Date with Death

by Austin T
(New Mexico, USA)

Walter Johnson slowly walked home for what seemed like the thousandth time in a dark suburb of Chicago.

It seemed like everything and been going downhill for the guy that had been making half a million dollars a year and seriously considering buying himself a new midnight blue Ferrari.

He had just been announced to be promoted to Vice President of the company he put twenty years of his life into (not to mention almost two million dollars to keep it going through tough times).
And even before Walter could set foot into his new office the drunken bum Andrew Ryan or better known to Walter as his would a, could a, should a been boss that liked to spend all of the company’s money on late night booze binges and gambling workers paychecks away at the casinos it was obviously a recipe for disaster that couldn’t have come at a worse time for Walter and his wife Barbra.

Now Walter was layed off with no income and at almost fifty years of age mixed in with the economy mixed in all together it was almost impossible to find anybody that would hire him. And his wife Barbra (that never worked a day in her life) was pretty much completely useless right now. She didn’t even know how to cook and they had to fire their nanny Charlene, so that had left them alone in a huge home and nothing to do but sit as far away from each other and make small talk.

They also began to argue every day, it had just became a given for them. And the truly sad thing, at least’s in Walters opinion, was that most of them were arguments about nothing.

One night they argued about whether or not it would rain tomorrow. And the argument lasted almost two hours and ended with Walter sleeping on the quilted couch in the lounge room. He finally fell asleep listening to old Jazz records and sipping on Jack and Coke. The late night Jack and Coke mix and also became a nightly ritual and least for Walter, but now they couldn’t even afford a twelve pack of coke let alone the Jack.

Walter finally made a left and could see his house in the distance already.

He passed by the corner flower shop and stopped for a second to take in the beauty of the display stand.
It was a plain white wood stand that held close to thirty bouquets of flowers that were all different one way or another. The one that caught his eye was a mixture of purple, yellows, pinks, and blues.

A roar of thunder clapped off somewhere in the sky but he didn’t seem to notice. He was lost in all the colors of the flowers.

What finally did snap him out of his trance was the little twink twink of the bell attached to the door.
Standing in the door frame staring at Walter in disbelief was Walter’s old friend Debra.

“Walter!?’ she uttered in disbelief

Walter quickly turned around on his heel and began to walk down the street and away from Debra.

“Wait, Walter is that you?” she called after him but Walter didn’t turn around to respond.

He wasn’t really looking his best. He hadn’t shaved in over a month and hadn’t washed is hair in two weeks and counting.

“Why did this all have to happen to me? From being vice president to working at a fast food joint” thought Walter.

The memory of first showing up to work at Burger King, he walked into the small kitchen wearing tweed sweatshirt black slim pants and a briefcase at his side. He stood there in disbelief when the manager said “Ugh ya new guy, you can start by mopping the bathrooms.” He said as the manager with his paper hat and name tag that said “Hi my name is Jim, how may I help you”.

“Ugh and buddy what’s with the briefcase?” he said giving it an awkward look.

Walter stared at his brown shoes that also looked out of place next to the white dirty tile. He put the empty briefcase down behind the register and went to grab the mop that was located in the corner.

He snapped out of his horrible memory as a cold rain drop hit him right on the nose followed by another in the eye and a third on his forehead. Then it began to poor all around it drenching everything in a matter of seconds. Walter let out a sigh and began the final few blocks of his walk home.

He walked in the door of his now looming home. He flipped the light switch a few times and then realized the power had been knocked out by the storm.

“ Honey I’m home, where are you”.

Only silence filled the house and there was no response.

“Honey?” shouted Walter a little nervous now that he could hear it in his own voice.

He slowly checked the whole house with not a trace of his wife anywhere. There was only one room left. The “Garden Room”. It was the biggest room in the house. It was lined with ten feet high windows and a beautiful garden outside all of them. It was Walters favorite room especially when it rained.

He slowly walked in there and looked around and saw nothing. Then a huge flash of lighting filled the room and he saw something very disturbing. His wife Hung from the top floor hanging in the middle of the room twirling like a piece of meat on a meat hook. But even more disturbing than that he actually began to laugh. Long hardy laughs from his gut. He laughed all the way to the kitchen where he saw a piece of paper on the counter. He cut the laughs when he realized it was from his wife.

It read: Dear Walter,

I’m sorry I have to do this to you but I can’t go on anymore. I was never suppose to live like this. Again I’m sorry. I am writing this letter at seven o’ six. I love you. I always did.

That was all that was written on the paper but one part caught Walter’s mind. The seven o’ six part. He had seen that set of numbers before. In that exact same order. It finally clicked in his mind. He walked up the long staircase to the master bedroom. It was the code to his gun safe. He cranked open the old safe and he pulled out his 35. Magnum. He walked back down to the garden room and sat down in the big red leather chair. His wife hanging only three feet away. He spun the barrel of the revolver and put it to his temple. He pulled the trigger and heard the dry click of the gun.

“HA HA HA” Walter laughed again.

“O well maybe next time” said Walter as he gave the barrel another spin and gave it another round of laughs.

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