I had seen this.
This was not good. The opposite of good. This was the middle of nowhere. Just a roadside bar at the intersection of two highways. I had been driving all day, it was well past my usual dinner time and I was hungry, so I stopped. Nothing more than that. No one could know I was going to be here, at this time, at this place. That did not matter. The moment I crossed that threshold, I knew I had seen this. This is the place I was supposed to die. I was going to be murdered actually. Execution style, right over there in front of the door to the kitchen. On my knees, gray matter splattered like a Jackson Pollack painting announcing the end of my existence.
I had seen this. And there was nothing I could do to change it. The bartender called a hello from the bar as I entered and told me to sit where I wanted; a waitress would be with me in a moment.
There was an elderly couple sitting at the table closest to the door. They were smiling as they gummed their dinner, their hands holding each other's on top of the table. It was easy to see them when they were young and first in love. Meeting right after the war, him in his uniform and her dressed to impress her returning sweetheart that wasn't coming home.