and my tie was properly knotted. She stepped out the door about the same time I stepped into the sidewalk, and determined to confront her, I felt the cold barrel of a .40 Smith and Wesson handgun press on my right temple, and I barely muttered the word “Fuck”.

I felt what could only be described as the atom bomb of emotions, and the only thing I could do was scream as loud as I could. It felt as if at the same time that my bullet entered my brain, every single piece of information was jammed out of my brain and then reinserted. The pain was not from my brain being splattered, but from feeling everything in my life all over again in a split second. My eyes opened and I was screaming to my lungs capacity. I was sitting up on a bed, and tears filled my eyes. My heart was pounding, my ears were thumping and everything was sore in my body. I heard my mother tell me it was OK, and that the nightmare was over. My father asked if I was OK. I passed out shortly afterward, crying because it had been the most horrid nightmare I’d had since I was a boy. In fact, once I thought about it, it was actually the exact same nightmare, except this time it made sense.

My eyes opened once again in the morning and in a daze of confusion, I looked around the room and realized that I may still be in fact dreaming, since I sat in a Mickey Mouse blanket, wearing blue flannel pajamas, and staring at a wall of toys that seemed very familiar. Outside I would hear the birds and feel the breeze from the open window, watching the curtain dance with the draft. My feet touched the ground and it was cold concrete, and I noticed my tiny little feet, around size eleven in boys. My heart raced as I tried to make sense of things. I hurried outside the door, took a right, then another right, as if I had been here before, little footsteps tapping on the hard cold concrete floor into the kitchen, where my mother and father who had been divorced for the past twenty years sat eating breakfast. Aside from being about thirty years younger, they looked very familiar, and I realized this was the real deal. I was standing in my five-year-old pajamas, with my parents in their mid-twenties, when just the day before I was planning to propose to my girlfriend of eight years, after discussing it with my children of sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, and ten. It was all gone, and I just sat there eating my Cookie Crisp cereal thinking about what I was going to do, trying to convince myself that this was not real. I remember this day thirty years ago, when I had the worst nightmare and saw how and when I died, but had forgotten in between the other thousands of dreams I’ve had.

Whether it was a curse or a blessing, why would I want to relive the same thirty years again? I did not believe in a god, much less in a cruel one that would punish me by giving me a second chance to fix the mistakes that made me who I am, and gave me a choice to lead a different life. I did not want this. Just like that, the last hour of my life was the happiest I have ever been, and I now had to task to have it again in the exact same way, thirty years from now. I finished my cereal and went back to bed where I had much to think about, and much planning to do. I will find her again, and be happy with her again.

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