Chapter 12: Oh Happy Day

The weekend went by, and I didn’t die. It’s not that I stopped thinking about dying, but going back to work Monday took my mind off it for a while. But, as luck would have it, no sooner than I stopped thinking about it, of course that’s when death comes. I felt it, like it was following me the whole ride home. And then, just as I was picking up the mail, I felt the presence very strong behind. He thought he could sneak up on me, but I was prepared.

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“Let’s do this.”

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“You don’t have to stand over me and watch, Grim! I’ll go peacefully and quickly. I’m ready to go.”

“Hey, daddy,” Joy said as she came out to greet me.

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“Is this one of your work friends?”

“Go back inside,” I whispered as I felt the life leaving my body.

My poor, innocent daughter. Social butterfly for sure!

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“Are you guys playing a game?”

I tried to motion to her to get back inside, but I was too weak. This was definitely the end for me, but I tried to hold on until she went back inside. I know children are resilient, but I never wanted them to see me die. I struggled to keep my eyes open. The last thing I saw was precious.

“Oooh, you have the new iPad! Can I see?”

Joy got closer to Grim and reached out for his tablet, but he yanked it away from her and exposed his identity.

“I’m not gonna drop it! Hey, why do you carry that big knife around like that? Wait a minute…you’re the dark man with the big knife daddy talked about! Are you here to take my daddy?”

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The last thing I heard and saw was my baby begging for my life. I was gone. Cold as ice. I don’t know how long I was dead, but I was definitely dead! All I remember is waking up in mid air.

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“That’s some kid you got there, mister. She made a pretty good case for you!”

“Thank you for listening to her.”

“I’ll be back for you, and I may not be so lenient.”

“I know. I’ll be ready.”

Although I was prepared to die, I couldn’t help but feeling grateful to be alive. I ran upstairs to wrap my arms around my daughter and thank her for what she did.

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“I love you, daddy. I’m glad you’re back.”

“Me too, honey. But, you know…he’s going to come back one day, and you’re going to have to let me go next time. Do you understand that?”

“Yes. But why do you have to go so soon?”

I was flattered that she completely disregarded my silver locks and wrinkled skin and only saw life through her young eyes all the while knowing that one day she would resent my age.

“Everybody has to go sometime, Joy.”

“Oh all right,” she sighed reluctantly.

I went downstairs and found Sandra comforting Donovan. I suppose they both saw from a distance.

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The next thing I knew was my brother-in-law was at the door.

“Yo, what up folk?”

“Hello, Ace. Please come in.”

“What’s goin on sis? You sounded real messed up on the phone so I thought I would come on by.”

I didn’t know why, but I felt very awkward being there while they talked about my situation, so I went to the bathroom and hung out for a while. But, you know how it is when you’re trying to keep time with no clock? You wait and wait and wait and wait, but what feels like 10 minutes turns out to be like two? I came out of the bathroom just as she was telling him I died. Nice move, X…not.

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“Word? He died? Sis, that’s messed up! I’m sorry to hear that, yo!”

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“Well, you know, he’s here now for a little while longer, and everything is gonna be aight. Believe that,” Ace said.

“Thanks. I believe that,” Sandra said through tears.

It was a very tender moment, and I probably should have shed some tears, but I just felt so vibrant and virile. I couldn’t help myself!

“I’M ALIVE,” I shouted at the top of my lungs. “I’M ALIVE! WOO HOO!”

“Yes, you are, baby,” Sandra said and blew me a kiss.

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I guess virility is contagious! Ha ha!

“Look, Ace, I appreciate you coming by to support Sandra and all…”

“It’s ok, X. I know you wanna spend some time with your lady and all, so I’ll just see myself out.”

“Thanks for understanding, man. Hey…you should come by for Sunday dinner some time!”

“Ok then! I’ll holla at y’all later.”

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“I’m alive, Sandra! I’m alive!”

“Uh huh. And do you know what happens to guys who are raised from the dead?”

“What’s that?”

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