He was about to turn the corner when he heard the gunshot. In that instant, as an ordinary office worker, he turned around and walked straight in the opposite direction.
Later, on the news, he found out that two siblings were robbed. One was shot dead at the scene, the other’s body was found four streets away.
What if he hadn’t walked away?
The thought plagued his dreams for the next few years. In some, he did turn the corner, only to become the third dead victim. That drove him to train himself in self-defence. In other dreams, he was shot dead the moment he came into view. He started looking up on tactical ways to approach and leave hostile situations. Different dreams introduced different dangers, and he did all he could to equip himself.
One day, he heard a gunshot. He pulled out his phone and informed the police of the disruption. The voice on the other side thanked him for the information and told him to leave the premise. Part of his research included listening to instructions, so despite the adrenaline flooding him, he left.
He later learnt that the police arrived too late to prevent the death of an old man.
New ‘what if’s plagued him, but he never heard another gunshot again.