Obituary Omissions

I sat back and sipped my coffee.  It wasn’t good for my nerves, but the taste was comforting.  This was where I was supposed to meet my contact to get the remaining items I needed for the trip.  I was going away forever.  The circumstances did not allow me to pack my things and say goodbye to my loved ones.  No closure would be provided for any party.  This would be an open ended story with no possibility for resolution.  And it was the worst for me, because not only did I know that everyone I loved had to deal with the grief of my death, but I also knew that it was a lie.

A man walked into the diner and stopped at the front counter to survey the scene.  I suspected he was looking for me, but I didn’t want to draw more attention to myself, so I instead returned my attention to my coffee.  Eventually he came at sat across from me.  The waitress follow him and asked him his drink order.  He took coffee as well.

“I put a suitcase in the trunk of your car” the man said.  “It has clothes in it, some cash, and your new ID.  Also your ticket.  Flight leaves at seven tonight, so you’ll need to get on your way.”

“Do you meet with people in diners a lot?”

“I try not to meet people in public at all.  But usually, this sort of thing is planned and everyone has a chance to get their affairs in order before they leave.”  He looked down at my cup.  “Coffee’s good here?” he asked.

“Not bad.  This is a diner, so probably just from a package.”

He nodded in agreement as the waitress arrived with his cup and poured the coffee for him.  I didn’t know what else to say to him so instead I just watched him prepare his coffee.  One creamer, two Equal packets.

“Finish that cup and then you should leave.  It’s going to take you at least two hours to get to the airport, and you want to plan for any delays.  The folks on the other end won’t have time to wait if you miss your flight.”

I nodded.  I didn’t want to disappoint them.

When my coffee was gone, I shook the man’s hand and thanked him.  He nodded and told me to be careful.  I drove in silence, sinking deep into my own thoughts and trying to hold back the tears.  I knew this was all for the best.  I’d seen what would have happened if I stayed, but the pain was still strong.  I thought about my family, my wife and my sons.  I thought about my brother and my sisters and my father.  As I thought of all those I had to leave behind, I wondered what my obituary would read.  I hadn’t read many of them in my life, not really an interest of mine, but I did know the basic format.  It included those I was survived by and those that proceeded me in death.  Sometimes you would read about what the person was known for, what his or her hobby was.  Mine was woodworking.  I built and sold some furniture as a side job, and I had gained some notoriety for it.  What the obituary wouldn’t include though was how much I cared for my family and friends.  Sure it could mention my good qualities, but there wouldn’t be anything about the lengths I was willing to go to protect those that I love.  What the obituary writer and my family and my friends were unaware of was that I was going to save the world, and if they knew who I really was they would be in danger.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Loving Memory.”


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