I got up and acted as usual; shower, dress, grab a bagel from the bakery and head off to work. Today was like any day except that it was my 25th birthday.
My cell phone went off and I flipped the open the cover lazily with my thumb and answered. "Hi, Mom. Yeah, I got the box. I like the new briefcase. Am I using it right now? Mom, I can't use it. Because I also have to carry my laptop everywhere… No, no… I have to carry it in a special case. Yeah. Love you too, y-… yeah … bye."
I shut the phone and stopped at the building I worked at. Smoothing my hair down and brushing imaginary dust particles off my torso I reached for the cool metallic handle and pulled. My shoes clopped over to the elevators. People greeted me and I replied with nods and gestures.
It was quiet for a few seconds as we all waited for the elevator to reach the levels the buttons on the wall glowed. Mine was the top floor, as usual.
I finally was alone inside the elevator listening to some Muzak and sighed. I wondered whether or not anyone cared to acknowledge my birthday. I doubted it.
The doors slid open quietly and I stepped out into the hallway. It was barren. I walked, my shoes clopping loudly in the silence. Turning the corner everyone could be seen inside my office and they all smiled and called for me. So they did remember.
My mood lightened as I strode into the room. Everyone congratulated me on my 25th and I accepted small, neatly wrapped gifts and cake. John, my partner came to me and said, "Hey, man! Ya doing good?" He sipped some wine. He had a drink wherever he went, early as it was.
"Yeah, um, for some reason I don't feel like today's going to be any good…"
"What?! Man, today is your day! Have some fun." he slipped the wine glass into my hand.
"Alright…" Maybe it wasn't too early… I took some sips and looked around my office; all these people were having a good time, why couldn't I?
"Oh, shit. I forgot, um, Jeff! Go across the street and grab some doughnuts for party-boy here!"
"That's alright. I'll grab them." I said eager to leave for some reason.
"Yeah, I'll be right back." I walked out to the quiet hallways again and descended to the first floor. I walked pushing past people and muttering a 'sorry' here and there.
I reached the sidewalk and stopped at the corner. An old man dressed in an old army jacket and baggy jeans hobbled up to me to ask for change. " 'Ey, sonny. Spare some change fer us… uh," I got out my wallet; apparently he never received more than a few cents. Handing him a twenty and feeling real good about doing something different I stepped into the street and heard a woman scream.
I glanced over to see a pregnant woman pointing past me. Looking to my right I saw a wall coming at me and heard a dull roar increasing in volume. And it hit me, hard. I flew back and landed. I felt something fade and couldn't move. It ebbed out of my chest and then, nothing. What a birthday. What a death-day.