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Rated: E · Other · Comedy · #1811670
I can breathe again.
In the beginning of Autumn, Osmond Delagrange walked out of Dr. Breton’s office, newly diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. It had been an exquisitely mechanical day up until that point, but this had just made it strange.

The news wasn’t depressing. In fact, it didn’t really change Osmond’s life at all. He still showed up to work at precisely eight fifty the next morining. He still calmly ascended the one hundred and forty-three steps to his floor. He still walked by twenty-two cubicles each morning and stopped at exactly seven of them for small talk. He still sat down at his desk at exactly nine ‘o clock and worked until five twenty-five, leaving exactly five minutes to spare, which he used to go to the restroom.

He still descended the one hundred and forty-three steps to the lobby. He still walked out the door promptly at six thirty-five. He still tread over exactly ninety-seven cement squares on his way home—although there were ninety-six in total (ninety-six is a god-awful number. Osmond had resolved to step on the fourth-from-last square twice, as it was the longest by eight point six inches and could allow him to do so without interrupting his pace).

He still walked past the same strange, torturously asymmetrical wire sculpture on the street corner. Osmond held his breath every time he walked by

Seven days and six nights had passed and Dr. Breton’s accusation now hurt Osmond more than ever. Obsessive Compulsive? I think not! Disorder? Hardly! I’m fully functional! More than that, I am extremely efficient, he thought, grinding his teeth and pacing about the room. He threw on his jacket and burst out the front door and into the cold night.

• • •

The next morning he woke up poorly, and with a headache. He had rolled off the bed and landed with a thud. His alarm stirred, announcing that it was time to wake up. Osmond was to see Dr. Breton again today.

Osmond robotically executed his morning routine and walked out the door. He tread over exactly seven concrete squares and hailed a cab. “I’ll tip well if you get there at exactly ten thirty, not a minute on either side.” he instructed the driver, whom did not refuse.

As he rode, Osmond stared out the window complacently; he was wholly absorbed by Dr. Breton’s denigrating accusation. Pedestrians flew by—men, women, dogs, nothing of remote interest.  One thing however, caught his eye immediately; three squad cars were parked along the curb. Their lights were flashing. Osmond leaned close to the window to see more closely.

Someone had vandalized the wire sculpture on the street corner. Osmond smiled.

The cab pulled up to Dr. Breton’s office at exactly ten thirty. Osmond tipped the cab driver well, as he said he would, and tread over the three cement squares to the stoop. He ascended twenty six steps, passed four doors, turned the doorknob on the fifth precisely ninety-six degrees clockwise, and stepped into Dr. Breton’s office.

• • •

“It was worth it.” Osmond insisted.
“And you are aware it’s illegal?”
“I can breathe again. It was worth it.”
“According to your background check, this isn’t the first time.”
“It’s worth it.”
“You could go to jail for this you know?”
“I may go to jail, but it’s worth it.”
“Blah blah blah.”
“It’s worth it.”
“Blah blah blah.”
“It’s worth it.”

• • •

Osmond woke up the next morning and went about his weekday routine. Following his rigid schedule, he left work at exactly five thirty. He descended one hundred and forty-three steps. He tread on exactly ninety-seven concrete squares. However, Osmond paused when he reached the wire sculpture on the street corner.

Each and every wire had been pulled straight.

Osmond breathed freely and continued his pace.
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