Tired and drained, the two men drove back to the bar and Ben spent the next hour listening to Harry tell everyone his great Moby Dick story, and how Ben had saved his life.
It was getting late, so Ben went to the bar to order one more round of drinks, one being coffee, before saying goodbye to his new friend. “Here you go, Harry.” He set the beer on the table and sat across from him.
“Ben, thanks for today.” Harry reached for the beer when he grabbed himself and bent over the table, the color leaving his face. “Ben, my chest hurts, I don’t feel so good.” His words were strained and then he passed out.
Ben jumped up and ran to him, his voice loud and fearful as he shouted. “Call 911! Harry needs help!” Ben gently laid his new friend on the floor and began CPR. “One, two, three…” He pumped between breaths for what seemed like an eternity.
Harry was gone before the ambulance arrived. Everyone in the bar was in shock as they carried him away, and Ben was left feeling sick and numb with sadness. His mind was full of recent memories where Harry was happy wrestling with Moby Dick. It was beyond his comprehension that he was dead moments into their celebration.
He stood in the parking lot, dazed by the event, then slowly went to his Jeep to resume his driving, again reliving in his mind the wild time they had shared in the river only a few hours ago. The day was too crazy to believe. The experience on the river had filled Ben with more excitement then he’d felt in months, the short relationship with Harry had given him such pleasure. He sighed, bewildered that one day could hold so much joy and sadness.
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