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Tags: dead, man, alone

The morning sun shone brightly through the stained glass windows. Gentle, calming and warm the rays of light shown beautifully over the wooden casket. It let everyone know everything would be all right. Their loved one was in a better place. At least that was what the pastor would say, if anyone were there. He walked in expecting the dead man's wife softly crying by the casket, the children rambling about, friends and extended family murmuring to each other giving their condolences. Instead, he met with a dead man's muted silence and the crisp air, as dust settled reflecting the streaming sunlight.

"Perhaps, there was an accident and traffic is unbelievably slow," he told himself breaking his own silence. He shuffled the papers in his hand making sure he was ready for the speech he wrote to ease the tension and pain the room should have.

Ten painstakingly long minutes later, a man with a fine tailored black suit entered. In his hand was a polished black briefcase. He cleared his throat, when he saw only the pastor in the whole room.

"Welcome good sir, originally I would say, you're right on time, before the service, but so far I may think you're early for the next viewing." The pastor told the new comer in a growing depressed voice.

"Oh no, I happen to be where I should be."

"Family or friend of the deceased?"

"Neither, the dead man is, well was my client. After all I am his lawyer, and have his will right here." He patted his briefcase and placed it by the door.

"Ah," the pastor slumped, "I don't understand, has this man no family? No friends? Nobody who cared for him? Has he made no achievements in his life to be recognized during the time of his passing?"

"I perhaps can shed some light on the situation." The lawyer walked up the casket and disdainfully looked at the dead man. He turned to the old Pastor, who looked in earnest for the reason nobody seems to care for the man.

"Well, you see, I became his lawyer around ten years ago. The man was quite beloved and well cared for in his time. Now I know you're wondering that people should be here, if he was, so well beloved and such. The man wasn't convinced that all of his friends would miss him, if he suddenly disappeared one day. He came to me and had a plan to see who his true friends were, and who merely used him. Of course, he paid me extra to go along with it and a week later, he faked his death. It was a nice ceremony too. People cried. A truck in a freak car accident supposedly crushed him. This gave the excuse for a closed casket viewing. He had almost everybody fooled."

"But they all laughed it off, once they saw he was joking and alive right?"

"Not exactly, those who believed he was actually dead jaded themselves into denial, when told he was actually alive. To this day, they are still convinced their good friend died years ago. The ones who didn't believed he died, felt betrayed and left him. I believe one said might as well be dead, for if he truly thinks he could just throw away our friendship like that. It was a rough time for him afterwards."

"What about his family?"

"Do you think his ex wife would come for the death of a pathological liar? Surprised she didn't come for the will though."

The pastor looked at the dead man and then down at the speech he had written and slid it into the trash bin. He sighed heavily and walked over to where the lawyer stood. Both men solemnly stared at the empty room and then at the dead man.

"Let's just get him to the grave site then, no need to take up space." The Pastor reached up to close the lid to the coffin. He hesitated a moment, wondering what would happen if the man had not lied to his dear friends and family, might have things been different? Would he had lived instead of die the way he had, cold and all alone, nobody there to keep him company till his last breath. Would he still have his family surrounding him, friends to call on the phone or write messages to? So many possibilities for a future snuffed out by the backfiring idea to weed out who was not true to him, in the end it seemed he wasn't true to his friends.

The door suddenly burst open, and both men looked up hoping to see anyone with any connection to the deceased. To their disappointment, there was a delivery boy carrying a box and clipboard.

"I got a box here for a Mr. Wolfe," the boy said placing the box down and handing the clipboard to the lawyer.

"I'm afraid you're a little late, he's right there," the lawyer gestured at the dead man with the pen before signing off.

"Well that's a crying shame. The lady who told me to deliver this to him won't be pleased. She was mighty snippy as she was before, telling me to get this to him exactly at this moment."

The Pastor looked at the boy, "did she say who she was?"

"When I asked, she told me she wasn't obliged to give me that information. Then she left." The boy grabbed the clipboard from the lawyer, tipped his hat at the two men and then left them in stunned silence.

"Shall we see what is inside?" The lawyer peeled away the binding tape and uncovered a white wolf plushy toy with a real rose sewn into its mouth, around the wolf's neck was a black ribbon and a note.

The Pastor lifted the toy and turned the note to read the small words inscribed into the paper.

Because nobody should die alone

Both men read it and then reread it. The Pastor smiled softly and set the wolf onto the dead man's chest before placing his stiffened hands around it as if he were to protect it. Then he shut the lid and locked it shut, the small click was as clear as a bell and echoed in their minds for how final it was.

The lawyer grabbed his briefcase and walked with the Pastor to the door.

"Now isn't that a funny thought." The pastor said out loud with a small laugh. "That some random girl with no name, unknown connection, may as well be a Jane Doe, can find it in her heart enough to find a small amounts of forgiveness to a man who had unwittingly betrayed so many."

The lawyer paused before replying, "Why yes, that is a funny thought indeed."
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright ©2015 Rebellious Soul. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. Without prior permission of the author.

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