I had another blog post for today.
I can’t post it because I’m not in the mood to laugh with others. It would be a fake laugh. I started a blog post last night. It was about Scott quitting the school PTA.
That’s when Scott got the call.
I stopped typing. My stomach dropped. Something bad happened. I could hear the shock and sadness in Scott’s voice. I stared at Scott. Scott caught the questions in my eyes.
Scott: Chris Mentzel passed away suddenly. Maybe heart attack.
Scott hung up the phone.
Me: What? We just hung out with him. No, he didn’t.
Scott: That’s all Matt said. Oh wow. I just want to text Chris…ask if this…if this is for real.
Me: We just saw him at happy hour last week. He sat across from us. I can still hear his voice. There’s no way. He was here. Here. In front of me. I can touch him.
Scott: This doesn’t make any sense.
Me: He was so fit! He played hockey. No, this isn’t right. What is he, like, 32 or something?
Scott: But there’s nothing on his Facebook.
Me: I’m looking too. His Facebook looks normal? There’s no way.
We scrolled through his pictures. Hockey photos. Weddings with suits and beer. Happy hours. Work events. The pictures showed Chris talking and laughing. He smiled for selfies. His laugh pierced the air. His voice deep.
It hit us.
Scott teared up. We were flipping through photos of a complete life.
Me: I don’t understand…
Scott: I texted him a few days ago. He was fine. I don’t get it.
Me: Chris joked with Hunter about Emma’s height when we bowled with him. He said she’s going to be taller than him. And Kate wouldn’t say hi to him so he just laughed and waved. He was just here in front of us.
I shut my eyes. I put myself back in the bowling alley. There he was.
Me: I stood up and hugged him goodbye. He left the bowling alley before we did, remember?
I hugged Chris Mentzel goodbye.
He left before we did.