“You have seen the evidence before you. We think you are the only one, but we need to know from you right now.”
I looked at the evidence in front of me and back to the men surrounding me with such stern, exhausted faces. I slowly and quietly gulped in hopes that they wouldn’t see the anxiety I was feeling at this situation, then nodded my head.
“Then, I’m sorry Jin. You’re fired.”
I’m not sure if it is designed ignorance or a blessing bestowed upon us that we travel through life never knowing or fully understanding just how “lucky” we truly are. That we survive and prosper when life itself is fraught with so many maybes or could haves. If we could be consciously aware of all the moments in life, that we were saved from death or harm, would it be enough to convince even the most firm atheist to believe that we are all protected by some guardian angel? One that walks beside us our whole life to keep us safe? To understand all those simple moments where we could have easily left this world, but were saved, yet unaware of the danger the moment posed in the first place.
Simple events, day to day actions that we could never even begin to perceive as one of those “lucky” moments. When a sneeze is just a sneeze, instead of a heart stopping medical anomaly. When a child safely races down the stairs full of excitement to go and play with a friend, instead of falling down and breaking their neck. Simple moments, but also those that haunt our dreams as possibilities or may even be learned from the experiences of others. Those I believe need no real explanation, as we all carry our own worries and fears. But to be clear, a great example would be when one safely returns home after every car ride. How many times in your life have you heard someone say “every time you leave the house, you never know if you will return home again.” Or, “hug your family and tell them how much you love them as often as you can, because you never know when it will be the very last time.”
My father would say something like, that is the beauty of life. That our ignorance allows us to make choices without fear, to form bonds or love and live our lives the way we want. But, if you were given the choice to know the terrible things that were going to happen to you, to know when and how you were going to die; would you? Would you choose to know?
Even after everything has happened, I’m unable to confidently answer that question. What I do know is, in that one moment, that one nod of my head, I sent myself down a path where my life was in more danger than I knew. That people I loved and called family were also in that same predicament, whether I chose that dangerous path or not. Would I still have chosen to do so? If I had known that death was hovering close by, watching and waiting for that perfect moment, would I still have said yes? Or would I have gathered everyone I loved and cared for, fled for the hills and said the heck with everyone else?
This was my father’s doing; for ingraining in me a steadfast moral responsibility to always do the right thing. But regardless, these are all the things I think about now, especially since I learned my mother died. Would she have been so careless in preventing pregnancy, or would she have done so anyway just for the experience of being pregnant a second time?
No matter, in this case, in my world, with one nod I went from designed ignorance to fully aware. What I had witnessed, experienced here in Monte Vista was like badly written thriller novel come to life, and so to protect everyone involved, I’m writing it all down. A clear and concise record of events, and I have chosen you to be my witness. The only one I feel I can trust to protect me in the event of my death. To make things right. You will know what to do with all this information and I know it will be the right thing.
I’m going to start at the beginning, which is much further back and will tell you nothing about the actual events of what is currently happening now. But, it’s all relevant and so you must know. For it won’t only be just my secret you will be carrying and not my life that only needs protection.
I only pray, that you stay safe as well.