TITLE: MY MOMENT WITH DEATH
By Samuel Connelly
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Thanks Matthew for editing this. I really appreiciate it.
MY MOMENT WITH DEATH
I sat in a little coffee shop called the Glass Café- a place I often go to hang out and write on my laptop since it is about 100 yards from my office. I was looking out the window watching the rain fall in massive, drowning sheets. It was then that she caught my eye.
She was sitting in a booth across the café, looking at me. I thought that she was attractive but I didn’t spend a minute flirting with her. I am fully devoted to my wife. I don’t play with fire.
She was beautiful though. She had long- semi curly dark red hair, tanned olive face’ and light blue eyes. She wore a black t-shirt that cut off just above her navel, and a short black skirt.
I tried to focus my eyes on a tiny spot on the window to my side, but the urge to look back at her was hard to fight. Suddenly I felt her unseen presence. It was like her eyes were on me, touching me; walking up and down my body frame, as if they were tourists on an exploration.
I turned slightly to the right and then looked over my shoulder at her. She was gone. The booth was empty.
Taking a big deep breath and a sigh of relief I put my head down in a moment of thanks. Just then a hand lay on my shoulder. Long slender fingers ran across my shoulders and upper back, from my right shoulder to my left.
I looked up to my left and there she was standing by my side at the table. She made a gesture with her hands for me to scooch over so she could sit next to me.
Her deep, deep light blue eyes nearly had me in a trace.
“I have been watching you from the other side of the room.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” I said nervously as I fidgeted with my fingers. I rubbed my wedding band. “I really shouldn’t be talking to you. I’m married and my wife and I have a few safety nets…”
“To shun the appearance of evil; I know Sam, I know.” She said almost mockingly. “You don’t eat alone with women and your wife doesn’t eat alone with men. You don’t have the opposite sex over at the house when you’re alone. Yea, Yea.” Then she brought her hand up to my head and ran her long cold fingers through my hair, and curled a lock of my hair around her fingers.
I couldn’t move. I felt like I was paralyzed. There was just something about her. I didn’t have any sexual thoughts running through my head, I was not turned on, but I couldn’t seem to move. Although lust was not an issue – I didn’t desire her- some sort of seduction was keeping my body paralyzed.
She looked deep into my eyes, and smiled, showing her beautiful white teeth. I caught my mouth smiling back.
“What are we doing?” I said, shaking my head free from this mind game. “Who are you, and how do you know my name?”
“I like you Sam. I do. But I am not here to ruin your marriage or tempt you.” She removed her hand from my head and brought both of her hands to lie on the table, fingers interlocked. She laughed, “A relationship just won’t work between us anyways. I’m a really needy girl, you know.”
“No, I don’t know.” I said. “I’m sorry that I’ve sat here and possibly, in some way led you on a little; I wasn’t trying to.” I stood up from the table and started putting my laptop into its case.”
“Sam, don’t be like that.” She said and then she reached over and grabbed my hand. “I just wanted to talk to you. In my crazy life I very seldom get a break, and I have no friends at all. I am totally alone; cursed.”
“I am sorry to hear that…I really am. But I can’t be that person that is going to take away all your pain and listen to your woes. You need a friend, everyone does, but I can’t be that friend.”
My heart did go out to her. As I looked into her beautiful deep blue eyes, I could very clearly see an ocean of tears that longed to break out; longed to feel a release.
“Do you remember this?” She opened up her hand and there was a little peace of white college rules paper folded up. I took it and opened it up. It looked like it was a note that I had written. As I examined it more, I recognized it.
“How did you get this?”
She smiled and I could see the ocean trying to break through the thin layer of skin separating a blue planet of tears, and my reality.
Suddenly I realized that this was a letter I had written to God and when I was finished, I burnt it in my bathroom sink. It was from a time in my life when I was desperate for a friend. I felt alone and was so heavy hearted that I even longed for death. I read the small portion of it that was highlighted in shaded pencil:
’…even death. How could death
be my enemy? For death will
come someday to me and kiss
Me with a deep, sweet, and
bitter kiss, ushering me
into the realm of God.
How then can death be my
enemy? No I would happily
call death my friend.’
“That is the most beautiful thing that anyone has even written about me. I have followed you ever since I got this.’
“What? How did you get this? I burned this up; I watched it go up in flames with my own eyes.”
“That’s when I saw it with mine.” She said. “I am Death. Sam, I am Death, I am the one who reaps souls. And this is the most incredibly lonely life. Everyone is afraid of me, I can’t love anyone, or be intimate with anyone, but I feel passion like you do. You have your wife; you can love, and be intimate, if I try to be intimate with someone they come close to dying. If I kiss anyone they die. That is how I reap.”
“Come on, you mean to tell me that you’re Death? You expect me to believe that, really?” I said, starting to feel sorry for this strange woman.
“You are a diabetic aren’t you.”
“Sure, any one who has seen me eat in public would know that.”
“Yeah but you found out that you were diabetic November 12, two years ago.” She said as you put her head into her hands. “November 8th, your birthday, you were driving down I-35 north to meet your family for a birthday dinner. All the sudden you got double vision and had to pull over because you were afraid of getting into a wreck.”
“How do you know that?” I asked – now more concerned with who she claimed to be.
“I am right, aren’t I?”
“Yeah… but how.”
“Sam, I hated myself for that.”
“For what?” I sat back down in the booth with her.
“I have carried this letter close to me now for nearly 5 years. I have read this a thousand times, at least.” She took the letter and placed it on her chest. “Sometimes, Sam, I am almost sure that I can feel my heart pounding and then a momentary passion.” Then she looked down at her chest and slowly removed the letter and looked at it. “But that can’t be, Sam, because I am Death: I don’t have a heart.”
“Why would you hate yourself?”
“On that ride home Sam, I was sitting with you in the car. You weren’t happy. I remember you thinking about how you wished that you had had a relationship with your parents. You felt pain, Sam, and because your heart was breaking, mine broke too. I wanted to tell you that I understood your loneliness. I wanted to touch you and wipe away your tears. I wanted to take you away from all your pain.
“As I sat there feeling your pain and wanting to love you, I made a huge mistake that I can’t take back. I put my hand on your heart, because I just wanted to feel it beat. Then I rubbed my face on the side of your face and gave you a small kiss on the cheek.”
“I don’t get it, what did you do that was so bad?”
“When I kissed you – because of who I am – I unintentionally gave you diabetes. You are a diabetic because of me. I am Death, and I shared death with you.”
I don’t know why I believed her, but I did, and I was moved. I could hardly speak. This was all weird, and strange, and wrong, and I was angry, but flattered and speechless. I wanted to cry, and yell, but I was also afraid.
I really didn’t know what to say to her. I took both of her hands and looked at her in the eyes. We both sat there silent for probably only a few seconds, but it felt like minutes. She had once cared for me in a moment of real pain, and now I could see that her pain was much more than I could ever possibly imagine.
“If you have felt like this about me, and at any time, you could kill...”
“Reap me, why haven’t you?”
“I would rather watch you grow up and have a family and be in love with your wife, and take you when it’s the right time than take you now. Besides, when that special moment comes, I will only get to kiss you for a few seconds, and then you will be ushered into heaven. I won’t see you again.”
“This is really kind of screwed up for you…Death.”
“There is a reason that I am Death. I deserve my sentence.”
“What could you have possibly done…”?
“We can’t talk about that. The important thing is that we are here, sitting in a coffee shop, talking.”
My mind was racing in a million different directions. I smiled at her, and liked her company. She knew me, what I have been through, and she wanted to be with me.
“Don’t stress Sam, I have to go. I have an appointment a block away in a couple of minutes.”
“So...” I said with a smile.“Can you tell me when my big day is going to be?”
“Nope, But I can say that I have almost reaped you a few times. I showed restraint.” She smiled a big smile. I laughed.
“So once you leave me today…will I ever see you again?”
“Probably not…except, of course, for our big date.” She said with a wink.
“Oh gosh that’s creepy.”
“We will have seven beautiful seconds with each other. Then you will go be with the Creator for eternity.” Looking at a watch that just appeared on her wrist, she stood up. “Time to go, Sam.”
“What I thought you said…”
“Not time you for to go; time for me to go back to work.”
I stood up from the booth and put my hand out. She hugged me. I hugged her too. “It was nice, and really creepy, meeting you Death. Thanks for talking to me.”
“I enjoyed it. You are a great guy. Your have a great family, and I hope that you make the most of what you have while you’re still here.”
She put her long white index finger on the tip of my nose and smiled. She turned around and started towards the front door. Looking back at me she said, “See you around Sam.”
“Hopefully later than soon.” I said. She just smiled… which kind of made me a little uncomfortable.
As I finished putting my computer away, I took a moment to think about what had just happened here. I looked around the room and wondered if all these people had seen her too, or if they all think that I am a really strange man who likes to talk intensely with himself. I picked up my satchel and walked out the door.
An Ambulance rushed down the street, and turned in down the road…about a block away.
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