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Entries in propehyc (1)

Sunday
Jun252017

Prophet

Ryan flipped through the box of old report cards, a history book with a ripped cover and several spiral notebooks filled with notes and doodles. Feeling nostalgic Ryan picked up the red spiral notebook and began to flip through it thinking about all his high-school friends who he had rarely seen in the last decade.


There was to a series of remedial math problems, some notes about the hundred years war and various doodles. But what drew his attention were a series of notes passed between himself and his best friend Jim. He hadn't talked to Jim for almost three years and considered calling his friend, but it was late so he continued to flip through the conversation in the notebooks.


About halfway through the book Ryan came across one of their old games. The two would take turns predicting things about the others life. Ryan didn't remember exactly why they had stopped only that something was said that made him angry so they stopped.


Looking back over the page and a half of notes he was drawn back into the ten year old conversation. The first thing he saw was that he said he would marry Heather. Heather was a girl in their homeroom who had annoyed me more than anyone in the world. He had assumed it was a joke because he knew how much Ryan disliked her and forgotten about it in college when he met another girl named Heather. They had been married for almost five years and things were great. Still, it was a fairly common name.


The next thing Jim wrote was that Ryan was going to be a doctor. That was another obvious miss. The site of blood made Ryan sick. But in college he had discovered a love for history and was about to receive a doctorate in history. That was a bit harder to ignore since Jim had been right twice.


Still, it wasn't exactly perfect so Ryan tried to dismiss it as him simply seeing patterns in the data, but it was sill strange. So he began to look more carefully at the others things his friend had written. He had picked out the nickname Ryan's wife used, the city he now lived in and several other minor points.


What sent a chill up Ryan's spine wasn't any single prediction. It was that every one of them was right. Then he found the page that reminded him why they had stopped their game. Jim had insisted they predict the other person's death. Ryan had said that Jim would die at ninety from a heart attack. Jim had written that Ryan would die on November 16th 2015 in a car accident. That was only a few weeks away.


Ryan dropped the notebook and fumbled for his phone and dialed the phone before remembering it was almost midnight. Jim answered the phone on the first ring and said, "How's it going Ryan?" Before he had the chance to say anything. Ryan knew it was probably caller ID, but it still unnerved him.


"I was just looking at an old notebook. I found something a bit odd. You wrote I was going to die on the Thursday after next," Ryan said, already planning to lock himself in his room for the day.


"If you're taking the day off you should come over for pizza and movies," Jim said. That seemed like the worst possible idea. Was it possible Jim didn't know he had been correctly predicting things? Or perhaps he knew but there was nothing that could be done about it.


"I was going to lock myself in my room and read a good book that day," Ryan said. He didn't really want to admit how spooked he was and Jim wasn't making it any easier by treating this like it was nothing.


"You can't waste a whole day on a game we played in high school. If you're taking off a day why not have some fun?," Jim said.


Ryan really wanted to say no, but there was something about his friend's tone that suggested he should go. And he trusted Jim. He had always looked out for Ryan. So over the next week he tried to forget about the prediction of his death. He also updated his will, bought flowers for Heather and called his parents.


During the evenings he read some old history books with new interest, specifically those about Nostradamus and others who claimed to have prophetic powers. Was it possible there really were people who could see the future? It seemed more likely than it had. But, if Jim could tell the future why did he live in a studio apartment and work at a gas station?


By the time he was driving across town on the 16th he had convinced himself Jim was playing some bigger game. Perhaps he knew some reason that Ryan had to die today. But he trusted Jim enough that he didn't try to take a different route to his friend's house or even buckle his seat belt. If he was going to die he would die.


But nothing happened. There was no car accident, no screeching of breaks. There weren't even all that many cars on the road. And while he looked carefully as he crossed the street to go into his friend's apartment he felt a bit silly. A few coincidences and he had convinced himself Jim was magical. But after some time thinking about it logically none of his predictions were that amazing. Common names and jobs that were only true if you interpreted them in a specific way. It was only the last, the exact moment of his death that was truly impressive and it seemed that Jim had guessed wrong in that case.


Once inside Ryan couldn't help but being pleasantly surprised by his friend's sense of humor. Jim had picked out three movies to watch Crash, Speed and Mad Max because Ryan was clearly in the mood to watch a bunch of car accidents. But the danger seemed over so Ryan relaxed and had some pizza while they watched cars crash into each other.


Then at almost exactly two o'clock Jim turned off the DVD player while a bus was making a jump off of a freeway ramp and switched over to the local TV station without a word. That seemed odd to Ryan, but he watched he saw the police chasing a truck through his neighborhood. The large truck was almost completely out of control. It turned and careened down the street hit the curb then swerved into Ryan's house smashing through the wall of Ryan's bedroom.


While the police rushed up and handcuffed the clearly drunk man Ryan saw his demolished bed on live TV and looked at Jim.


"Well that's odd. Who would have expected a car accident in your bedroom?" Jim said, and he held out the box of pizza so Ryan could take the last slice.


"I don't understand. You should be rich," Ryan said.


"Would you have called me if I was rich?" Jim asked.


Ryan thought about it for a moment and he honestly couldn't answer, but Ryan suspected that Jim knew the answer. If he was running a company or had even won the lottery Ryan wouldn't have wasted his time with fantasies and certainly wouldn't have come over to his house for pizza and movies on a Thursday. So Ryan took the pizza and grabbing the remote and turned the movie back on.