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the crossing

Late spring. A bright day. Not much traffic on the country road as Bernard looked up from his lecture notes. He turned his face towards Tomas, asked, "How much time we have?"

"Don't start, Bernie!" said Tomas. "We're due at five. We got fifteen, maybe twenty miles to go. We doing an easy fifty, a bit under a mile a minute. By my calculations that's makes it half an hour at the most and we'll be there. Right? . . ."

Amused as usual at his wordiness, Bernard tuned out from his driver of nearly five years - now more buddy than employee. Tomas was right, he reflected. Of course they were on time. He was merely being anxious. A decade at the top of his game and still he sweated before each audience. Although he'd have it no other way. Plain and simply, the rush empowered him. It speeded up his mind lightning fast so it could pull forth language that clarified his ideas and compellingly present them.

Bernard smiled somewhat smugly with the admission, "No doubt about it! He loved this sweating! He really dug what. . ."

His thoughts were interrupted then as a vehicle shot through a crossing's lights at high velocity and rammed into his passenger side of the car.

He took the full brunt of the collision.

Surprisingly, there was not much pain. Although he knew that the whole of him, his bones and internal organs, were smashed, and that he would die.

With high amazement, Bernard was aware of all this as into his mind flashed the irony that just last month, deciding that fifty-three was time enough, he had made a will. Everything to his beloved only child.

Then swift came the scene of the recent award ceremony. The winner center stage blushing and bowing from all the plaudits. Then he says he wished to share the honor with the runner-up - he, Bernard. What a gesture! It had salted Bernard's eyes, moisture from which his soul sipped deliciously. For wasn't generosity what he was all about?

As his presence faded, he mildly regretted he had never tried to swim.

Most gratifying of all, he was not afraid!