His breathing sank. A rusty odour that filled the air churned the juices in his stomach. As he lay on the ice-cold surface half-awake, his fingers gently ran across his stomach. The sight of the red-coloured fluid made him quiver. With every passing second, slowly yet steadily, life dribbled out of his existence. A series of bright dots appeared before his eyes. He was on the verge of bidding adieu to his life. The life that he detested. He would soon fade into eternal oblivion and attain the freedom that he has been yearning for ages. Yet the sense of gratification seemed to elude him. Despite the pandemonium around, his soul was wrapped in an aura of eerie silence.
As he struggled to breathe, the words, “Don’t leave,” echoed in his ears. The universe had warned him twice but he chose to ignore the signs. Snippets from his life hitherto played before him. “Don’t leave. Our son needs you,” he remembered his wife’s words that were laced with tears. Freeing his hand off his wife’s grasp, he left the house in a hurry. An assiduous person that he was he chose to spend his day at the office than just squatting by his ailing son’s side. His restricted encounters with money since childhood and the difficulties that ensued had transformed him into a rock. By absorbing every ounce of pain he had weathered the storms of life. In the process, he gave up the work-life harmony.
His weary muscles didn’t seem to budge that morning. Giving in to the demands of his body, he settled on a green-coloured bench at the bus station. A few minutes later, he stood up to walk towards the bus when his eyes fell on a piece of paper that was folded with precision. He bent forwards and reached for the paper. “Don’t leave,” he read the words written in red. A part of him wanted him to return home. But a pragmatic soul that he was, he discarded the paper and got into the bus. Little did he know what destiny had in store for him. The bus collided with a speeding truck and here he was hoping against hope that he would survive.
Blood slowly oozed out of his body, each drop taking away a part of him with it. As his soul flew, the desire to live surfaced within him. Tears that were restrained in his orbs, now cascaded freely down his cheeks. How he wished he had spent more time with his family. If only he had told his wife, how much he loved her. If only he had given in to her request. Myriad emotions shrouded his fragile mind and he gently closed his eyes. Tears that lined his lower eyelids began to dry as he finally resigned to fate.
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