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The Reaper

The smell of freshly cut grass on a bright and warm summer’s day may sound like a nice thing to experience, but unfortunately for me it generally isn't. My hay fever gets so bad that medication to relieve its symptoms doesn't help me out all that much. Having just passed a field where the grass was still being cut has me sneezing uncontrollably. I am sure my red, itching, watery eyes have me looking smashingly well.

Speaking of smashing, that is something I done not so long before I came out. See I recently caught my fiancé, my ex fiancé that is, making out with a guy she once told me was her boss. So her fine china has just gone for a crash course in fine dining. Smashing plates, saucers and cups won't help anything but it did feel good. Those few seconds have been the only moment in my recent memory that I have felt in any way good.

Immersing myself in work is the only thing that has kept me alive up to now and as for now, right at this very moment, I am off to my place of work to end my life. The office building where I work has twenty three floors. That distance of a drop from top to bottom is more than sufficient for my life to come to an end following a nice healthy jump. The only thing is that I am not a hundred percent committed to making that jump.

I stand before the building where I work, looking up. The glare of the morning sun has me shading my eyes. Right at this moment I can tell you that I just so happen to be dressed in my best suit, if I am gonna go out then I may as well go out in style. As I continue to stare upwards and shade my eyes a man moves right up to and stands next to me and he just so happens to be wearing an identical suit to what I am wearing.

'Nice day isn't it?' he says to me.

I grin cynically and nod while still suffering the effects of my hay fever. I make my way inside the building and towards to the elevator thinking that I may as well make my way to the roof before I decide as to if I will jump or not. I am not the only one to enter the elevator but that doesn't bother me, my goal is to get to the roof, and get there I shall. It is only when the elevator comes close to being empty that I notice the music playing inside. It is an elevator instrumental version of Van Halen's Jump.

'Might as well jump, huh?'

Only myself and one other get out on the top floor and it just so happens that the 'other' is the guy who stood next to me outside the building. I don't know why but I am uncomfortable with the fact that we both are wearing identical suits. To me it somehow feels like more than coincidence that we both get out on the top floor. He glances over at me as the elevator doors open then he smiles, nods and exits. I exit the elevator and go in the opposite direction.

Up on the roof I have made up my mind that I am going to jump. I climb up on the ledge and have a glance downwards. It is a heck of a long way down. That is the point though, isn't it? I don't quite fancy any other method of ending things, well apart from shooting myself that is.

I have a low tolerance for physical pain. A gunshot to the head, that would be quick and death would be instantaneous but I don't own a gun and have no way of getting my hands on one. I don't fancy drowning or hanging. I definitely do not want a painful death. I know as soon as I hit the ground after jumping from so high up that that's it. I won't be laying around in agony waiting to die.

As I stand on that roof top considering taking a leap of faith or fate a voice from close by speaks to me. It catches me off guard and I almost fall but I manage to catch my balance. I am on the ledge after all, yeah though if I am to jump then I'll jump when I am ready and not before that.

'I bet the view is great from up here' speaks the voice, a voice belonging to none other than that suit wearing fellow.

After having gathered myself I respond 'I am not up here for the view and don't even try talking me out of this, I have made my mind up.'

'Wouldn't dream of it, I have my own reason for being up here.'

'Yeah? Not that it makes any difference to me but what reason would that be?'

'I am the reaper, or should I say … A reaper … and I am here to collect your soul, once you have ...' making a waving motion with his arm the man continues '... you know, done the business.'

What he had just said actually made me laugh.

'You are the Grim Reaper? Man, maybe you are even more messed up than I am.'

Having just said that I watch as the man's right hand darkens and appears to age rapidly. His fingernails lengthen and turn a dark yellow colour before his right sleeve begins to darken and this continues all along up his arm. Before his torso begins to darken a long black scythe appears at his right hand. Within seconds this man had transformed into what a typical Grim Reaper would look like.

Only moments ago I thought that this guy had completely lost it, maybe it is I who has just lost it and maybe I am not quite 'all there', all the more reason for me to believe that my decision to jump is the right decision to make. This 'Reaper', or whatever it is, points a finger at me before turning it around to make a signal to move towards him.

'Feck that' I speak, thinking out loud.

I am not hanging around to see what might happen next, so I jump and wow, this actually feels good. This free falling feeling, it is like an enormous weight has been lifted. Apart from a couple of moments recently, all obviously enough being prior to this moment, this is the best I have felt in a long time, and this is a moment which is not passing all too quickly either.

It is amazing the amount time I have to think about the past and the present and life in general, and I still a bit to go before I hit the ground … oh crap … the ground. I forgot for a moment what it is that I am doing; now I don't want to hit that ground. I don't want to die. I have changed my mind, I take it all back … I want to live.

I have just hit the ground, or so I believe. On my back I lay looking up at the sky. I am still alive. What the hell? Must be in shock but I couldn’t have survived that fall, have I? I begin to pat my body. Feeling that patting and no pain I can’t help but be lost to what it is that is happening? I am not bleeding, I am not even hurting at all. What is going on?

My surrounding are not what they should be. Wait a minute. I am not on the street in front of the building. I am back on the roof, and there is no sign of that reaper guy either.

There is noise coming from beyond the ledge. There is nothing wrong with me, I feel fine so I move to the ledge and look down below. I had jumped moments ago but there is someone else lying on the street below and it has caused plenty of commotion. On further inspection I can see the person down on the street below is a man, a man wearing an identical suit to the one I am wearing. Seriously … what the hell?

... Maybe I should just go home. Things definitely don't seem so bad after all; yeah, I think I should definitely do that. I am going home...

 

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