There is a common incentive that lures our minds and hearts. Something which sometimes makes us believe in the impossible and yet at times drags us so low that we become blind of the obvious. Are we not slaves of our emotions and perspectives? At times when someone feel so euphoric that he can hope to count those shimmering stars shining through the darkness, another feel so blue that he could barely notice the radiance of the moon. Our actions makes no exception whatsoever. While at times the direst consequences does not prove enough to stir your mind, another proves so dismantled that you get annoyed even by the slightest misfortune.
As he ascended towards the edge of the hanging bridge two hundred feet above the ground he recalled paying tha cab driver, leaving his wallet and all belongings behind. He recalled walking through the slender streets towards his final destination with a sole thought in mind. Over the time he had forged his mind to fight his insights, to kill all moral obligations that could sway him from doing what he was about to. His overtired shaky legs trembled towards the ledge. He was there now, gazing into the falling dusk with his opaque vision. He was determined but scared nonetheless.
It is time now, he thought. It was time to put an end to all his misery. Time to confront his maker and maybe ask all the questions piled up during the course of his miserable life, an envious and partial life. He looked down to his abode, the solid stretch which was about to embrace the last of his breaths. A final flash of memories came running through his mind. The faces of his close ones, his father and his mother, his two year old daughter, Minni, came in a series of sequence. Her laughter vibrated in his eardrums and he saw a blurred reflection of her adorable smile in the sky above. He longed for the soft touch of her tiny fingers over his face, to push her weightless body in the air and then grab her, only to hear her gleeful laughter. He felt uneasy then. He couldn’t conjure the image of his departed wife. His cold body wished to have brought his wallet which contained her picture. He hoped her daughter would be strong enough to face the nightmare. But, he had no choice.
The stretch was empty. There was no one to witness his demise. He looked around himself. The bridge was almost deserted except an elderly man standing at a distance.
At a safe distance and unable to interrupt when he decides to fly, he analysed.
At the edge of his tenure he closed his wet eyes and prompted forward. He conjured every possible reason that had compelled him to do so. He fought his desire and inclined his mind to focus on the reasons to commit the deed rather than stepping back. For an instant he felt life in him when a cold mesmerising breeze touched his pale face. The sun was melting in the horizon leaving a crimson canvas throughout the sky. The darkness was prevailing.
He opened his eyes, prepared to step into the darkness, to dissolve into the abyss. His sweating palm grabbed into a fist and gathered each small iota of courage that he needed. But then something happened.
He looked sideways over his shoulder to find the elderly man standing next to him, his weird confused look gnawing at him. He felt a chill through his spine. The man was standing next to him and if he decided to take the leap then the man might interrupt him now.
“What are you looking at?”, he asked inspecting his shabby attire.
” You “, responded the man, ” wondering which situation dire enough compelled you to the edge where you are standing now”
“That’s none of your business. What do you even know about me?”
“Nothing, yet everything“, the elderly man crossed his arms and looked towards the horizon.
” What does that mean?”, he gave a startling confused look.
” I come here every single day. Each day with a sole purpose . To end the suffering that life inflicts on me every hour. I may not know anything about you, but believe me when I say that I know exactly how you must be feeling now ”
“Then you must not stop me from doing this”
“That is exactly why I should, son”
“What? But you are here for the same reason I suppose?”
” I was. As I do everyday. But not now”, the man turned facing him and looked into his lifeless eyes, ” When I arrived here minutes ago I was determined, but when I saw it, I just couldn’t ”
“Look beyond“, the man gestured towards the setting sun “What do you see?”
“I see, darkness”
“Look deeper, son.”
He returned his gaze towards the horizon. The sun was almost set revealing just a small circumference of itself. The last shining crimson aurora was about to be invaded by the blackness. He tried to look deeper, to see what the man has seen. And just when he reached the peak of his patience, prepared to give up, his vision turned transparent and he could see more clearly.
Scattered through the land beyond him, he saw the uneven imperfect city stretched all over. His eyes widened and at an instant he understood what the man was referring to, the tiny sprinkles of light emerging from every corners and structures depicting its battle against the darkness. The faint glimpse of the vision before him left him flabbergasted. The dimly lit city stretched all over gave him a clear view of hope and patience. The night where evil lurks in its hour of darkness, the light stood tall illuminating the snaking streets, crowded homes and sleeping gardens until the sun shines up again and takes over again.
In the hour of darkness when the chips are down, all it is needed is for you is to hold on, and hold strong. Because sooner or later the light will shine again, the sun will rise again, the birds will sing again.
He turned his head to find the man, but he was gone. At a distance, he saw a cobbler waiting while his son tried to sweep the thread across the needle’s rear in the light of the low lit candle. When he succeeded he handed the needle to his father. He pressed the needle against the ductile shoe sole and started his part of the work. While they were busy in their labour, a small girl, probably his daughter was busy cooking.
How did they came unscathed by the world’s torturous reality? he wondered.
“No”, he said to himself, ” I’ve made my mind. I can’t go back now.”
He looked down towards his destination for one last time. He saw life, swarming through the streets. Closing his eyes he took a deep thought. And then with a warm deep sigh he took the step… backward.