A Better Life – 3

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A Better Life

A Better Life – 2

A Better Life – 3

Exiting the flash of overwhelming light, Jack hurried out of the rancid alley. He walked past a UPS driver who removed packages from his brown truck.

Jack stepped into the vehicle and turned the ignition.

“Hey, that’s my truck.”

Flooring the accelerator, he navigated the van through heavy traffic. “Come on. Get out of the way.”

Glancing into the rearview mirror, he noticed packages fall out the open back door, leaving a long trail. Two minutes later, he steered the truck up the stairs leading to the entrance. He had no concern for his own safety.

Jack raced out of the truck into the elementary school. Arriving at the security desk, he found the pudgy guard with two bullet wounds in his chest.

A loud pop sent arctic chills up his spine.

Around the corner he discovered the lone gunman stepping over the sprawled principal; reaching for the door to her classroom.

Running as fast as he could, Jack hurled his body at the crazed killer. They crashed to the floor. Wrestling for control of the weapon, several shots rang out.

Jack banged the gunman’s hand against the floor. The weapon fired before coming loose. Still struggling with the assassin, he kicked the gun.

It slid along the polished floor.

The sounds of loud footsteps approaching advised him the police had arrived.

Breaking free, Jack staggered. He slipped into an empty classroom as the gunman hurried after his weapon.

Several shots rang out. The murderer cried out.

Pressing a button on a black wrist band, a flash of brightness appeared. Relieved, he stepped through the time portal.

Entering the lab, Jack found Josephine and his assistant Scott waiting for him. He relaxed, mission accomplished.

A bout of dizziness sent him falling onto his back.

Gazing at his hand which pressed against his trembling abdomen, he noticed the blood stain on his white shirt growing like a spilled glass of wine on a table cloth.

“Scott, call 911.” Josephine rushed to his side.

Staring into her loving eyes, Jack opened his mouth to speak.

Everything turned black.

 

To be continued.

Photo taken from Google Images.

 

A Better Life – 2

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Drained by his journey through the time portal, Jack stumbled across the lab. How have I altered her past?

Scott, a scarecrow of a man entered. “You know unauthorized trips are unacceptable.”

Jack hurried past his assistant, “Josephine in her office?”

“Who?”

Jack dashed down the hallway leading to his office. He settled behind his desk.

Scott whispered, “These excursions have a dangerous ripple effect.”

Jack speed dialed her number.

An unexpected voice mail answered.

Looking around, his office appeared different. The framed photograph of Josephine no longer occupied the credenza. “My wife?”

“What wife?” Scott’s voice contained traces of concern.

Jack eyed his cell; the screen no longer displayed his wedding photo.

Something had gone terribly wrong.

He jotted down ideas of how to trace her past; school records, municipal records. A sudden thought plunged him into the darkest recesses of fear.

Jack bolted from his seat, pushing Scott away. He raced down the hall, running past security, and out into the pouring rain.

Turning the ignition to his Infiniti QX80, his hands trembled. His mind raced through the endless possibilities. He crushed the accelerator.

Two hours later, he sped through the heavy black gates. He prayed he wouldn’t find the answer here. Please let it be anywhere but here.

The SUV screeched to a halt. Leaving the engine running, he raced out of the car, dashing over the wet grass.

Heavy rains drenched him until his white shirt clung to him like wet wall paper.

Please don’t let me find her here.

Arriving at his destination, he fell to his knees, sinking into the wet dirt. “What have I done?”

Kneeling in his wife’s family plot; Jack read the expiration date on her tombstone. One year after he stopped the child molester.

He had one opportunity to correct his error or she would be lost forever.

Crawling over her grave, he embraced the slick tombstone. “Oh God, I never meant for this to happen. Please, forgive me.”

Refusing to release the gravestone, Jack wept.

Cold rain and his burning tears failed to cleanse the regret that plagued him.

 

To be continued.

A Better Life

 

Jack (A Short Story of Love)

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Jack steered the car onto a quiet side road. He hit the brakes as a streaking cat shot by.

What a freaking day.

His boss was in a foul mood. Computers systems were down all day. The deal he was expecting fell through. The money for the car repair meant no summer vacation. And his cell phone fell in a puddle.

He watched the wipers clear his wet window, certain it only rained on him.

Staring at the broken umbrella on the car floor, he shrugged. Why bother. He was already soaking wet.

Why he put up with all this crap. There had to be a better way. Is this all there is to life?

Stepping out of the car, heavy rain pelted him.

He hurried to the door. Fumbling with the keys he dropped them and cursed Murphy and his stupid law.

He entered the house and walked past his pretty girlfriend, grunting a cold hello.

She stood there happy to see him, but disappointed by his tone. Obviously, he wasn’t in the mood to notice her new dress or hairdo.

Jack dropped onto the recliner and sighed. He saw his girlfriend disappear into the back.

Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands. What were all these damn sacrifices for?

“Jack.”

He looked up to find his naked girlfriend. She handed him a stiff drink. Ice cubes clicked, but she had his undivided attention.

She sank to one knee, unlaced his shoes to remove his wet socks.

Still resting on one knee, she looked into his eyes, opened her palm to reveal a wedding band.

“Jack will you marry me?”

He smiled; the first smile of this glorious day.

 

Photo courtesy of Google Images.