It all started with a cup of coffee. It wasn’t even a good cup of coffee, but how was I supposed to know what the cup of coffee was predicting? I always expected the moment I’d be forced to shrug off my sleepy little life would happen with words whispered into my ear by a handsome stranger, “You’ve been activated.”
Instead a dirty manila envelop was slid onto the table by an unnoticed carrier when the waitress dropped the coffeepot. Really it was a gift to the other coffee drinkers entering the restaurant because the new girl still hadn’t figured out how to make coffee. It was so weak that the water barely held colour. Anyway, when I looked back at my own mug considering whether to knock it off the table into the wreckage I notice the envelop.
I knew without opening it what it was and I sat for a moment considering it before I slipped a five dollar bill under my cup with the only photograph I carried of my family. When I first placed the photo in my wallet I knew it was my way to tell them goodbye so I wrote on the back, “Tell them I love them.” I knew that I was too much of a coward to go home because that hug and a kiss goodbye would be more then I could bare.
My time as a family man had always been borrowed, and I’d set the steps in place years ago to set off a chain reaction that was in their best interest. It was my way to keep them safe no matter what happened to me and it all started with the photograph. With a soft sigh I slid out of the booth, picked up the envelop and walked out of my own life. I was someone else now…
By Shari Marshall – 2019
February’s theme is Secret Life. Post a link in the comment section below with your interpretation of Secret Life, any medium welcome.