Why did he suddenly leave home? After all, he had everything he ever wanted. A loving wife and two doting children. A circle of friends that adored him. And a life most people could only dream about.
But something had been occupying his mind. He had seemed distant and ill at ease. He started talking about his funeral. Not just talking about it, but planning every detail. The music, the guest list. His collection of fine wines which he built up over many years, was to be enjoyed and appreciated. It had to be truly appreciated.
And strangest of all, he said he would be there to make sure all of his wishes were honoured.
He said his friends and family would miss him when he was gone. Only then would they appreciate him.
A few days ago he didn’t come home. He was found with his life drained from him in a wood a few miles from home. What had happened was a mystery. Had he been attacked? It didn’t seem so. Had he taken his own life? It didn’t look like it, and why should he anyway?
On the morning of the funeral the sun shone. It was still. It was quiet. Nothing moved except a large glossy black bird which was strutting up and down the fence close to the front door of the house.
His wife sat motionless with a child under each arm. They silently sobbed.
Suddenly a wind began to swirl around the garden. It whistled through the half opened window.
For a moment she was sure she heard him. “I’ll never leave you and you can never leave me” a breathy voice seemed to say. But then again it was probably just the wind playing tricks with her mind.
Then it became calm again. The bird flapped it’s wings and flew up into the sky. Up and up and up it went . Higher and higher until it was gone.