A short story about a man on his death bed who receives a diary he maintained in his teens
INTER-IIT CREATIVE WRITING
AN ELABORATE SOB STORY
- Harsh Rajiv
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life - or so it seemed. No, I do not feel good. I feel no better than yesterday. "Nothing more than words of blind hope" is how I'd describe them. I'll get to what 'they' are, later.
Life has certainly taught me one thing - optimism is but a mere illusion. The error on my part was learning it too late. It has taken its toll on me, but I've never let it knock me down. However, after the battering I've taken, what's the point of getting back up? There's just nothing - no hopes or dreams or fleeting desires in my empty mind. "Life's worth living", they said. "You'll find what you're looking for", I hoped. Yet all it turned out to be, was an elaborate lie - an easy escape from the reality I now exist in.
All that's left, is oblivion. All I have left is myself.
Me, a poor 82-year-old soul, falling to pieces on my final resting place, with nothing more than death awaiting me. I can do no more than await death myself. That is the real tragedy here. Not my loneliness or my suffering, but my lack of faith in the gift of life itself. The diary does nothing to change my point of view. It only deepens the disappointment within.
These thoughts remain at the back my mind, and the words in the diary have just triggered them again.
All I see, are meaningless thoughts, laced with naivety, and an adolescent boy I no longer recognize. Life has taken away so much from him and given hardly anything in return.
21st July 2018 reads: "Today is the beginning of my journey to a better life. That, I can guarantee." I was right. I did lead a better life than before, but where has it taken me?
What is the point of it all, if at the end of my apparently successful life, I'm left all alone, at the brink of death? What was the point in leaving a mark on the world, when the world could never show me any gratitude in return?
All that money earned, just to pay the hospital bills. Hilarious, I'd say. What else am I supposed to do with it? Send my non-existent children to school? Flatter my imaginary wife with gifts on our anniversary?
The words of that poor boy on 21st July 2018 were beyond hopeful, but the words of that same boy on 21st July 2082 tell you that he should've simply believed in them.
Belief changes a lot in our lives, and it did more than that for me. I believed in myself, and got the dream job. I continued to do so and got to CEO. These are most of the things the boy of 21st July 2018 wished to make of his life.
In spite of all this success, it's awfully convenient that I omit the worst part. The boy of 21st July 2018 was physically an adult but emotionally, no more than a child. I tire of mentioning this day now.
He had hurt more than enough people by that age, and he could only hope to have some emotional growth in the future. "Worked out great for you, didn't it?", I say, with apparent sarcasm. If this doesn't show you how pathetic of a human being I was and am, nothing will.
The number continued to grow, and the apathy rose exponentially. 2 failed relationships by 18 became 8 by 28. Yes, the math does check out, and even after all the failures, that's all I'll ever be good at. There's a fabulous quote that I read recently that relates to me. "You only hurt the people that you love", and this just tells me the author of this quote has no idea what they're talking about.
I hurt everybody who dares to destroy the emotional prison I've created, and I simply don't care! All I do is pretend - to care, and to love. It's all my fault.
I'm a broken person, and I never let anyone try to fix me. I've shut everything and everyone out of my life, but myself. And what a massive surprise that I have just myself for company now, isn't it?
It's got to a point now where I can't even feel sorry for myself. Anybody hearing me now knows I deserve no sympathy. Now you know, that I'm the villain of my own story. I've failed this life, and I've failed myself. No better conclusion than to say I deserve this, don't you think?
I could go into the specifics, but I don't have the time for it anymore. No more time to cry over milk spilt ages ago. Come to think of it, what am I doing? Why did I prolong my silent agony?
Oh god. What a fool I've been. I hoped. I know the situation isn't getting better, and clearly, I'm not either.
I've used these fancy words and phrases to describe a simple problem, and I see a simpler solution - I'm letting life knock me down for good.
Looking for a happy ending? Look away now. This is the end, and it's far from perfect.
This is the story of the perfect IITian, who just happened to be a monster of a human being.