Patrick, a millionaire mogul, finds himself trapped in a room against his own freewill.
Everything I have done in life; every obstacle that I have overcome; every personal battle that I have won has led me to this stationary moment in life. I am currently in the middle of dark room tied to a chair. I don’t know exactly where this room is located and I can’t quite make out any of the details. The only thing I see is a bright light above me illuminating a circle of the room where I sit. The light fades gradually into darkness on the perimeter of its glowing reach.
Could I be dead? Is this what heaven is like? I don’t remember how I got here. The last thing I remember was getting in my car and switching on the ignition. Imagine that on my death certificate as the cause of death.
It currently feels like time is standing still. As I try to remember how I got here by retracing my steps, I hear a voice. Could it be? No, don’t be so stupid. The thought of there being a bearded man sitting in the clouds judging my every move is just ridiculous.
The voice sounds familiar. It is that same voice that I heard in my office, on my car radio, on the other end of my phone. I suddenly realise that all of the obstacles that “the voice” has presented me over the past twenty four hours have led to this very moment. I don’t know exactly who the voice belongs to. It has no face. It has no identity. But, it does have a purpose. “The voice” has brought me to this place.
Suddenly, every day I have ever lived seems to flash by in an instant. Even though it is impossible to recall each single day from my memory, it feels like I am. Within those days there have been a lot of minutes. In each minute there have been challenges that I have had to overcome. ‘A lot’ doesn’t come close to capturing the scale of the picture.
There have been times in my life when I have had the urge to steal something. There are two outcomes. Steal the car or do not steal the car. Maybe, each of those decisions had further strings attached to them. Ultimately, you can either go one way of the other and this is determined by the result of the battle between good and bad in your head.
I have encountered other urges multiple times in my life. I remember the first cigarette that I smoked. One could argue I had the freewill to refuse it. In fact, I wish I had refused it if I had known the battle I would have encountered later in life of wanting to give up and not being able to. Humans are creatures of habit. If I knew the outcomes of my decisions, before making the decision, I would not have committed to making the mistakes that I have made. If only there was an instructions manual of how to live life perfectly.
I decided to take my first draw when I was at school with the crowd that I used to hang out with. They were all a couple of years older than what I was. I always felt as though I had something to prove to them. I was constantly showing that I was worthy of being in their gang. I suppose this willingness to prove myself is what has made me into the person I am today. I don’t mean a chain smoker. But, the determination and willingness to succeed that exists in my personality. I suppose it is the relationship between cause and effect. Those experiences and encounters in early life have moulded me into what makes me who I am. My wealth, my status, my importance and my celebrity is what makes my life complete. Without money I am nothing. Life would be so mundane. I nearly forgot about my wife and daughter for a moment. Work can do that to you; take over all of your thoughts.
Life was mundane growing up. My parents were not the wealthiest of people. I was dragged up on a council estate. I don’t remember my father being round a lot. I still don’t know what he used to get up to when he would be away from the house for hours. Those hours amounted to days on some occasions. It certainly wasn’t work related because he never worked a day in his life if my memory serves me well. He ultimately left it down to my mother to make my decisions for me.
To this day the thought of not being able to take lead and be in control scares me. It scares me even thinking about not having the freedom to choose what I wore and ate when I was a dependent child. It was humiliating at times. It made me an easy target for people to extract the urine from. That is why I tried so hard to fit in with what I perceived to be the in crowd at school. I knew that if I was in that crowd then everyone at school would leave me alone because they ran the playground.
Life became unbearable at home after my mother committed suicide when I was just twelve years old. The image of her hanging from the railings outside of our front door on that tower block covered in snow still haunts me to this day. The fact that it was the last day of term before breaking up for the winter holidays made Christmas that year, let’s just say, not very Christmas-y. That was the age I became independent and made all of my own decisions. One could argue this was many years before the age I should have been making adult decisions and responsibilities. But, I had no other option because I certainly couldn’t rely on my father to look after me. The only thing I could rely on him for was a beating that left bruises.
He was very strategic with his unprovoked battering. I’ll give the bastard that. He used to make sure he hit me in places that would not be visible to the public eye. He constantly degraded me verbally to feel like a dog shit. To this day I still don’t know why I deserved what I received. I was always respectful even though I had every right not to be. I hoped the respect I showed would be strong enough to stop the pain. But, nothing could stop me from being a human punch bag.
I sometimes contemplate about his motives. Did he blame me for my mother’s death? To be honest, I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. One day it got too much so I packed a plastic bag with spare clothes, a small amount of food, and very little pocket money that I had saved from my paper round. I ran away from home when I was fifteen. I did not have any plan of where I could go. I didn’t think about any of the consequences. All I knew was that I would walk. After all, walking aimlessly with no destination in mind had to be better than enduring the pain from someone who was supposed to be taking care of me, a role model, and my own flesh and blood.
After many years I never found out what happened to the man that brought me into the world. Maybe he is still living on his last legs. I wouldn’t care if he was six feet under. Although I would like to come face to face with him to show him all of my wealth, cars, properties and the success of my business. I’d also like to thank him for unknowingly encouraging me to make the best decision I ever made.
Since leaving home at fifteen, the time has moved by so quickly. Reflecting on it is like a flash of light. The past thirty years have been an adventure to say the least. The amount of money I have earned and the things I have bought with it has made life the best it can be. Every single decision I have made since leaving home has made me that little bit richer; given me more importance and increased my position in the business world. Every decision that I continue to make in my high flying life will increase my position even more. It is fact that when you come to the end of the road you will be the product of the outcomes of your decisions.
At least that is what I imagined the rest of my life to be. I was struck by something completely unexpected. The sudden shock of it compares to the fright my father’s beating used to give me. I have made some difficult decisions in the past week that have cornered me into this dark room.
The sequences of events that have unfolded have occurred in the way that I have made them happen. I have made the decisions to the challenges which 'the voice' has given me. I would prefer it if someone else was to make this next decision for me. For once in my life I want to take a fatalist point of view and say what will be will be. If only some higher power could control the next decision for me because they already planned my end point. There’s no time for believing in fairytale endings. This is not a movie where the grass is going to be greener on the other side. If it is, it doesn’t feel like that right now.
The amount of pressure I am currently under is the most unbearable strain I have had to withstand. It’s mentally torturing me more than what I endured from Rocky Bal-father as a child. I only have the next sixty seconds to make what is now the only decision I am faced with. This decision should be easy. It is a no brainer. I need my money and my empire. It is the most important thing to me. But, why do I hesitate. I wallow in self pity. Why am I the one going through this? Why me? The decisions I have made in the past twenty four hours have led me to this point of no return.