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The Incident

I was driving home from the south. It was rather late, nearly 11PM. The particular stretch of road was lonely and quiet. It was quite well lit and I could see afar, both in front of me and behind, there were no cars.

Feeling rather lethargic and sleepy during the long drive alone, I had the radio on, blasting away to help keep me awake. 

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man ran out onto the road, right in front of me. I screamed! Hit the brakes! But it was too late! I hit him!  Two ugly thuds were made by the tyres when the car ran over him.

The car came to a complete stop. I looked back but saw nothing. There was nothing behind me. Nobody nor body!

Feeling very shaken, I resumed my journey home. When I got back, everyone was asleep. I made myself a cup of tea to calm my nerves and reviewed the incident. I came to the conclusion that I must have dozed off, micro sleep, they call it. And I must have dreamt it all. But dreams happens in deep sleep. I cannot understand it at all.

It was two month after the incident when I was coming out of a bank. I was busy looking through the transaction receipts when I opened the door and it hit the person on the way in. I looked up and saw, THE MAN!

It was the man I 'knocked down' on the highway. I apologised and he very nicely said, "no problem" I stood there, staring hard at him and that made him slightly uncomfortable.

"I am sorry for staring, but there is something I need to tell you. Can I meet up with you for a short while after you are done at the bank here? I will wait for you at the coffee shop opposite the bank"

"Er, I have to get back to the office."

"Ok, may I meet you after work? It's only for a few minutes"

"Well, if it is not long, I'll pop over to the coffee shop after this"

"Thank you very much"

When he came, I told him about the 'accident'. I must say that he took it very nicely. He assured me that he's still alive and am not about to run in front of my car, or any other cars.

We became friends, occsionally bumping into each other at the bank or during lunches. We enjoy similar hobbies and often met up at the coffee shop to discuss the latest movies or books either of us have watched or read.

That was five years ago. Today, I received a call from his wife. He passed away last night. He was working late and was walking to his car. An approaching car did not see him until it was too late.

I went to his wake. His wife related a story to me. Apparently, five years ago, he was contemplating buying a fruit farm. It was actually very near to where I described 'hitting him'. In fact, on the day I met him at the bank, he was actually there for an appointment to facilitate the loan. When I told him about the incident, he decided against it.

"Maybe that decision bought him an extra five years. Perhaps he was meant to die earlier. Perhaps it gave him the extra time to spend with me. If he had died then, his two children would not be born at all."

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