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It's the fifth of January and it's a beautiful day. Everything has been going perfectly. I've gotten a promotion, I've just been informed that my wife is finally pregnant and that the child is going to be a boy, and we've just moved into a new house, the house of our dreams. It's absolutely perfect.
I actually considered wearing my old suit before my wife pointed out that it would be out of place for my job.
"I wonder how your coworkers would react to see a businessman in the accounting division." She gave a quick chuckle. "They'd probably rip you apart."
We both laughed as she chose a more appropriate attire for a supervisor.
I drove off in a prize of mine, an old beat up Chevy I had found in an auction. Imagine my surprise once I found out after I fixed it that it was some rare make worth several times what I paid for. It was now a pristine machine that I drove only when I wanted to impress someone. The clouds were in such a position that you could feel the faint heat of the sun and a cool breeze blew in from the south making the ride to work twice as enjoyable. That morning was absolutely wonderful.
Work was even better. I was kind of nervous because I had just been promoted and had just moved to accommodate my new job but the atmosphere and welcome made the move worth it. Everyone was friendly and nice and competent at their jobs. That meant I could freely befriend them without fear of the awkward situation of having to fire them. They even threw a party to welcome me.
They'd spent most of their time playing around (and I would join them) but had the uncanny ability to never miss a deadline regardless if they only started five minutes ago. I barely had to do anything. I did notice a small post-it on my cubicle telling me to wake up but I chalked that up to another one of my officemate's jokes. I almost felt sorry that I had to leave as the day ended. It was Friday and I'd only be able to see them next Monday.
My phone rang as my wife told me that my buddy, Mike, had arrived with a pizza and a question of whether or not we could go out today for a drink. Good old Mike, I owe everything to him. We met in highschool and became buddies almost instantly. He was the one who introduced me to Janet.
He was the one who suggested buying that old Chevy just for kicks. He was the one who recommended me for the supervising job. He was even the one who got me to try alcohol but I don't think my wife sees that as a good thing. Good old Mike. She said that she'd sleep early today. She said to meet Mike at home and expected me to arrive before midnight.
I arrived at my home and met up with Mike who greeted me as always with a smile and a joke. Mike was a stock trader and a good one too. He could probably earn twice what I earned in a year in the span of a month if he wanted to. He always had an eye for the fine and the means to get it. I always had the sneaking suspicion that he purposely suggested that I bid for that Chevy.
As much as I liked Mike, I always envied his car. Mine was a rare Chevy, his was a freaking Ferrari. No ordinary Ferrari either, no. Mike had to order a custom made Ferrari. I didn't even know they made customizable Ferraris! And boy was it fast! It felt like that trip to the bar lasted only a minute.
Next thing I knew, he and I were sitting on the barstool as the bartender smiled. He always smiled when Mike was around. He always paid for my drinks and insisted that he pay for it himself despite my insistence on paying for myself. He did it for other people quite often too. He was just that kind of guy, the kind that always knew how to seize the day and spread the wealth he got from seizing it; however, today he seemed a little out of it. I asked him if he was sick.
He gave a halfhearted smile as he answered. "Kind of, yeah."
I was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol in my system when I noticed he hadn't even touched his drink. "C'mon. You know you'd tell me, right?"
He gave a smile, this time sincere, before staring at his drink. "Do you know that promise that we made to each other in college?"
I recall the memory as I ask for another drink. That's another awesome thing about Mike, he was always an awesome drinking buddy. He could drive in his sleep and never seemed to be affected by the numerous drinks he'd take in. "T'always have each other's backs, n'matter what? Yeah, I r'm'm'b'r."
He smiles again. He's glad that I remembered. "And how you lent me money even after no one else did. How I then hit it big with that ten thousand you needed for your marriage and I paid it back threefold." He sighed with what seemed like a mix of nostalgia and regret. "I'm scared. I'm not sure if I should tell you."
The tone of the conversation had shifted. I could tell even while slightly inebriated. "Wha's'rong?"
He stared hard at his drink. "What day is it?"
He nods his head."It's been Friday for two days now."
I stare at him confused. Maybe I wasn't hearing what he said right. I really should stop drinking now.
"Did you recall that moment when we stepped out of my Ferrari?"
I try to answer before closing my mouth. I hadn't, actually. I shake my head.
"I thought so." He put a hand to my shoulder. "Wake up, buddy."
What's that supposed to mean? I guess I gave a look of utter confusion as he removes his hand and begins explaining.
"We didn't actually make it to the bar. I think I could still remember bits and pieces of it. I was driving when this car came out of nowhere and slammed right into us." He paused to take a deep breath.
The entire bar seemed to stop moving. Scratch that, it definitely did. "What?"
He gave another smile, this time sympathetic but scared. "But you didn't. And I'm glad you did and that I got to spend some more time with you but you have to wake up."
I laugh, thinking it was a joke. "'Kay. Nice'un, Mike. Now, stop't."
He grabbed me by my shoulders. "You have to wake up. I'm serious." He sits back down. "You've been in a coma for the last three days. You're uninjured but your mind is broken for some reason. Your wife is scared and stressed. Your coworkers are too. You shouldn't stress your wife any further or you might lose the baby."
I sit back, dumbfounded but he continues. "I'm scared. I only exist now in your mind and I don't know what's gonna happen to me. But we're friends, y'know and you still have a life to go back to. So, you really should wake up. This world is perfect, I know, but this memory is of the last day you were awake. Your world will still be the same whether or not you wake up except for a few things." He grabs his drink and takes a big chug. "Check behind my sofa. See you in, oh say, eighty years." He pauses for a moment. "Oh yeah, one more thing. Sorry."
He leaps up and punches me in the face.
The doctor stares wide eyed as my teary eyed wife's jaw unhinges. I'm in a hospital bed, none the worse for wear as the doctor walks up, confused, and assesses me.
I later find out that I had been in a coma for at least three days now, just as Mike said. It was actually exactly as Mike said. He and I were in a car crash and I was knocked into a coma. Mike was killed instantly. By the time I had woken up, the doctors had apparently deemed me brain dead so it seemed to be a miracle that I was up and about.
I was discharged that same day. As Mike said, I didn't have any form of injury on me. My officemates greeted me with surprise as I entered the office that day. They still played around and all but they seemed to understand that I had changed. Though aside from myself, nothing much changed really.
Mike was right, my world was still relatively perfect.
Well, except for losing my best friend.
Though where ever he is now, at least I know he's been a friend to the end. I checked his place, behind the sofa like he said. I found a bunch of stocks, bonds and cash with a note saying 'For Ryan and Janet's Anniversary'.
Thanks Mike. Thanks for everything.