A flash fiction after a while!
It’s the first time in months, that I’ve ventured out today. The cafe is a far cry from the hopelessness that my life has reduced to.
For the past six months, I’ve been living a hand-to-mouth existence. The savings are dwindling and nobody has got any work for me. I’m redundant. Not needed anymore. All those encouraging words from my old contacts and friends came to nought. It’s difficult to believe that all those applications that I’ve been sending out since March last year have got me absolutely nowhere. I have been penniless before but this time I’m utterly broke. Life has wrung every ounce of hope out of my share. I no longer feel the urge to go on. Darkness has seeped into my soul. I’m running out of my last few hundreds. The only thing I’m waiting for is the final countdown, due tomorrow. Before the New Year dawns, my abysmal existence on this planet will be wiped off forever.
The waiter smiles, as he places the coffee mug on the table. I smile back.
“Enjoy your coffee, Sir“.
He rushes to meet the other customers who seem to be forming a queue by now.
I’ve been sitting here almost an hour, watching the crowd flowing in an endless procession.
“The last day of the year is a strange one”, I muse to myself. While, on the face of it, nothing will change over the next 24 hours, yet, for many, it will be a time for new beginnings, and a new chapter will usher in new promises.
“For me, this last day of the year will also be the last day of my life.” And then, oblivion. THE END.
I watch couples walking hand in hand, little children pleading for candies, everyone dressed in their best attires, walking past me, casting curious glances—my dishevelled look bears my story, but now, I’ve run out of reasons to pretend anymore. The lines from a poem flashed across my mind—
“…Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born,
Every Morn and every Night,
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight…
Some are Born to Endless Night…“
Resigned to fate, I grab my coffee and guess what do I see?
A fly that has fallen onto it. The poor creature is struggling to lift itself out of the frothy edges of the fine Cappuccino, desperately attempting to raise its’ feeble limbs, but can’t. It keeps rising and slipping, almost in an alternate rhythm. It keeps trying but doesn’t give up.
I am keeping an eye on it, more out of a sense of kinship than anything else—watching another helpless living being, who seems to be in the same predicament as I am.
“It’s the struggle for survival, my friend. Who knows it better than you and me?“—I chuckle to myself. Watching it flailing its arms in desperation for the last few minutes, I know it’s just a matter of time before it will give up. I know. I’ve been there.
I continue to watch again, following its’ every move, in silence. The temptation to play God is very strong in me, at this point.
“Should I help?” I question my stance.
What I do next, surprises me. Instead of ordering a replacement for my coffee, for that would mean snapping off this helpless creature’s life, I reach for the stirrer kept on the side of the saucer. As I bring it close, the fly grabs it. I lift the stick along with the fly and place it on the serviette, letting the tissue absorb the tiny drops of moisture from its’ minuscule body. The lifeless being now seems to be regaining its composure and strength. After a rather vigorous shake, the fly now clings to the serviette, as it tries to ready itself for the flight.
A few seconds pass. This time, having had a second lease of life, my little friend dashes off, leaving me with my coffee mug and the last chance to ponder over my onward journey.
Did it come to plant a tiny seed of hope within me, just before leaving? Perhaps, that was the plan.