She always had a way with numbers. 14,741,926. She knew the exact number of bricks creating the archways into the stadium. She had a slight headache. “Probably didn’t hydrate enough,” she thought as she sipped her cola. 14,741,926. She read somewhere that π contains all of the numbers we will ever use in our lifetime. All of our addresses. All of our test scores. All of our anniversary dates. All of our heart beats. And when the numbers are converted to letters, π contains all of the words we will ever see, read, utter or dream. Pretty amazing. “Geek much?” she chuckled to herself. She loved numbers. Numbers came to her easier than words sometimes. Most times. 14,741,926. This Friday night game was going to be the most awesome. She knew he was going to propose to her. His sister gave her a head’s up. “What’s that expression? Chicks before dicks?” as she thought that, soda nearly shot from her nose. She looked around. No one saw her. 14,741,926. Her headache was not going away and the cola wasn’t helping. She was close to the archway. So many people. She was not a fan of crowds, somewhat phobic, hated the hive-like noise of thousands of voices.Then she saw him. He was yelling something and frantically waving a large, white teddy bear in the air, one of those gaudy kinds you win at a back woods carnival. It had red polka dots. “God, I love you so much,” she whispered aloud to him. She couldn’t wait to pretend to be surprised about the ring. She winced. Her head was pounding now. 14,741,926. She was sweating. She never had a migraine but this clearly was one. She tried to smile and wave back to him. 14,741,926. As she stepped further into the archways, she felt a staggering wave of hot pain piercing through the back of her head and straight through her right eye. Thick sweat was burning her eyes, clouding her vision. She dropped her cola. The archways seemed so far now but she could almost make out what he was yelling through the crowd, “time,” she didn’t understand, she wasn’t late. A thick darkness filled the archways consuming all sound and air. She felt her body convulse as she collapsed to the ground. “I’m having a seizure,” she thought, as her body seized up again, and again. She arched her neck and tried to call for him, but there was only a dark presence in the archway. Now it was moving quickly and steadily towards her. “Time?” the surgeon called. “19:26,” the nurse replied. “Time of death, 2014, July 4, 1900 hours 26 minutes. Let’s try to save the other gun shot victims,” the surgeon solemnly uttered as he pulled the mask from his mouth. 14,741,926. She always had a way with numbers.
photo credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands