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Chapter 7: Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan’s ninety-seven years old.

I am no longer in the hospital room, I am staring at black-bored. My teacher Miss Grengerly is trying to teach us maths. Jones has a slingshot and flicks at our teacher’s hands, he isn’t a superb shot and misses every time. I laugh as quietly as I can,I don’t want another detention.

Now I stand at my first job, helping pack the meat at a local butcher. It is my uncle’s shop, and he doesn’t get much help. My uncle will pay me in a meat pack for my family. The first day I am working the register, a girl with the most beautiful face walks in. Her bright hazel eyes are staring into mine. Her sandy coloured hair was beautifully curled. I did my best to not stutter as I repeated her order. I needed her name.

I stare at the beautiful women in front of me, she is older than the first time we met at my uncle’s shop. But her beauty puts me into a trance no matter her age, I hear her laugh and it reminds me of the angels singing. Every time her name rolls off my tongue, I feel my stomach roll. I take her dancing every Thursday to show her off; I know she is mine and I want the other men to be jealous.

She takes my hand and leads me to the floor. She turns her head to smile at me. Her yellow dress hugs her figure, showing all the curves I love. A black belt done upon her waist, her curls bouncing as she walks. I grow more obsessed with her every day.

I am getting home from an interminable day at work in the factory, my hands are blistered and my back feels as if it wants to give up. I reach the door to our small top floor unit, my wife is in her favorite pink dress and the unit is gleaming. She holds our small daughter up with the brightest smile. I kiss them both on the cheek as I walk in; I shower and sit for a moment. I can hear my wife in the kitchen, she is singing to our daughter as she stirs a pot.

When our daughter is in bed, I run my wife a bath. She never lets me do much else, but she deserves some time to herself. If our daughter wakes, I rock her until she is asleep. My time at home is very limited, but I know it’s the only way we can live.

I hear a slight cry,I go to our daughter’s cot and pick her up. I put a blanket around and we rock just at the small window. I stare down at the streetlights and empty cobblestone street. A mist is slightly covering the street, I make a reminder to save for heating.

The time flicked forward a few years; I am standing outside a small hospital. I walk to the desk and I am led to a room. My wife sits on the bed with our son, she gives me her angelic smile. I may not stay long, a nurse tells me they need rest.

I catch the bus home, my daughter is with my in-law’s as I need to work. Our compact unit is quiet and feels empty, I heat some soup my wife had made just before she had our son.

I fade out of Tim’s memory, his life was a peaceful one. Tim’s soul is lifting, I catch it with my scythe and ground him next to me. Just as I have done with every other soul. He is looking disoriented as he stares at his body, he can no longer feel any pain.

I put my hand on his shoulder; I give him the same speech I have given all the others. I give him some time for it to make sense and then I start his journey to his afterlife. He asks me if I know where he will go?

"Somewhere beautiful." I say.

But I have to tell him, I am just the ferryman. I bring him to a door and the gods decide, but I feel his life would lead him to a salubrious place. Tim seems content with my answer. I tap my scythe and the door to my boat appears.

"Only you will know, Tim." I say truthfully.

Without looking back, Tim walks through it and I take him to the last door. I wonder if his wife is in there; I do not recall her memories. Maybe she is still alive.

"Does anyone wait for you Tim?" I ask.

"My mother..." he says and sighs.

Rosalie appears as a thought in my head, I crave to be around her energy. I thought about seeing her, but this is unnatural for me. I am The Reaper, The ferryman, I am Charon. I live my life from your life experiences, yet somehow I want something of my own. I should be content, but there is something I am missing.

"Her voice." I whisper.

Something inside me changed the very first time I saw her and it grows like a weed in me. Every soul I collect I remind myself who I am. I am the only one who can walk your souls to their afterlife. There is so much more to this job than anyone understands. I feel myself wanting to have just one soul, who is mine. Just like in all the memories I have experienced.

The bell rings once more, echoing in my ear’s. I had no time to see Rosalie now. I help this soul and perhaps I will see Rosalie after. Her energy seemed to keep calling me. I needed to remind myself I am just The Reaper.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

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