Contributor: Andrew Mang

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The man in the white mask and mechanic’s jumpsuit has been lying in the back of my vintage automobile for two hours. The masked man is patient - much more patient than I could ever be. The masked man has been all over the news for breaking into cars and murdering the unsuspecting drivers after the ignition sparks. Unsuspecting is the keyword. The problem is I am not an unsuspecting victim. I have been watching the masked man lay patiently in the back of my classic vehicle for two hours.
The scene is set: the air is frigid, the ground is wet, and the street lamp is dim.
I believe in fate and this must be my fate.
The masked man chose my car because of these perfect conditions. If I would have parked a few feet forward, or a few meters backwards, the street lamp would be beaming its light directly on my vehicle, and the masked man would be exposed.
Fortunately, this is not the case. I parked the car in such a way that the masked man chose me as his next victim. If that is not fate, then I do not know what is. When your time is up, then your time is up. How could I even challenge fate and ruin the glorious plan of the all-knowing universe?
I must get in my car.
My life should be flashing before my eyes, but all I see is darkness. It does make sense, since the last thirty years of my life have been pain, agony, and hopelessness because of my wife’s death. How could I see anything else but darkness? I hate to sound cliché, but this is the most I have felt since her passing. I know, after I turn that key, I will once again be with my love. My impending death has spawned absolute bliss. How beautiful. This is it. Fate is here and I am happy to accept the invitation.
Here I go.
Wait a minute. Where is the masked man? He is gone. I do not understand. This is my fate. My fate is to become another one of the masked man’s victims and to be reunited with my wife. I am content for the first time in thirty years, since knowing fate had found me and opened its door. Why would the masked man leave? Why would fate leave? That is not fate. That is selfishness. What do I know?
I know nothing.
What has happened to me? I was once strong, but now I’m weak. I was choosing to die by the hands of a killer. I choose to believe it was my fate, only to lessen the personal guilt, but ultimately I know it was my choice. My choices are my fate. I create my fate with every decision I make. Here I stand at the age of sixty, experiencing a period of enlightenment. Self-awareness is upon me and life is finally making sense. But this does not change my will to live and the masked man is back, and camouflaging himself in the backseat of my car. I am enlightened, yet I am destroyed. Fate is not murdering me tonight and a killer is not murdering me tonight. I am. I am choosing my fate. I am choosing to die.
I am choosing to get into my car.

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