GERALD VON HASSEL III was a quirky, odd young man in his mid-thirties from a sound family, which for the most part had all passed away. He was known to be dependable and trustworthy and quite content to work nine-to-five, five days a week as a highly respected commodities broker on Wall Street at the top of his game, making a very good living.
On arriving home from work, he would nod and smile at his neighbours and made sure to say please and thank you and never rude to anyone.
He wasn’t one to say malicious things like, “It’s my way or the highway” or “They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers!”
He avoided cursing and swearing and didn’t have any offensive bumper-stickers on his hundred twenty-two thousand-dollar Mercedes-550. It was his only extravagance, which he was one payment away from owning, and it riled some people to the point of jealousy and revulsion.
It wasn’t uncommon for Gerald to go out of his way to help little old ladies cross the street or carry their parcels, for in his own little way, he wanted to make the world a better place. In fact, his biggest dream was to make a difference- a real difference. Do something that really mattered, something big and wonderful for everyone to notice.
Gerald lived a quiet life in the small town of Cedarhurst, Long Island, in an up-scale, modest neighbourhood where he had a nice little three-bedroom brick townhouse, with screened-in pool in the backyard that he was proud of.
He had a good old mangy mongrel named ‘Louie,’ a Beagle-Schnauzer he had for nine years, and a nice-looking girlfriend he hoped he would marry one day. He also had a best friend he had known since childhood who he could count on through thick or thin.
In all, Gerald was a lovable, gentle soul who never harmed or bothered anybody, and to him life was a bed of roses, since all was going exceptionally well.
But isn’t it funny how things can change.
This day felt like any other day when it started. There were no signs that anything out of the ordinary was coming his way when it happened...