FOR MY FIRST TWO DEATHS I was unconscious. No such luck for the third. I was very much awake and aware that I was being murdered.
The day my life ended started like any other day. I was up as usual by five in the morning. I stumbled out of bed and loosened up with a Jane Fonda exercise tape before heading out for my morning three mile bike ride.
By six, I was back at the apartment for praise and worship on the PTL Network and then a quick breakfast. Six-thirty found me in the shower. By seven I was dressed and on my way out the door. An oh yes, I was back on the expressway in my new 1988 white Hyundai GL, full size. Bought brand spanking new off the showroom floor. All by myself.
But, I digress, let’s get back to my last day as a ‘normal’ human being. I arrived at work promptly at seven-thirty. Everything was business as usual. That was up until the engineers left for their usual morning meeting at eight-thirty.
The engineers, all of them, the Central Gulf of Mexico Group, the Western Gulf of Mexico Group, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Group all gathered for a daily briefing from eight thirty to nine everyday. In it, they discussed any and all problems that had occurred on the rigs during the night, issued progress reports, and discussed any deviations needed from the original drilling plan.
After the engineers left, I rushed around gathering up the prior day’s rig reports, which had to be shredded, and picking up any out-going mail from their offices. I hurried to the mailroom on our floor to shred the reports, dump the out-going mail in the mailbags and remove the in-coming mail from the slots for my group.
I was in a hurry because I used the last ten minutes of the morning meeting time as my time to edit my new wardrobe plan. Payday was coming up, and I wanted to see what on the list I could afford to purchase this time.
After finishing my chores, I went back to my office, a small private one, left the door open, and sat down at my desk and slid the wardrobe disk into the computer. Just as the file opened up, I heard someone call my name. “Eliza Eliza.”
I got up from my desk and went to the door thinking one of the guys had returned early from the meeting and needed something. I went to the door, looked both ways down the hall but didn’t see anyone. Perhaps, the person who had called me was in one of the offices. So, I went down the hall and checked each office. Finding all the offices empty and thinking nothing of it, I went back to my office. I started work on the file. Should I get the black velvet blazer or the black and white houndstooth trousers? As I sat there trying to decide, I heard my name being called again, this time strung out long and slow.
E – l – i – z – a
This time I had an instant flashback to October 1977 and rustling leaves under my bedroom window. Fearfully, I got up and went to the door expecting to see them (the girls from my childhood dreams, the girls from the school bus in Latham, Alabama, the mean girls from High School in Chicago, Illinois, the hateful girls standing on the street corner, or in front of buildings where I worked). All one in the same. That’s who I expected to see when I looked out that door.
Instead, I was greeted by my group of engineers coming back from their morning meeting, seemingly engrossed in conversation.
My supervisor stopped at my office door an asked me if anything out of the ordinary had happened. I said NO!