What does a class topper, a mother of an infant and a published author have in common? Not sure?
Let me tell you their stories.
An adolescent runs down the hall. Her face flushed with anger and tears stinging her eyes, she slams the bathroom cubicle door and sobs quietly behind closed doors. It had taken all her pride and yet. “I am so sorry. You’re beautiful. But I could never feel that way about you.” His friendly words punctured with hard-hitting honesty linger on in her mind. The day drags on. In the evening, on her way back home, she stops at the supermarket. The cashier at the counter eyes her suspiciously. “Got a mice-menace at home”, she answers brightly.
Half-past five, says the bedside timer. The newly born mother sighs. She has been sleeping for most of the day. Now rising, she staggers to her feet. Her baby crib cradles a sleeping baby. She smiles and stops to finger the newborn’s sparse hair. A baby after six long years of conjugal bliss! Her empty stomach growls, reminding her she has yet to eat that day. Gulping down a glass of water, she ambles her way to the balcony. She climbs over the ledge and leans forward to hang precariously over the twelve-storeyed drop. Her weak fingers clamped onto the railing, she is the last leaf on an autumn tree dangling dangerously.
Slumped over his desk, a struggling writer has been drinking the day away. Pressed for the deadline, his publishers have been nagging him for weeks. His computer screen blinks back blankly at him. He feels like a dot in a book of “Roget’s Thesaurus”. “Are you sure you want to quit your decent, safe bank job and become a full-time writer?”, his manager had asked him, dubiously, a year ago. The frenzied rivalry in the writing world, writer’s(damn!)block, the shrinking resources and the loneliness have driven him over the edge. Especially sheer abject loneliness.
He opens a drawer and stares at its contents. A needle and a syringe that he had procured from the drugstore, a day before.
What do Unrequited Love, Post-partum Depression and a Miscarried Hope have in common?
A knock on the door interrupts her. It’s her widowed father. “Dinner time, Sweetheart!” “If you are not here in five minutes, I am picking the movie for tonight!” Evil laughter from the other side of the door. She smiles through her tears and shoves back the half-opened package of rodenticide underneath her bed.
She hears a baby wail in hunger. Opening her eyelids, she wakes as if from a dream. Her feet cross over the railing, nimbly. She darts towards the sound of her child.
The sharp ringtone of his mobile phone jolts him awake. “Finally, you answer! How I’ve missed the sound of your voice!”, gushes his girlfriend.
A strange familiar warmth floods back into his veins.
Dying, undying human spirit. For you, it’s another day.
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