The Minute Man

man

It had been a rough week, and for the first time in a long time, he closed his eyes and just drifted away.
“Do you want the usual?” Came a call from another room. “I said, do you want a black coffee?” Called the same voice.
It took everything for him to reply. “Just black, please.”

He closed his eyes once more, the relaxation was drawing him in like a drug. She banged the door forcing him to open his eyes again.

“Do you want the usual?” Came a call from another room.
“I said, I wanted black.”
“No you didn’t, besides I’ve only asked you.”

He was too tired to argue. “Sorry, my mistake.”
The rest of the afternoon, he wasted more time, something that he was good at nowadays when she wasn’t there.  He got up and looked out the window to see if she was coming home. He leaned his head against the glass window and closed his eyes. That was when he heard the screech, he opened his eyes and there was the old woman from the second floor lying in the street. She had just been hit by a car.

He ran down the stairs, even although the doctor advised against it, and out on to the street. But there she was, the old woman, standing alive and well. Just then she stepped on to the road, and that was when the car hit her.
Had he just imagined all that, upstairs?

His life had been really weird since that evening after the party. He had drunk too much and had gone to bed, fully clothed. Sometime in the middle of the night, he had got up to get a drink of water from the kitchen. He had stood at the top the stairs in his socks and as he started to walk, he’d slipped all the way down. Carpets and socks weren’t a good combination. He thought his leg or arm would be broken but, in the end, he hit his head on the door, on the floor below. He was unconscious for several minutes, enough to get his wife (who had been sleeping in another room due to his drunk snoring) very concerned and she phoned an ambulance.

They had discharged him from the hospital in the morning but he’d still had dizzy spells.
The old woman from floor two had also been taken away in an ambulance. When his wife came home, he almost told her about the incident but decided against it. She was a very practical woman and wasn’t one for any kind of theories.

That evening, the two of them were watching the television – something he enjoyed but she would usually ‘tut’ all the way through the shows.
Just before the woman singer, who had been famous once, picked the lotto numbers, he closed his eyes.
He saw the numbers: 12, 39, 5, 17, 18 and 3.

He opened his eyes again, just as the balls were being selected.
’12,39,5……………’

That night, on several occasions, he would close his eyes and see some event on television. He would then open his eyes, and count the time until the actual event occurred – it was sixty seconds.
He decided he would tell his wife, he had to. So he closed his eyes and heard what her reply would be. Her condescending response made him think again about actually telling her.

He therefore decided to change his mind and so change the future – and that scared him.

bobby stevenson 2017

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