If you are reading this, then I’m dead and will forever remain thirty-four years old.
If you are a searcher, checking through rubble for survivors or their remains, thanks for trying. I appreciate your efforts. If you are a looter who picked up my MacBook Air because you wanted it, consider the laptop a gift from me. I won’t need it anymore. But whatever your reasons, it makes no difference to me because I’m dead and just glad someone is reading my story.
Oh yeah, my name is Jackson Edwards.
Maybe I better get on with it because I’m drifting off more and more because of the pain.
So, it all began when a neighbor rang my doorbell a few weeks ago.
I hit pause on the TV remote and stood up. Cubicle chair sciatica kicked in and my back ached so I stretched myself, hoping to work out the kinks before grabbing the doorknob. Halloween passed two weeks before, but I still took no chances and looked through the peephole first. I saw my bearded neighbor, standing there in the hallway and opened the door.
“Monsieur Roberto,” I said in my best lousy French accent.
“Si vou ples, Monsieur Jackson,” he said in his own second rate accent, pointing toward the living room.
“Yeah, come in, my Charismaniac friend.”
He laughed and walked into the living room and sat down on the sectional. I followed and sat across from him on the leather recliner.
“I don’t know where to begin,” he said, rubbing his hands together. His blue eyes dropped to the oak floor where his jogging shoes were. Something bothered him.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Don’t you usually start with John 3:16 and work your way through the rest of the Bible when you come here?”
“Hey, man, I’m sorry for smacking you over the head with my Bible.”
“Just yanking your chain, Dr. Bob.”
“Okay, but I still don’t know where to start.”
“Why not at the beginning? It’s only 7 PM and I have all night.”
He nodded and rubbed his forehead with a hand.
“Do you remember four years ago when I told you about a vision a Christian woman had about a gigantic ocean wave hitting Japan? Do you remember that?”
“Vaguely,” I whispered, not being totally honest with him because I remembered the vision story quite well. In fact, I even did some research on Google at the time of the tsunami and discovered numerous other warnings spoken ahead of time.
“Okay,” he said. “Well, this same woman just had a vision of a nuclear blast hitting us here in San Francisco─ ”
“Yes, and not only that, a prophet friend from Albuquerque called and told us a disaster would soon hit the Bay Area. He recommended that we should pack up and leave now.”
“Hmm,” I said, leaning forward in the recliner. “What are you going to do?”
“Mary and I sold our condo today, furniture and all. We’re moving to an area near Tahoe.”
“What about your medical practice? And your two kids?”
“My two partners bought out my share of the practice and we’ll homeschool our kids.”
Everything moved too fast for me to grab a hold of what he was telling me.
“Well, it’ll take sixty days or so for everything to close, right? So, we’ll have plenty of time to talk in the future.”
I stood up, hoping to bring this uncomfortable conversation to a quick end.
“No, sadly, we won’t. I made cash deals and sold everything for sixty cents on the dollar.”
I fell backwards into the recliner and shook my head.
“You took a four hundred thousand dollar loss on your condo?”
“I would have given it away if I had to.”
I opened my mouth and closed it. How do you challenge a person who is willing to turn his back on a fabulous way of life? I know I could never have done it because I worked too hard building a career in Silicon Valley to just walk away from it. A million dollar condo on Nob Hill was an impossible dream back in the days of my youth, living in the inner city of Oakland.
“Is this goodbye?” I finally asked.
He nodded and stood up, offering his hand to me. I stood and shook hands with him.
“Listen, Jackson,” he said, “why don’t you come along with us? Mary and I really feel some bad things will happen in San Francisco and we don’t want anything bad to happen to you. We love you.”
“No way, I’ll take my chances here on Nob Hill,” I said, shaking my head. Then I winked my eye and added, “Just remember, my white Charismaniac friend, I’m still one of them jive-talking, hustle-or-die blacks from the inner city. We know how to survive.”
Bob left and I never saw him or Mary again.
(Continued in Part 2)