Juniper Breezes

John Bunker worked construction from the time he was fifteen. His dad was a subcontractor and helped finish I-15 through the Nephi area (one of the last stretches of interstate to be completed).
He worked the day his three-year old daughter came home with a cold. He worked late that day, and since there was so much traffic in Utah County, where he was working on I-15 himself, he didn't hear his phone ring.
But he soon found out his three-year old had died of the flu, and his six-year old son and wife were both infected. But he could not afford to miss work.
So he went back to the interstate the next day, and put all his pain into building that road.
Three guys called out sick that day.
The next afternoon, his wife passed. That evening, his son went too.
He had nothing else to do after the funerals on Saturday, so he went back to work on Monday. He wasn't the kind of guy to let his feelings show.
But on Monday, only three of the crew of twenty showed up for work. They didn't speak much, but went to work and finished nearly as much as the entire crew could have in that day. There was a lot less traffic.
By the end of the week, there was no traffic.
The flu killed all of John's family, friends, and coworkers. Soon, there was no one left but himself, and he didn't take the time to look for any other survivors.
He went back to work.
John was determined to build that road. He spent every daylight hour working the machines and expertly creating the perfect road: there were no cracks and no bumps. He worked for three months, carrying out the dusty old plans in the foreman's trailer, plotting out the road, even putting up barrels to direct traffic, should any come his way.
But none did. As it was, John would have been wasting his time to look for any survivors. He was the last man alive on earth.
It took him a year, but John finished that road. When he was done, and had nothing left but the sorrow of his losses, he packed a bag and walked on that road out to the horizon.
And so it was that the last accomplishment of man on earth was the building of a road.

No comments: