Chapter Six

I asked you at the beginning of this journey if you would want to know in advance when you are going to die. Now let me rephrase that question. Would you want to know when everybody else is going to die? Although I would have to give the first question a lot of serious thought to come up with an honest answer, this new question is a no-brainer. No. Absolutely not. I do not want to know when everyone I meet is going to die. I would have also added, given the structure of my belief system, that such information would be completely and totally impossible to come by.

Wrong again.

I now possessed said information. I could now walk right up to a perfect stranger, "Hi, how ya doing. Glad to meet you. By the way, I hope you have your affairs in order because you only have until the 5th day of your 36th year to live." Or, "Why yes, that’s an adorable little child. Too bad she isn’t going to live to see her adulthood."

Or worse. My relatives and acquaintances. They all have eyes and skin, too.

I told myself that one test subject does not make a proper experiment. It could have been an incredible coincidence. But I wasn’t convincing myself. Actually, I held no doubts whatsoever in my mind about the true meaning of the numbers anymore. I made the call. The call was right on the money, or rather, right on the date, in this case.

I knew.

Obviously, discovering what I felt to be the truth behind the numbers was not a triumphant moment. It did, however, finally silence my curious side. I heard no argument from within as I vowed to myself never to touch another human being ever again. Both sides of me, the passive, reclusive side and the naturally curious side, seemed to agree that this was simply too much information for any one soul to possess. It had to be silenced and ignored and, if at all possible, totally forgotten altogether with the help of the gloves that I had now decided to be wearing every time I set foot outside the house.

But something was still not sitting well inside me. The matter was done, resolved. I knew the mechanics of the anomaly---through contact with eyes and skin . I knew most likely why---because of the accident and maybe that hole they decided to leave in my skull. And I knew what the numbers stood for---death.

But how could I know? Was I seeing the future somehow? That too, based on my old belief system, was simply not possible. I assumed there had to be another explanation but even my more curious side seemed willing to forego the answer to that question in exchange for never experiencing the phenomenon again. But there was still something eating at me. There was still a question left unanswered that I needed to explain to myself before I tried to put it all behind me. I just couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what that question could be.

I walked back out to the garage. The light rain of only moments ago had turned into a steady pour. I took my seat next to the work bench and listened intently to one of my favorite sounds that nature has to offers us, the rhythmic pattern of the raindrops slapping the leaves in the trees and the pavement on the driveway. I lit up another Winston. I lifted my hand and smoothed out my hairless head as if pushing aside some phantom hair that I sometimes felt was still there. Something was definitely wrong, I mean, other than the fact that I could now foresee the deaths of all the people I came in contact with. I briefly wondered if this new infliction of mine also worked on animals, but I knew that wasn’t the question that I was seeking and quickly shoved the thought aside. I was fine with my new conclusions. I could accept my punishment of forever wearing gloves outside the house for the poor decision I had made that caused the accident. I didn’t need to know how it was possible for me to be acquiring this privileged and undesired information, especially since I was not going to be experiencing it ever again. But something...something else...was still very wrong.

I tried to force myself to shove the whole matter behind me and out of my mind, to think of something more pleasant. Then it hit me. My pleasant thought suddenly turning sour before I had a chance to use it for the purpose it had been retrieved. Katelynn. 29:29. That was the problem. Here the question was found. This was why I could not yet let go.

* * * * *

Here’s another question for you. How do you approach someone who appears to be in the prime of their life and warn them that they might be dying soon…very soon? How do you tell a young, vibrant, gorgeous woman that she will not live to see her 30th birthday? And then there’s the moral question. Do I even tell her at all? Should I tell her? The doctors always tell you when they discover you are going to die soon. But I am no doctor and I’ve never even played one on TV.

I didn’t know the answers to these questions or the others at war inside my brain. The battle was raging full bloom. Yes, tell her. No, she probably wouldn’t want to know. You don’t have the right to tell her. But she does have the right to know. She won’t believe me anyway. I wouldn’t believe me. No one wants to get that kind of news. There was no reason to tell her. Live and let live, or in this case, live and let die. Why ruin the last days she has left to live with worry and fear? Maybe she already knows she is dying. Maybe it’s some disease she already knows about that is calling in its hand.

It was almost settled…almost. There was one question that wouldn’t go away. One thought that stubbornly wouldn’t budge and seemed to single handedly shove away all other concerns. One deciding question.

What if she doesn’t have to die?

* * * * *

I decided the first thing I had to do was to find out how old Katelynn was. If I found out that she was 30 already, then it would prove that I had came to the wrong conclusion, and not for the first time in my life. I could live with that. And more importantly, so could Katelynn.

If I discovered that she was under 30, however---well, one step at a time. I didn’t exactly have a plan. I’d never had to do this before. I just needed to know how old she was. Or rather, I needed to confirm her age. I had a pretty good idea how old she was already.

I called the hospital to see if Katelynn was in. She answered the phone herself. I recognized her voice and hung up. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t do this over the phone. She had already been through a tough couple of days with Dr. Getz dying and all. I had no desire to make it worse. Yet, still, I had to know. What if she had just turned 29 a couple of weeks ago? But the jury was still out on whether or not I would, or could, to say nothing of whether or not I should, let her in on this knowledge I had stumbled onto.

If Katelynn was still working her normal shift, the same one she had when I had been a resident for two and a half weeks there, she would be getting off work at five. I called the cab company and was told I could easily be there before then.

* * * * *

Chapter Seven


Front Desk

Return to Author's Page

The Master Plan

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Tweny-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-Two
Chapter Thirty-Three
Chapter Thirty-Four
Chapter Thirty-Five
Chapter Thirty-Six
Chapter Thirty-Seven
Chapter Thirty-Eight
Chapter Thirty-Nine