Monday, January 16, 2012

Sixth Sense

     “Over here, Uncle Joe!”
     Randall began waving as soon as he spotted his elderly uncle walking out of the airport terminal. The two men exchanged hugs, then stopped for a cup of coffee before driving home to see the rest of the family.
     “It’s great to see you again, Randall,” Joe stretched his arms, still stiff from the long flight. “You look more like your father every day.”
     Randall laughed. “Yeah, I hear that a lot. I think it means I’m losing more hair, but I hope I can keep the weight off a little better than Dad. I sure do miss him.”
     Joe nodded. “Me, too. Your father was a heck of a guy.”
     Randall’s face turned a somber shade as he stirred his coffee. “Can I share something with you, Uncle Joe?”
     “Of course, son,” said Joe. “What’s on your mind.”
     Randall continued to stir his coffee for another minute before speaking. “It’s just that… these past few months have been really tough. You see, I turned 53 last November. It’s not that I mind getting older, but Dad was 53 when his heart failed him and I’ve always dreaded this age. Ever since my birthday, I’ve had this creepy feeling that something is going to happen to me this year. I feel like I’m not meant to live longer than my father. I’ve never believed much in a sixth sense, but I’m telling you it’s there—under my skin. I just know fate has something dreadful in store for me this year, Uncle Joe. I can feel it.”
     The elderly man listened carefully and took in all of his nephew’s words. He politely waited for Randall to finish before sharing his thoughts.
     “Randall,” he said. “Your father didn’t die when he was 53. He died when he was 51.”
     Randall never had that creepy feeling again.

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