Michael screamed. It was not only the sudden, bright light that scared him, but also the fact that a giant hand grabbed him by the feet, hung him head down and smacked him on the butt – without any previous warning. Terror had conquered Michael’s life.
A moment later Michael was laid to rest on his mother’s breast. It smelled of clean skin and warm mother’s milk. He could feel her heartbeat, trying to calm the existential terror he had experienced in the first moments of his life.
Michael turned out to be an easy child. He listened well when his parents told him something. He washed his hands and brushed his teeth and therefore was never seriously sick. In school he would pay close attention to the dull sermons of the teachers. Coming home he would finish his school tasks first and to the best of his abilities. He also helped with the chores at home and volunteered for projects at school and in his church.
As a result, his teachers recommended him for higher education. He went to gymnasium and later entered a good University. The rest of the University drank, smoked and fornicated like there’s no tomorrow, but Michael volunteered to assist the professors. He did internships in respected companies and built a network of older mentors, who would open doors for him throughout his entire career.
He had made a sensible choice in regards to his major. A topic that would allow him a stable career in a respected profession. Right after University he joined a major corporation, with a brand name that inspired admiration. In the years that followed he continued to rise through the ranks, always delivering as expected, always being reliable. Not once did he offend anyone – and so nobody hated him.
In his 20’s and 30’s he did the sensible thing. Dating and leaving a number of young, beautiful women casting as diverse a sampling as he could, so that he might better understand his own tastes and desires. He always wore a condom and – to be extra sure – went through a reversible vasectomy to avoid unnecessary heartbreaks and financial obligations.
In his late 30’s he settled on a marriage candidate, reversed his vasectomy, made love to his wife every Saturday and raised two beautiful, obedient children. They grew up like he had: Without major incidents, without any drama. The kids eventually moved out to start their own lives, returning regularly for the customary visits on Christmas, Eastern and so on. Michael retired from his work and got a gold watch and a card, signed by all his colleagues.
When his life came to an end, his whole family gathered around his bed and Michael did as was customary in such situations: He blessed each member of his family and said his farewells with a kind word or some last advice for each of them. Michael’s eyes weren’t the best anymore, but he could still see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He was about to draw his last breath of air – and he knew it. This was the end. And as he breathed out that last bit of life, he finally let go of the fear that something would mess up his perfect life. A fear that had terrified him to the very core – in every wake moment of his life.