Please Turn Over

Catching the eyes of a beautiful woman as he walked down the street will change his life.

The journey that he begins on that otherwise ordinary day might just change the lives of every man woman and child on the planet.

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1. The Sun is Shining

It was an unusually sunny day in London so he decided to walk home rather than get on the always crowded bus. It was only a three mile trip and he was sure with his iPod on and the songs playing away in his ears he would be home in no time.

 

Hell, there was no one at home waiting for him, not since he'd had to have his beloved dog Max put to sleep a week ago, so why not take his time have a nice leisurely stroll.

 

He figured even if he stretched it out and did the walk in an hour and a half to two hours, with a pit stop at one of the three McDonald's along the way, it would still only be half past six in the evening by the time he made it home.

 

He was maybe three-quarters of the way home, he'd been in Mickey D's had a Big Mac and fries and large banana milkshake eating inside used their free wi-fi to log to twitter, and got a kick out of the fact a writer, he was a fan of had replied to a tweet of his and that his only real friend at work had sent him a direct message about meeting up at the weekend.

 

He replied and agreed he had no idea what the friend had planned, but then he rarely ever did know ahead of time.

 

Then he logged on to Facebook and sent a happy birthday message to an old school friend, he had rarely seen in the seven years since they finished secondary school, but as she had been one of his few friends so he liked to keep in touch.

 

He purposefully only had a few friends as he believed he was a good judge of character and he prided himself on the fact that he saw into people's hearts and knew the type of people who would hurt him by lying to him and in one way or another generally do wrong by him and not care about it.

 

Marguerite sprang to mind in that group she had dated his friend Bryan behind his back all the while taking advantage of his kindness borrowing money from him never intending to pay any of it back and then when she dumped him she stole a load of stuff from his flat and sold it.

 

Sure, he accepted that everybody lied and he did still get hurt from time to time, but generally by people who hadn't intended to hurt him and felt bad about it afterwards. Martin one of his other school friends came to mind, he had cheated off of him then when found out, Martin claimed to the headmaster that he had been the one who cheated off his work. Only to come clean less than an hour later and still apologised to him when they infrequently ran into each other.

 

He had a second Burger a cheeseburger and fries this time and Mcflurrry the one with Smarties crushed up in it. While he checked his emails one from his brother who was an aid worker now in Afghanistan.

 

There were several from his boss at the counselling center where he worked and a few from an old client of his who he had turned around from being depressed to the point of being suicidal to now having a job an a new wife and a baby on the way.

 

Finally finished eating, having had a third lot of fries with a McChicken sandwich this time. He purchased two more burgers and a large fries and a coke, some chicken nuggets and a bottle of mineral water, with another milkshake for himself, strawberry this time.

 

He headed out to get back on his journey home. Pausing outside to give the burgers nuggets and coke and water to a homeless man who now had the mangy looking labrador with him, that had belonged to an old homeless man who had passed away recently he'd known through his voluntary work at the homeless shelter.

 

He didn't stop to hear Martin say thank you, or apologize for the thousandth time that's not why he did things like that, he just always thought he should help those less fortunate than him. He had his earphones back in and music playing so he couldn't hear him and he just carried on his way home drinking that strawberry milkshake.

 

He was a few streets away a 1980's song called The One and Only by a singer named Chesney Hawkes playing away. It was a song he liked a lot with its lyrics about being yourself and staying true to that no matter the pressure. 

 

He was miming along to the words his head from side to side when he stopped in his tracks as he caught sight of a woman coming towards him she was holding something in her hand.

 

As she got closer he saw that it was a stack of business cards, but he couldn't see what they were for so he reached out his hand to take one as she lifted the top one from the stack and reached out to give it to him.

 

He took the card from her and they smiled at each other, he saw into her eyes and as she smiled something about her seemed to call out to him as if he had known her his whole life.

 

He couldn't put his finger on what it was about her, but there was definitely a spark, he wasn't sure if it was that sense of misplaced familiarity that made him want to turn around and talk to her or something else but he did turn around uncertain what he would say but she was gone.

 

She was absolutely nowhere to be seen which was impossible, there was no nearby side street, she could have turned on to and no shop she could have stepped into.

 

Unsure what to do next so he just decided to carry on home, he'd only gone a few steps when he remembered the business card she had given him and hoped it would give a clue to who she was and where she might be that he could meet her again.

 

The card said Hot Massage Service on the front with two phone numbers underneath it to call and arrange an appointment. He was left feeling slightly disappointed was she a genuine massage therapist or was it as he suspected code for an altogether different service.

 

Did that mean she was a business woman or a prostitute or was she just someone who been paid to hand out cards to passing men. Then he wondered if the service being offered was the latter, what did that mean that she had handed him one, did she think he looked sad and seedy the type of man who would use a woman, another human being for sex.

 

That feeling stuck with him and disappointed him, even before he had counselled women who had gotten off the streets, he had always had far too much respect for himself and for women to pay for sex with a woman who had at some point in her life been bullied or coerced into selling her body.

 

He put the disappointment to one side, after all maybe he had read too much into that maybe she was genuinely offering just a massage service.

 

As he turned the corner on to the street where he lived in a flat above a late night grocery shop, he remembered the card in his hand and prepared to throw it in the recycling bin when he saw it was now blank.

 

"Idiot," he thought you're looking at the back of the card, then flipped it over just to make sure and sure enough the words and numbers were still on it, but he was stopped in his tracks, unable to believe his own eyes as the words and the phone number began to disappear.

 

He shook his head in stunned disbelief, he had to be seeing things. He felt  the tips of his fingers to see if they were sweaty and were causing the ink to rub off, but it hadn't the writing was just fading away and he couldn't explain it.

 

Things took an even stranger turn once that writing was all gone, when in its place new words appeared and these left him utterly confused and frightened, he stared at the words to read them again and make sure he was really seeing what he'd just read.

 

He read it again and again, it was no mistake the card now reads, your name is Gary Daly, you are 23 years old and you will die today.

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