Reading a book in sunshine. Andy swims upstream into the words.
Andy, big goofy guy. Bald as Popeye. From Alabama, spent two years in the Navy.
Working the dream in California. Married, with a sick wife, a teacher. Then a miracle child is born after years of trying.
I transfer him to QA. He's grows like mold on sliced bread. They're buying their first house. Put down a deposit in October. Hears rumors about staff reductions in January. He's supposed to buy and move in come April.
Goes to his boss. No, Joe says, no layoffs. Swear to God, Andy.
Andy buys his house in April. Moves in.
Big meeting is called in May. People are sent into two conference rooms. Fifteen people in one conference room will be kept on. Sixty people in the other conference room, thank you for your time.
Andy is furious. Goes to his boss. Yells and swears at him. Just bought a house, bought it because you told me that this wasn't going to happen.
Want a job? Joe asks. Will you move to Atlanta?
Sure, Andy will take that. Sells his new house, makes a profit, moves to Atlanta, goes into sales, flourishes more. Has a big house on a golf course. Has an acre, his own acre of land. Loves it.
Out on the road in Tennessee. Midnight has left for another day. He's in a bar. Drinking with a young woman, twenty, former beauty queen, eighteen years his younger.
They go to a man's house. It's about buying a boat. Fight erupts.
Andy pulls a knife. Man wrestles it from him. The young woman runs to her car. Brings back a gun.
Shots fired. Andy wounded, crawls away. Man holds the woman at gunpoint, calls the police on his cell.
They come, find Andy on the dirt road a mile away. Bled out and still.
Thirty eight years old.
Andy, a goofy guy, leaving behind a wife and child, and stories and memories.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com