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The Groundhog (standard:drama, 602 words)
Author: CucicuAdded: Oct 10 2003Views/Reads: 2938/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A young man learns the meaning of life.

The Groundhog 

I woke up one morning and she was gone. No note. No message. No wife.
Just an empty closet. I drove all around town looking for her, but she 
simply had vanished.  None of her friends knew where she was, or at 
least that's what they were telling me.  In retrospect, I guess I 
should have seen it coming, but I didn't.  I kept asking  out loud why 
this was happening to me.  I went back home and drank myself to sleep. 

It was almost a year before I saw her again.  I was visiting the town
where her mother lived and I saw her coming out of a bar with another 
man.  She looked at me, smiled and said, “Sometimes you just have to 
let it go.”   It's funny. In my mind I had rehearsed all sorts of 
scenarios of what I would do if I ever saw her again.  I didn't do any 
of them. I just stared at her without saying a word.  I didn't know it 
at the time, but that was the last time I would ever see her. 

I don't mind saying that I was really depressed after she left me. I
even thought seriously about killing myself. One day, I bought myself a 
gun, and put it up to my temple.  I wondered what it would be like to 
be dead.  Although I was raised a Catholic, I was not convinced about 
the existence of an afterlife.   In my mind, religion was just 
something humans invented to help us deal with the absurdity of life 
and death. I still don't know why I didn't pull the trigger.  Soon 
afterward, my doctor put me on Prozac, but it was jamming up all of my 
emotions.  I needed to feel my grief.   One day I went to the park and 
fed the Prozac to the pigeons. 

When I was up early one morning, I saw an animal scurrying across my
lawn. I didn't know what it was at first. It looked like a small dog, 
but later I realized it was a groundhog.  He had made himself a nice 
home under my porch.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't really care much about 
such things, but his underground passageway was making the bricks on my 
sidewalk collapse.  One night, I tripped on one of these and almost 
broke my arm. The next day, I went out and bought a trap and baited it 
with apple slices. 

It didn't take long before I noticed something moving inside the cage. 
The sun was hot and I decided to get my gun so I could put the animal 
out of its misery.  As I was walking towards it, the creature looked at 
me with its big curious eyes.  I was amazed at how it just calmly sat 
there and stared at me.  It was almost as if the groundhog knew his 
fate, and had accepted it without question.  All of a sudden, something 
made me stop dead in my tracks.  I had an odd realization that in some 
ways, the groundhog and I had a lot in common.  We were both caught in 
a trap that neither of us wanted or deserved.  For some strange reason 
our lives had become intertwined and whether our destinies were 
predetermined or just a collection of random events didn't really 
matter.  From our own isolated perspectives, life could not make any 
sense, and looking for revelations for why certain things happen to us 
is useless.  For a second, I used my gun as a mirror. Then  I opened 
the latch and let the groundhog go. 


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