Taking Your Time By D.I. Jolly
He stood in the shower watching the urine run down his leg feeling equal parts, zero fucks and slightly disgusted. In the time since the accident he had nearly perfected the art of feeling nothing by doing nothing, finding that if he focused on blocking out the small stuff, he never had time to look at the big picture. In the weeks that passed, he had let his phone battery die, never switching on his TV and ignored his bookshelves. Never leaving his house. Forcing himself to be alive by only the very simplest of definitions. The aim was to let time pass, he wanted, needed to put time between himself and what had happened. Between what he had done and the ever progressing idea of ‘right now’. Weeks turned into months and months eventually became years. Then one day while sitting on his couch with his coffee a thought occurred, it was the first that had dared appear in a long time and for a moment he idled on how much the world had changed since last he paid it any attention. That thought slowly turned into an idea which led to the slow rebirth of memory. As these things once again took root in his mind he found his routine slip in small places. An unclean coffee cup here, a discarded shirt there, until finally, he tried to remember when last he’d spoken, and if he even really remembered how. Too scared to try he eventually made a choice and then turned on his computer. As the screen lit up he stared at a document titled, “when it’s time” and opened it, he was then greeted by a written account of what he needed to do next. It was a message from his past self, a message he had spent years forgetting. As he stared at the screen more memories, ideas and choices came back to him. First in drops, and then as a flood and suddenly he remembered himself. As his eyes traced over the words a thin smile spread across his face and a slight giggled escaped his lips. Still online he reactive an old dormant account, signed and sent the e-mails in his draft folder, completed a purchase as instructed by his former self then reached under the couch for his gun and spread his brains across his living room wall.
Three days a later another man sitting in an office high above a city smiled when he saw his secretary walk in holding a wrapped package and a card.
“What you got there?”
“Not sure, it arrived for you this morning, is it your birthday or something?”
The man shook his head and reached for the card which read.
Many years ago, you helped a young woman who suffered a fit while driving not go to jail after colliding with a mother and her pram. Although the mother survived, the child in the pram did not. You claimed that the woman had been given the wrong medication by her doctors and helped her win money and helped subvert the evidence to show alcohol in her system. She then used that money to purchase illegal drugs and alcohol and eventually died of yet another final combination of the two. The mother of that child who was my wife and who is your secretary have been waiting a very long time to give you this present.
“What the fuck is going on?”
But his secretary just stared at him. He looked down at the box and slowly began opening it. Inside were stacks of photographs and newspaper cuttings, along with a gun.
Every photo showed a body, every newspaper clip told of how someone had either killed themselves or of someone getting killed.
“All your clients are either dead.”
“You… you murdered them all?”
“No, you did, every one you got off on a technicality and won them money, every reckless useless piece of shit given freedom and the money to enjoy it. You give them the tools to kill themselves. This is your legacy, the gun is loaded, do the right thing.”
“How… how long have you been pretending to, and just collecting information, how did you do all this.”
But she simply smiled a sweet, comforting smile.
“You know what you should do, I’ll leave you to it.”
Then she turned to leave and locked the door behind her.