The Day Before [Short Story]

The Day Before
by Grant Gougler

In retrospect, it had to happen eventually. Can we all agree on that, at least? Like storing powder-kegs in a room full of candlelight, we shouldn’t have expected it not to happen. We couldn’t have expected it not to happen. At least, that’s my opinion. And looking back on the way we were before it happened, when we were so… so….

Look, I can’t be the only one who reflects on those times with an even mixture of anger and envy.

Yes, I miss the days before we knew about the great big bad thing we were inevitably headed for, but at the same time I wonder: What warning signs are we missing now? What next big bad thing is waiting around the corner this time? And why are we always so ignorant until it actually happens? Why do we only become brilliant analysts—and all of us do—after the big bad thing occurs?

Everybody remembers what they were doing and where they were when they first heard the news… or, god forbid, witnessed it with their own eyes. Yet I try to remember what I was doing the day before it happened, during my final day of ignorance. And yes, I’m angry at myself, for being so near-sighted, but I also find envy when I think about what life was like then… sweet, simple life.

But what was I doing that day, the day before it happened? What was life like? I couldn’t tell you. I honestly couldn’t. (Can you?) And it bothers me that something so terrible can so naturally become normal. It bothers me that on the day it happened, I already couldn’t remember the day before.

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