When he opened his eyes one morning, he was eighty years old and it was time to re-evaluate his priorities in life. He sat behind his desk and carefully recorded all his unfulfilled dreams one by one. The list was long.
It started with his well-crafted plot to kiss the girl next door at age twelve. The failure to accomplish this task was etched in his psyche. Later in life he kissed so many yet none replaced the one he never had.
He remembered another life changing experience he had a few years later when he witnessed a deprived man stealing a piece of bread. The shame on the poor man’s face the moment he was caught was an epiphany to him as a young man; and he vowed to make it a mission of his life to eradicate poverty. When he became a mature adult however, he learned to think with his head instead of his heart; was distracted by his endless business responsibilities and totally forgot this noble aspiration.
The list also included his goal to become successful. This one seemed an achieved goal. He was incredibly rich and always had so many employees and staff around him to remind him of his accomplishments.
Today however, his definition of success had changed; he had reached a point in his life that everything that meant something to him was suddenly became meaningless. All his priorities had turned out to be absurd; and now he was back to square one at age eighty.
After these eye-opening revelations and the day he felt the depth of his failure as a human being yet before he had a chance to make amends and take any action to reverse the course he died.
His sudden death came as a shock to him. He was not prepared to call it quits yet. The worst part was that he didn’t remember exactly how he died. He was surely alive and well when he gave an exciting speech on the subject of “Secrets of Success” as a distinguished member of his country club just a the night before. He had a vivid recollection of that event and the next thing he remembered was a relaxing nap in his luxurious casket. The entire affair with death was vexing. He was puzzled over the cause of his own death, something was amiss.
He had every reason to suspect his close friends and confidants first and then his countless enemies for his unexpected departure. After all, he was too wealthy to die of natural causes as stated in his death certificate. He was too cynical to believe his death was normal. He knew someone had outsmarted him by cutting his life short. Death didn’t bother him as much as the element of surprise.
From the very moment he realized he was on the other side, he became obsessed with revenge; from whom, he didn’t know yet. At the beginning he was irritated to learn that all his power, his wealth and his endless connections meant nothing in this new world; he was as dead as the next guy.
When he finally accepted what he was he familiarized himself with his new life style. It took him sometime to settle in and fully comprehend his rights and responsibilities as a dead man and to acclimate to his new existence. He also became aware of his powers and limitations as a ghost.
One of the advantages of his new life so to speak was the abundance of true friends, friends who wanted nothing from him but his companionship. This feature of death was appealing to the newcomer as he didn’t have any reason to suspect others’ intentions and reasons behind their actions. But he didn’t have time for friendship, as he was obsessed with his new priorities. His first order of business was to find a few fellow evil spirits to seek consultation on the subject of revenge.
As creative and as intelligent as he was, he quickly acquired necessary skills and learned the most innovative methods to make life a living hell and managed to destroy lives of so many to avenge his own death.
Eighty years after his death, one morning he sat down and evaluated the events of his life after death. All his priorities once again suddenly seemed meaningless. He wasn’t even sure if his death was a murder and if it was; it didn’t bother him anymore. He was back to square one.
As he was wondering about enigmatic events and circumstances of his life and death, a fellow spirit who had been dead for seven thousands years approached him. The revered sage sat next to him. This man was well-respected for his infinite wisdom, vast knowledge and sound judgments.
The righteous specter whispered some words he didn’t comprehend. As he moved his ear closer to the virtuous man’s mouth to hear his words of wisdom, the seventy thousand year dead man suddenly tackled him and bit his ear. He squealed in pain yet didn’t know how to respond to such an outrageous act of violence from such a revered ghost.
He was still in the state of shock, trying to make sense of this absurd and unwarranted hostility, when the old spirit punched him in the nose. Before he had a chance to defend himself, the venerable man grabbed his hair, violently pulled his head down and kicked him hard in the belly. He collapsed on the ground, but the vengeful master was not through with him yet. He then swiftly plucked him off the ground, twirled him over his head and threw him back to life.
When the twelve year old boy opened his eyes, he had a bloody nose, an injured ear and a wonderful life ahead of him.