This was not good. He was afraid of the unknown and now was very frightened. The pain was excruciating and escalating, from his chest down and through his left arm. He was not a stupid man and realized he could be facing the end.
Oh, no. Not now. Age be damned, he was not ready. Too many things yet to do. He had the capacity to recall all aspects of his life, the good times and the bad, and there were plenty of both. Wrong turns and wave crests. He would have handled so many things so differently.
A sense of a state of slow motion, suspended from everything. He began screaming out.
"I need more time; a second chance with the wisdom of benefitting from mistakes. I would see things more clearly. I'd be less naive, less afraid, more able to say "stop" and not be fearful of the consequences. To hell with being driven by the opinions of others, I'd do the right thing and know what that was. But it's too soon for me. I need more time."
Who was he talking to?
He was about to pass out from the pain as millions of thoughts flashed through his brain. He should have been more religious, less uncertain on the question of a deity. He had not, necessarily, been blasphemous but rather inconsistent. In good times, he believed; when bad things happened, a swirl of rejection. But he had never ignored the covenant of faith, which is the relationship between God and man, and had accepted the covenant of destiny, which is what men make of themselves. And that's why he needed more time.
He heard his name being called out. Over and over. An echo at first, then increasingly steadier. He opened his eyes and immediately took heed that the pain was gone. He had come through it but felt differently. Newly calibrated. He had been given an extension.
Was this really a second chance? No matter. He would make it so.
The opportunity of more time, but not to tarry.