Jasper pulled his car along side of the road and turned off the ignition. He had come to this spot every year on this day for the last twenty years. He slid out of the seat and walked to the front of the car, resting his bottom on the hood. Pulling the slip of paper from his his inside breast pocket, he smiled to himself.
He clearly remembered receiving the note in the mail. He had thought someone was playing a joke on him. His parents were morbid like that. He had only been eighteen years old and eager to be out from under their thumb.
He recalled not wanting to think the letter had phased him at all, so hadn't mentioned it to anyone. Something caused him to keep it though. He had carried it for years. For a while in a metal box with a lock under his bed, then after meeting Alice, he had placed it in his wallet.
He had begun to think that he had an angel looking over him and maybe he did. Whatever the context, he was thankful.
He glanced to the road in front of him where angry tire marks could still be faintly seen. Tears began to roll down his cheeks as he thought of the last twenty years he could have lost in a heartbeat.
His children would not exist if not for this white paper. Sweet, innocent moments of waking up in bed next to his wife. Making love to her before falling asleep, wrapped in her arms. Moments that most take for granted.
He had suspicions of whom the note was from. In his heart he knew. He also knew that her gift made her uncomfortable and so he had settled for tiny gestures over the years. Making himself available to her in every way possible. He would help her bring in groceries or take out the trash when her husband was away.
In his own way, he loved her. Not in the same way that he loved Alice but there was no doubt she owned a piece of his soul. When times were bad and he had difficulty reconciling why he had been saved, he would think of her and it filled him with strength.
She thought he was worth saving. He had Alice and the twins, Alec and Jane. They believed he was worth saving as well. He would remember this and dig his heels in try that little bit harder to make her effort worthwhile.
He unfolded the paper in his hands and read it through as was his custom to commemorate another year. A celebration of his life and all he had accomplished and obtained because her.
You don't know me and you will find this difficult to comprehend but I have reason to believe that you will marry the girl of your dreams. Her name is Alice and the two of you will be outrageously happy. After ten years of marriage, on May 13, you will play cards and have drinks with friends. Afterward, you will be expected at the recording studio where you work. I implore of you to not get into the car on this evening. There will be a horrible car accident on the Interstate five miles from your home that will take your life. Please, I beg of you, stay home with Alice.
The note had not been signed.
After meeting Alice, the letter became ominous to him. The paper seemed to shimmer between his fingers every time he touched it.
Jasper had stayed home that night. He had taken his wife to bed and made sweet love and slept soundly with dreams of angels dancing in his mind.
The next morning, when the car crash pile up was announced on the news as he stood at the breakfast buffet, he collapsed to the floor and wept.
He realized how lucky he was to be able to still shed tears. His entire life meant more to him in an instant. Someone had cared enough to save his life and Jasper had thrown himself into various charity endeavors with the hope of saving someone else.
He was a grateful, peaceful man with the knowledge that there is a God in heaven, angels roam among us, true love is forever, and that we all have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to others around us.