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At the time of Aaron’s death I was working as a mail contractor for Australia Post picking up mail from the post offices and delivering them to the mail center for sorting.
My last run of the day started at the southern tip of the city. On any given day of the week this time of day starts a build up of traffic as commuters rush home.
Friday afternoons are worse as everyone seems to be knocking off early to get a jump on traffic.
But this was a Tuesday so something was wrong. Road works? Traffic accident?
While loading my van with the day’s mail at my first Post Office stop, I was approached by one of the staff,
“if your travelling south you will have a hard time getting anywhere” she said.
“No, I’m going north, why is that”? I queried
“Some idiot decided to walk in front of a truck and kill himself. You would think that if he was going to off himself he could have done it some other way so as not to inconvenience others. ”
Normally I would have come back with a snide remark or a smirk and nod of the head in agreement,I would say something that put us on the same page. Suicide was not high on my list of showing any understanding or compassion.
But I had a really bad feeling. I thought it might have been Aaron. My heart sunk and my stomach turned into knots.
I gave a weak reply and got out of there as quick as I could.
Rhonda had been in contact with Aaron on a daily basis for the past week as he had been meeting with her about certain things in his life. So when she couldn’t get a hold of him that day my worry gene took over.
I was concerned all day but not frantic. Lisa ( his older sister, he worked in her cafe) told Rhonda she spoke to him in the morning and he was in good spirits, he just moved into a new apartment and seemed to be OK.
Winding back to the mail center was like a death march. It seemed like an eternity trying to get home that evening.
The house was quiet and all seemed normal. I took a deep breath as I started to relax.
Rhonda was still at work.
Before I could settle in Rhonda phoned.
“Hi, I’m at the police station. Are you sitting down? I’ve got some bad news.”
Why do people ask that, is it just something that we get from cop shows on TV? Does sitting down better prepare you for bad news, are they afraid you may faint and hit your head?
“Aaron is dead, he was hit by a truck and died instantly”.
My worst fear has just become a reality.
And no I wasn’t sitting down.
Rhonda told me the police contacted her at work. They got her number from Aaron’s phone. They asked her to come into the police station. It was a few minutes walk from her work.
“The police are bringing me home as they don’t want me driving, I’ll see you soon. I love you” she said
I was waiting for her on the front lawn.
When the police car drove up and dropped Rhonda off, she thanked them as they drove away.
We hugged, held hands, looked into each others eyes without word. I took a deep breath as walked toward the house.
This was the beginning of the worst day of my life.