Thirty Days

posted in: The Infinite Library | 3

“You have 30 days left to live. Use them wisely”

That was the text message that came up on my phone.  When I checked the details on the message, it showed as being sent from “unknown sender”.  But, my cell is an unlisted number that’s on the “do-not-call” list to keep advertisers away and, frankly, is one of my most closely guarded secrets.  There aren’t many people I’ve given it to and they know not to pass it along.  In my business, it pays to stay private.

So that left the question of who would’ve sent this?  And, just what the hell did they mean bay it?  Was it some kind of threat?  A joke?  I can’t imagine the small circle of people who had this most private of numbers sending this as a joke.  A wrong number?  Maybe.  More likely than a joke.
But, what if it was a threat?  I’ve done a little government work, so there is always the possibility of a security breach and a threat, but, you know, generally, a computer consultant doesn’t get into that sort of thing.  We’re just not that kind of operational personnel, you know?  So, not so much a target.  But, still….

What if it were a threat?  What if some foregin agent, say, had spiked my latte with a particularly nasty bioagent?  What then?  What would I do with my last thirty days on Earth?  Screw myself stupid, blowing money along the way and screwing my creditors?  Why not?  No heirs to stick with the tab afterwards, so, might as well go out with a big bang.  Or, would I spend it chasing down whoever had screwed me?  Make them pay?  A sort of settling of accounts, in a manner of speaking.  What about other scores that needed settling?  Would I pay off my debts?  I mean my emotional, karmic debts, not those damn creditors.  Screw them.  No, more like making amends to all the women I hadn’t treated well and all the throats I’d cut, figuratively speaking, to get ahead.  Honestly, that just wasn’t my style either.

I leaned back in the booth, flipping my book over to think about it more, and sipping my latte.  That was when I saw the mischevious grin across the room.  The green eyes, like raw emeralds.  The washed-out blonde hair like burnt honey.  The girl.
I was slipping.  Good thing I hadn’t done any security work on those government contracts in years, because I should have seen her when I walked in.  One of those few who had my private number.  The one who’d had problems with a former boyfriend that wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.  The one I’d taught to hide her number when she called, so he couldn’t trace her, even through some mutual friends who couldn’t tell him “no” either.  It’d been a long time since I’d seen her, but I knew she was regular here.  Or had been before she moved away.  Now she was back.  And obviously she’d been looking for me.
Maybe my “last thirty days” would be more interesting than I’d thought.