99. When I Retire, We Will See the World

It was 10 p.m. Fritz said good night his wife. She was watching TV. He went bed. Tomorrow was a big day. It was last day of work. Thirty years with the government. Thirty years of flying out of town weeks on end. Thirty years of interviews, meetings, heavy briefcases. Tomorrow it would all be over. that he didn’t like it. He had enjoyed career.

Fritz felt blessed. His father had had tough life as an unskilled laborer. Whenever Fritz a bit discouraged or upset, he thought about overworked and underpaid father. He thanked God for own good life, and for the fact that had been able to make his dad’s last comfortable.

His two children were married and had own careers. His wife Paige kept busy with, other things, her bridge club. She had tried get him interested in bridge, but without success. was content with his own Friday night poker .

Friday morning, he went to work for the last time. Those who knew him well would him. Fritz was a genuinely nice guy. He had a bad word to say about anyone. people might have thought he was a little , but he was intelligent, a hard worker, and team player. He had taken only three weeks sick leave in 30 years.

A small group him out to lunch. When he returned from , the whole office gathered around for cake, ice , a farewell card, and a few short speeches. presented him with various going-away gifts, including a , paperback US atlas. It listed all the motels, , national parks, tourist spots, and other information to guide a leisurely traveler throughout the good old . He had told his friends that he and were going to spend a couple of years all the places that he never had gotten explore while there on business. As a final , his supervisor told him to take the rest the day off.

Paige’s car wasn’t in the when he got home. She was probably shopping some traveling clothes. Maybe she was out arranging dinner at a restaurant that evening for just two of them. That would be nice.

But was wrong. When he hung up his jacket, saw that the bedroom closet was half empty. ’s clothes were gone. Her shoes were not on closet floor. Confused, he looked around the bedroom.

saw an envelope on the lamp stand. Inside were two pieces of paper. One notified him a divorce proceeding. The other was a hand-written from Paige. “I’m so sorry,” it began. She that her lawyer had told her to wait today. If she had sought divorce a year , like her boyfriend had suggested, she would not been able to qualify for 50 percent of ’s pension. She hoped that he would find it his heart to forgive her. She felt terrible this, she wrote, because “you’ve been so good me. But I can’t ignore my own heart.”

sat immobile on the edge of the bed. note was in his hand; her words were in his brain.

Maybe an hour later, the rang. He picked it up on the fifth . It was Bob, wondering if Fritz was going play poker later that night.