JERRY DIES AT THE END
It's by Michael Madgar
Jerry dies at the end, but I don’t wanna talk about that yet. I wanna talk about other things. Nobody asked me how my day was before Jerry died. So I’ll tell you how it went.
But not just because Jerry died, we’re still not there yet. You see, I was supposed to go grocery shopping this morning, but my car wouldn’t start. Of all the days. I mean I ran out of food last night. When I say I ran out of food I mean there’s nothing in the cupboards. No cans of soup, no chips, no cereal, not even anything to drink.
I mean, there was water, but who craves water? Who wakes up wanting water? Not me. Nope. I wanted pop. Soda, you know? I understand some people call it that. I don’t.
Anyway, I wanted that. Soda pop. Any kind really. Well, not diet soda pop. I don’t like diet anything. Sucks the flavor out of anything it touches. All that sugar… gone. What’s up with that? I mean you’re already drinking pop. Why not go all the way?
There was nothing in my house, though. So I was gonna go grocery shopping. I get all the way out the front door, into my car and go to start the engine. I should have known. The service engine light was flashing all week. I didn’t pay attention to it, though. I have an older car, those things always happen. It wasn’t a big deal.
But it was.
It was a big deal because I couldn’t get anywhere. So I figured I was going to be stuck an extra couple days without food or drink. I was determined to get to the grocery store.
That’s when I called Rebecca.
Rebecca was my sister. She was five years older than me. She had red hair. She lived approximately 3.9 miles away. I don’t know why I know that, but I do.
I called Rebecca’s house, but she didn’t pick up. That’s when I called her cell phone, but she didn’t pick up either time I called. She must have been at work, so I called there, but they said she wasn’t in. I had no idea where she could be and I didn’t care. She was no use to me if she wasn’t picking up the phone.
That’s what you need to know about Rebecca: she was no use to me.
Anyway, I was standing there in the living room, actually I was pacing around, but I came up with something. I would go over to my neighbor’s house. Maybe he could give me a lift to the grocery store. Who knows, maybe he could pick up some things too.
My neighbor is Jerry.
Jerry was a little over fifty years old. He had whitish-grey hair. He had deep wrinkles on the sides of his mouth from smiling so much. He had blue eyes. Jerry sounded like David Letterman when he talked. Jerry was nice.
I walked through his yard. The weather was nice. It was too nice. When it got too hot outside I would always get sticky and uncomfortable. I could tell if I stayed outside too long today that sort of thing would happen.
So I walked fast through his yard.
A lady walking her dog noticed me and made a face. I ignored her. That lady’s name was Erma. I don’t like her. She lived at the end of my street. Her husband was dead. I didn’t care because I don’t like her.
I made my way to Jerry’s front door. I stood there for a couple minutes and looked at his welcome mat. It said, “welcome.” I thought welcome mats were redundant.
Anyway, I knocked on the door a couple of times. It took Jerry a minute to answer, but he finally did. He was smiling; I knew he would be smiling.
I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something like “How’s it going?”
I told him the same thing I’m telling you: terribly. He made a face of concern and asked what was troubling me. That’s when I told him about my car and asked if he could take me to the grocery store.
Jerry said he couldn’t, though.
I was taken aback. I didn’t think he was gonna say no. Jerry never turned anybody away. He was still smiling, though. He must have apologized three times before I asked him why he couldn’t take me and he said it was because he was busy.
He was busy.
I’ll tell you how busy he was, he was sitting around doing nothing. The television was on. He wasn’t even watching anything good. He was watching game shows. That was stupid.
I asked him what he was so busy with.
He said he had to finish doing some paperwork. That didn’t make any sense either. Paperwork for what?
I asked him “Paperwork for what?”
He blankly looked at me and asked if I could leave. I wasn’t ready to leave yet, though. I needed his car. I needed to get to the grocery store. I was hungry. I wanted to drink some soda pop. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I was going to go to the store in Jerry’s car with or without him.
So I walked into the kitchen, grabbed his keys off the table and made my way back out the front door. He was following behind me yelling. I walked over his welcome mat that said, “welcome.”
Jerry was telling me to give him his keys back. But I had to get to the store, so I got into his car. He drove a smaller car than mine, but his was newer. I always liked Jerry’s car. It was some sort of fancy convertible. It was yellow. I didn’t like that very much.
Anyway, I got into his car, started the engine, saw that no service engine light was on, put the car into reverse and then I was backing up. Trouble was, Jerry was behind me. He stood behind a moving car because he thought I was gonna stop.
I didn’t, though.
I was just too hungry. I guess I just backed right up over him.
There was no time to care, though. I was hungry. I needed soda pop to drink. I drove all the way to the store and spent exactly $67.49.
I guess that lady Erma must have saw what I did. I pulled into my driveway, drinking one of the soda pops I bought, when I saw you guys here. I wasn’t gonna try and fight you, though. You guys have guns and I don’t.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to kill Jerry. I actually liked him. Honestly. If I was gonna do it all over I would have just waited until my sister called me back. That, or I would have made sure to run over that lady too.
That’s my confession though, officer. I’m sorry I killed Jerry. I just really needed something to eat… and some soda pop. You understand, right?