Sometimes you just know it’s not your time.
Friends were planning a weekend getaway. A two-day holiday at a beautiful wooded mountain retreat. A resort with lakes, swimming pools, gorgeous views, good food and great friends.
One of my best friends, who owned a nice car, asked me, “Do you need a ride?”
I did. He continued, “I’ll also be taking…” And he named several of my closest friends. I was excited. I was young, still unmarried. Happy at the thought of going. Looking forward to sharing a car ride with everyone.
Suddenly, an intense coldness came over me. A frigidity I could not explain. I felt my heart become completely frozen. Almost stopping. My body tightened. My hands, my face became numb.
And then I did the oddest thing. I responded to my good friend by telling him, “I’m sorry, but I can’t go with you.”
And as soon as I said this, all the coldness went away. And I went home, back to my New York Upper West Side apartment. Later to join a few friends that evening. But only for a brief while.
All evening with them I was feeling really bad. Why didn’t I go? Why did I strangely, weirdly decide to not leave on this great weekend trip with my friends. Did I let my friends down? Was I being antisocial? I felt miserable about it all night, and then all weekend. I felt sad. And spent the weekend more or less alone.
Monday a good friend called. “Did you hear what happened?”
I hadn’t. And was told over the phone that my friend who was driving got into a terrible accident. His car overturned somewhere on a mountain road. Everyone was badly hurt. No one died. But it was serious.
And then I wondered, was I not meant to travel with them? To be in this car accident with them? To suffer their shared fate?
Was that why I felt that sheer coldness that came over me, that caused me to decline my friend’s offer for a ride?
I was happy not to have been in an accident. But at the same time, I felt so bad for my friends, who were each in the hospital.
A year or two earlier I used to work at a theater, playing piano, auditioning performers.
A very pretty girl came to sing. She was good, but she was mostly very pretty. I gave her a glowing compliment. But she never returned. A couple of weeks later I was enjoying the beautiful beach near my Florida home when I spotted her, sitting on the sand with some friends. I walked up to her and asked why she never returned, that her theater audition was good. She was shy in front of her girlfriends.
But then I ran into her working at a store a friend owned. I would always say “Hi” whenever I stopped in.
One day I went to the store, but she wasn’t there. I asked a friendly sales clerk what happened to her. The clerk responded, “Didn’t you hear?”
And then I was told that this very pretty girl went up to Atlanta to visit her sister. Where she met some people who invited her over to a party at their house. She wanted to go, but her sister warned her about them. This girl didn’t listen, and when her sister fell asleep this very pretty girl ‘snuck’ out of her sister’s house.
The next day, police went to where this party had been held, and they found a dozen people, including this pretty girl, all sitting on chairs in the living room, in a perfect circle facing one another. Each with a bullet in the back of their head. This very pretty girl was sitting in a chair, face down, her head resting on her purse, dead.