My name's Julian Thomas. Strange name for a man, I always thought. Although, these are stranger circumstances under which I'm telling you this story. My hat is dripping wet and I can't even carry the weight of my drenched clothes any more. The finger yearns to make the final push. Yet still, I need to get this off my chest.
See, I've never gotten used to the act of letting go yet I feel nothing when time comes for me to see off another friend to a distant land or when I lose another love interest to cruel fate. It's second nature, yet it feels like a fresh wound. A blood clot scab picked away at for so long that I can't even feel the pain.
0.357 calibre rounds.
Every single time I encounter something delightfully new or exciting in my life, I cannot help but think “When will this leave me too?”
How fast will the bullet travel?
It's all just a ticking time bomb for me. Everyone and everything has an expiration date. I can't be certain if “forever” is an actual word anymore. Who coined this in the first place anyway? To me, forever lasts as long as a life allows it to. As long as another life is loyal to you, you will stay with it forever. As long as life keeps giving you opportunities to prove yourself, your career will be fruitful forever. As long as life lasts, forever does too.
Will the cycle keep repeating itself?
Thing is, life isn't cut out to be unpredictable. So you predict the unpredictable to have some sort of certainty, right? You safeguard yourself against everything by assuming the worst to happen or you could assume the best, or maybe both?
What if it misfires?
Yet here I stand again at the precipice. Teetering on the edge of my feelings regarding whether I should be shocked about yet another loss or should I let the blood flow from my fictitious wound without batting an eye.
I still see vivid flashes of the horrifying incident. Senior doctors rushing for the defibrillator, nurses crying in the corner, and blood. So much blood. At the end of it all, was the patient the one who passed away, or was it I? That I can't remember.
I'm shaken back to reality by the roaring thunder. By now, my knees have sunk into the wet mud.
I read the words on the tombstone and I finally know what I need to do.
“Here lies Julian Thomas Jr. A life that ended before it could begin.”
Forever is just a gimmick, and my forever ends today.
I lay the gun down beside the grave and walk away.