Joseph – Tuesday – 12:33 pm

This entry is part 5 of 14 in the series Equanimity

Ace wasn’t the only person who’d had a revelation about his death: Joseph Aernoudts had awoken with the same realization two weeks earlier.

At first, the old man had dismissed the thought as pure paranoia.  After all, one didn’t make it to 82 years on this planet without facing the prospect of Armageddon at least once.  A few days later, however, a feeling of inevitable ending came over Joseph once more, and he became convinced that he would not see his 83rd birthday.

The old man was, surprisingly enough, happy with these thoughts.  His life had been a pleasant one, and he didn’t regret any of it.  He had seen the world for all its beauty and had met all kinds of interesting people, one of which would eventually become the love of his life.  Henrietta was her name, and the pair would travel together for a few years before finally settling down in a quiet neighbourhood and starting a family.

They would have six children in all, making for a very busy household.  Of course there were days when the children were impossible – days when Joseph felt as though he was trapped in a nightmare – but those days were few and far between.  What mattered, and what Joseph had truly cherished, were the short precious moments in life, like waking to find the kids huddled under the tree on a cool Christmas morning, or catching his youngest son having climbed up the kitchen counters in order to steal a handful of cookies from the cookie jar.  These were the memories he kept close, the ones he never wanted to forget.

As time went on the children grew up, went to school, dated, got jobs and began their own families.  Although they called grandma and grandpa from time to time, they were still very independent, and Joseph considered this proof of his children’s success.  With their success came the realization that he had done everything he had set out to do in his life, and all that was left was for God to come and pluck him from this earth.

That was just what God was going to do next Monday, and until about 20 minutes ago, he had been just fine with it.

***

The beaten-up Chevrolet turned into a darkened alleyway.  The car then slowly made its way to the far end of the alley and stopped in a small parking lot.

From inside the car, Joseph stopped the engine and looked around suspiciously.  He’d come here once before – when he’d first learned of his impending doom – and had quickly decided never to come back.  Now, however, things had changed, and he grinned sourly at the rusted sign that hung on the shop’s door.

Honest Abe’s Gunnery
- We aim to please, you aim too… please! -

Joseph stepped out of his car and hesitantly walked up to the door.  It was 12:33pm.

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