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Things To Do Before I Die
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Things To Do Before I Die
Everyone makes lists. Some mean more than others.
[1,045 words]
Gypsey Teague
-Gypsey was born and raised in the country she knows best, New Hampshire. The nights are dark, cold, and the dead don't always stay dead. This is the world of her fiction, but is it always?
[November 2003]
[email protected]
Did You Hear The One About The Three Icelandic Bishops (Short Stories) When you invite a guest into your home, be prepared for what you get. [493 words] [Horror]
Sacrifice (Novels) If you have children this will keep you from letting them swim alone. [708 words] [Horror]
Victim (Short Stories) By the full of the moon, and the cloak of the night. There are some things that are better Kept in the light. [1,372 words] [Horror]
Whittlin' (Short Stories) Even the dead need company from time to time. Daryl learned the hard way that friends are often for more than life. [959 words] [Horror]
Things To Do Before I Die
Gypsey Teague

Things to do before I die

“Did you get any sleep last night?” The blond woman with a white hotel towel wrapped around her head, and another one around her body, emerged from the bathroom. She walked over to the other woman, a red head with long hair and bangs of about the same age, sitting in a chair by the open window, looking out at the darkened city, six floors below.
“No.” The red head said, flatly. “I kept going over my list in my head until I finally got up a few minutes ago. Reaching over to turn on the small table lamp she picked up a single sheet of yellow lined paper and held it in her left hand.
‘Things to do before I die by S. A. Walker’. The blonde read the neat script of the top two lines over the other woman’s shoulder.
“Have you done it all?” The standing woman laid her hand on the others shoulder, gently. It was a rhetorical question. Over the past six months, since the red head had chosen this way to go, they had been over and over the list, checking each line in detail until all was accomplished.
“Yes.” The red head said. She laid her right hand over the other woman’s. The crimson painted acrylic nails were a stark contrast to the white french tips of the blonde’s.
As she looked down at the two hands, juxtaposed, she thought they looked like drops of blood on the snow but kept that thought to herself. This was hard enough without adding to it.
“I need to get dressed. Are you wearing that?” The blonde walked back into the bathroom.
“It’s not like I’ll need it again.” The red head shouted. She felt the worn, torn, gray sweat pants and the much too large Central State College tee shirt in stained white. The pants she had for years, the shirt a hand me down from a friend in college. They were in the rag bin in the garage when she decided they would suit her for one last use. The note was still in her hand. Starting at the top, as she had done so many other times, she began checking off each task in her head.
The first one was update will. That was six months ago. Within two weeks she had the new version stamped and filed in her safety deposit box, with copies at her attorneys, and with Jocelyn, now dressed in a white silk slip and bra, blow drying her hair in front of the mirror in the bathroom.
Second on her list was meet with attorney. For some reason her attorney that handled her will never made her feel comfortable when it came to property law. She had another lawyer in town for that; a woman from church that kept her office spotless with every file in neat order behind her mahogany desk. After telling the older woman what she needed it took only a week to draft the quitclaim deeds and get them filed with the county. Now everything was arranged: her property, car, and furniture in capable hands.
Next was the hardest one. She had to write letters to all her family members, and Jocelyn’s, explaining what she had decided and how it was to be done. Some of her family agreed that it was the best course, but her son, a freshman in college, called the woman insane and threatened to take court action to refrain her. In the end he simply resigned himself to the fact that there was nothing he could do about it and told her she was already dead in his eyes. That was four months ago and they hadn’t spoken since.
Her parents took it much better than either women expected. Her father said what ever she thought was best and hugged her. Her mother cried for a long time at finally realizing she was at last going to be at peace. They called late last night to say their prayers would be with her.
Others took it in different ways. Those that she worked with knew for some time of her decision and threw her a party. There were gifts, small and easily disposed of, a cake, and a bottle of wine. Even her boss who was usually reserved and standoffish hugged her and said they’d be thinking of her today.
The last item on the list was make peace with God. That was the hardest. As a Catholic the church took a dim view on what she was undertaking, however, in the light of recent sexual scandals in the priesthood, she and Jocelyn both felt that there was much that the church needed to rectify within itself, so they could not caste stones at this very personal choice. Her priest told her in confession the week before that God would forgive her for all her choices and decisions and in the end if she were a true and honest Catholic she would eventually reach Heaven. At the time it didn’t make her feel comforted, but at that point in her life she didn’t care. Now she looked forward to someday seeing her friends and family as a better person.
“We need to be going.” Jocelyn said from the door. She was dressed in a dark blue Dolce and Gabbana pantsuit with a white silk Hermes blouse and black Manolo Blahnik pumps. As she glanced at the Lady Rolex that the woman at the table had given her on their tenth year together she picked up both purses and opened the door.
“I guess so.” The red head stood and walked out into the hallway. “I’m not getting any younger.”
The drive to the clinic was uneventful. The traffic at five in the morning in Trinidad Colorado was very light and the few miles to the parking lot took only eight minutes. When the two women walked into the clean, sterile waiting room a young nurse of about thirty looked up from behind the front desk and smiled.
“Walker.” Jocelyn said.
“Steven Allen?” The nurse asked, picking up a file from the desk.
“No.” Said the red head, throwing her list into the trashcan by her feet. “Stephanie Ann.”


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© 2004 Gypsey Teague
January 2004

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