“I’ve missed you Bradman.”
“I know. I’ve missed you too.”
“Why’d you have to die? You were a kid like us. What was the reason for you dying? What reason could there have been? What was the purpose in the grand scheme of things?”
I stopped and tried to look into this face. It looked exactly as it had the last time I saw him alive. He took a pull off the cigar and a sip from the bourbon glass. He stared back directly into my eyes.
“Because it happened,” he said, simply.
I had expected some great philosophic answer. I had expected to be enlightened on some mystery of the universe. I was not expecting such a simple response.
“But it isn’t fair,” I sobbed in protest.
Before replying, Brad turned and pointed towards two lawn chairs that had randomly appeared on the driveway beside us. One was the fish chair. The other was the one we had saved open for him. He went to sit in one of them, leaving the fish chair for me. I followed him like an obedient child. He sat down and leaned back, one leg crossed over the other. He took a few strong pulls on the cigar, blowing the smoke into the air. I sat down and leaned forward, resting my elbows on my knees in an image of sulking. The tears had ebbed, but my face was still damp.
“My friend, we all must eventually return to the place from whence we came. For every living thing, it is inevitable. And there is no guarantee about when that will occur.”
“But that’s horrible,” I said. “What’s the point then?”
“That’s exactly what I thought when I first got here. But there is a point. Oh is there ever.”
“Well, what is it? Help me understand why you died.”
“I can’t,” he said softly. “You have to figure it out on your own. It’s one of the main reasons we even have our lives in the first place. Isn’t that what we always used to talk about? What it all meant? What was the meaning behind everything? Don’t tell me you’ve given up that pursuit.” He smiled as he took another sip from his glass.
“No, I guess I haven’t. I just miss you man.”
“Well, I shall see all of you again. That’s one of the most beautiful things about it. There is no reason to be afraid. We’ll see each other again. You get to see everyone again.”
With that comment, he stood. I rose as well, unsure of what was going to happen next. I wiped my face with the my sleeve.