REGRET

He sits by the table, his back to the window staring at the solitary candle flickering with the gentle cool breeze. The wall in front of him is bare, illuminated with the dim light of the candle and a canvas for strange shadows dancing on it. He gets up and walks to the window and peers into the darkness outside. The storm has subsided, he can hear only the the gentle pitter-patter of the rain now. The wind has died down and all is quiet except for the distant howling of the dogs. But it doesn’t looks like the electricity is going to be restored soon. I don’t think anyone bothers about it. It is a small suburb on the outskirts of a major city, quaint and dull. The townsfolk themselves are used to be being ignored at all times. It is OK for him though. He likes the anonymity this town offers. Here he doesn’t have to pull any masks over his face. He is content, living in this one-storey small bungalow surrounded by hills and trees. And anyways, he is here for a specific purpose which he intends to fulfill tonight.

man-alone-empty-room

He looks back and glances at the room. There is a a huge bed on one side, a dresser with a full length mirror and a writing table with a chair at the opposite end. The walls are bare. It is a strictly impersonal room with no sign of an individual attached to it. He presses his back against the window and gets lost in watching the flickering flame of the candle again. Beside it, there is a piece of paper and a pen, a small clock reading 22:30 in green color, a glass of water and a bottle of sleeping pills. 

He is snapped back into reality with a flash of lightening. The rain is gaining momentum again. It is going to be a long night. Long and wet. The drizzle has changed to a full-fledged downpour within seconds. He hastily closes the window and walks back to the chair. Sitting on it, he rests his elbow on the arm of the chair and supports his head. The cell phone in his right-hand pocket starts buzzing incessantly. He watches the name splashed across the screen and ignores it. Finally when the phone stops ringing, he checks the notifications – 6 missed calls, 11 messages! He doesn’t want to talk to anybody right now – no friends, no family. He has come here to get away from all. He wants to be alone. He needs to be alone. 

Completely bored and utterly unsure of what to do next, he begins to skim through his phone’s photo gallery. A sad smile spreads on his face as he looks fondly at those memories. Lost amidst those scores of pictures, he suddenly finds the one he wanted to avoid. It’s her! He is confused. He had thought that he deleted every single one of her pics. But apparently, this escaped attention. It is a group photo with her at the corner, hand carelessly draped over his shoulder. He feels a sudden surge of pain in his heart and his body goes rigid. And then the tears come. He quietly buries his head in his hands and weeps silently. After what seems like hours, he looks up; wipes the un-dried tears with the back of his hand and leans backwards. He closes his eyes and gets lost in that beautiful memory that once…..was his life!

She giggles and shakes her head. Her long raven hair cascading down her shoulders shining in the pleasant winter sunlight. Her eyes, large and brown like a doe twinkling with mischief, always amused, always curious. Her laughter like a warm spring breeze. She is small and lovely, incredibly cute. Not beautiful, not gorgeous, not sexy but there is something undeniably attractive about her. It’s like- all the sweet and innocent things of the world are wrapped up in that tiny frame. 

He jerks back into reality, half-expecting her to run her hands through his hair, half-expecting to melt in her arms, half-expecting her to kiss him with her soft lips. But it is over! There is no hope left. It’s been over a year and he still cannot forget those times. The past comes haunting him. He can’t concentrate and just can’t bear to go on living in such a dismal way. Nothing has gone right since the day she……nothing…..agghhhh…he lets out a sigh of frustration….and tears at his hair. He is sure he is going to go crazy. The sleeping pills- they are his only option right now! He wants to welcome death, get rid of this everyday despair. 

One word – REGRET! We all face it; every moment of the day. Regret for so many things- for a lost love, a lost hope, a lost cause, a lost opportunity, a lost life….

It is a long journey this life, a long road of trials and tribulations with joys and happiness only sprinkled around. Achieving those smiles is not easy too, we have to work at it. Always faced with numerous choices, we find ourselves constantly debating about which path to take. And it seems like everything around us is against us. We hate more than we love and that we love, we don’t keep. We make mistakes, repeat them and end up completely disoriented and dis-illusioned about life. Some- continue to battle on with a broken spirit while Others succumb and finally give up!

He uncorks the bottle and empties it in his right palm. He picks up the glass of water in the other and screams at the top of his lungs. He is babbling incoherently now like a madman, a glazy look in his eyes. Thats it! Now is the time! He gobbles the pills in one swift motion and gulps the entire contents of the glass. The panic has passed now as he silently eases back. The candle is in the dying stages now. The light has gone even dimmer. He is feeling sleepy now but quite tranquil and at peace. There will be repercussions of this act but in some other reality; not here, not now. For now, there is just serenity around. The last thing he sees as he closes his eyes is the piece of paper fluttering on the desk. There is a single sentence written right in the middle of it – I don’t regret my life, I regret the way I lived it… 

And the candle suddenly burns bright and goes off to plunge its surrounding into an impenetrable darkness. What life didn’t do, death does- it embraces the body of that young man as he slowly sinks into oblivion….

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