Amadi saw the time fly off his watch as he thought about accepting the invitation. Jessica had been all Amadi could think about since she began working for the company. She was the most attractive woman in the office, but she had not even acknowledged Amadi’s existence. Until now.
Amadi glanced at his wrist again. He now only had fifteen minutes left of life. Sweat began to bead on his forehead and his breathing quickened. That is the closest it’s ever been. Clearly a date with Jessica would be hazardous to his health.
“I can’t. I have other plans.” The watch froze, and then the minutes rapidly increased. Amadi pulled his sleeve back over his arm. “And I really don’t think you should go either.”
“Why not? It’s going to be fun.” Jessica leaned on his desk. “You sure you can’t go?”
“Maybe another time.” Amadi thought about convincing Jessica into staying, but how would he explain it? After all, the device only knew when his time was up. “Well, have fun and be careful. Maybe next time?”
Jessica’s look of disappointment made Amadi cringe; there would be no next time. As she walked away he pulled back his sleeve again. The years, days, and hours had returned. The seconds drained off as they normally should. It wasn’t the time he had before, but stress kills.
Amadi tore the watch from his wrist. The screen went blank as he threw it in his desk drawer and slammed it shut. Amadi cursed the device. The watch had cost him a promotion, two higher paying jobs, and now a date with the most beautiful woman Amadi knew. It did not matter how seemingly small the choice was, Amadi could not make a choice without consulting the watch. Even the loss of a few hours of life affected his everyday choices.
I am done with that damned device. But even as he thought it he was pulling it back out of the drawer. He looked at the dark screen wondering how much time the choice to discard it had cost him.
Amadi glanced over at Jessica’s cubicle. She was gathering up her purse and umbrella. He looked back at the blank screen he held in his hand. He looked back at Jessica as she walked out the front door. Amadi sighed in disappointment and started to slip back on the watch.
A loud horn blared outside the office window, followed immediately by the screech of tires.
Amadi ran to the window with his other coworkers. Jessica lay motionless in the street, the Cadillac half over her.
Amadi started out the office when he stopped to look at the blank screen of his watch. Amadi buried it in his pocket and rushed out.
Jessica lay there motionless on the ground. The car had moved off of her. The driver of the Cadillac was clenching his head muttering to himself about how she had walked out of nowhere. Another man was calling 9-1-1.
Amadi knelt down by Jessica. She was not breathing. Amadi began CPR. After what Amadi thought had been far too long, the sounds of approaching sirens could be heard. Jessica began to cough and choke on the last breath Amadi had given her.
She opened her eyes slowly looking up at him. “Amadi?”
“I decided I could make it after all.” A smile came to his face.
Amadi took her hand. He pulled out the watch and pressed it on to her wrist. The display lit up showing over fifty five years remaining.
Amadi took a breath in relief knowing that Jessica would be all right. He hesitated before slipping the watch back on his wrist.
Amadi turned as his head as the sound of a car smashing into the back of the Cadillac overcame all other noise. Amadi threw up his arms as if they could somehow protect him from four thousand pounds of car.
Amadi lay in the street. Darkness faded over him slowly as the seconds ticked off his watch.
Three… Two… One…
Amadi slipped into eternal darkness, right on time.
BIO: Richard Flores IV is a writer of Speculative Fiction living in Suisun City, CA. A Vacaville, CA native, Richard fits writing around raising his three young children. For more about Richard Flores IV, visit http://floresfactor.wordpress.