Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"13 Steps to Nowhere" by the amazing Hicham Sbaa

A beautiful short story written by my love, Cham Sbaa (visit his amazing blog! )

A Short Story Written by:
Hicham Sbaa

Before I start telling you my story, just let me begin by saying that I am no one special; just an ordinary man with ordinary thoughts, I've led an average life, and soon after my death, I will be forgotten.

For the first time in months, I woke up with a big smile on my face, it was very early in the morning, which was strange, because I haven't done that in a long time. It was just another monotonous day in the city, only it wasn't that dull for me, unlike other days, I had a mission to accomplish. I waited in my room for all my family members to go to their jobs and schools, I didn't want to risk seeing them in that morning, it will be too painful to look at their faces knowing what I am about to do. After they were gone, I took a shower, shaved my beard for the first time in weeks, wore my finest clothes, brushed my hair and put on my favorite perfume, I was ready to go, but before that, I took out a letter from my pocket and placed it on my desk, next to the family picture, a letter that I wrote yesterday; a farewell letter.

I stood there for some minutes admiring every inch of my home for the last time, the walls, the ceiling, the furniture, it felt so quiet and peaceful there, then I said farewell to my home, and set out to complete my mission. I went to the nearest bus stop and I took the bus, It was quite empty so I found this nice seat at the back where I sat and relaxed while new people rode on the bus at every bus stop, soon enough the bus was full, I looked around and I saw this man with his wife and their three children standing in the crowd, and from the clothes they were wearing they seemed very poor, I looked at their faces and I could see the scars of this harsh world, but still they looked happy while holding each others, I felt sorry for them, but still managed to envy them for their satisfaction .

In another corner, I saw this cute schoolgirl listening to music on her iPod, she looked free of troubles and worries and full of life while singing along to a song, I looked at her and I wished I could go back to her age and start my life all over again, maybe things would be different this time and I won't end up like this total failure I am. Next to her, an old man in his late seventies was hardly standing with the help of his cane, he was wearing this archaic traditional jellaba, and he had that gracefulness that comes with old age, and even though the color white invaded what's left of his hair, and the years carved deep wrinkles on his face, I couldn't help but notice that somehow he still managed to smile and joke with people next to him. How could anyone maintain that positive outlook after such a long time on this earth with all its brutality and cruelty?

I got off the bus, and walked until I arrived at my desired destination.

"It's the right spot" I thought, and sighed in relief for I have finally found the right place. Strangely, it was exactly how they described it to me; they said: "once you arrive at the place, you will see this concrete bridge and then count thirteen steps and you will find this gap caused by a storm on the left side of the bridge, and you can easily jump from there and you won't feel a thing"

It sounded good enough for someone like me who got fed up with life with all its despair and oppression, and did not find but suicide as a way of salvation.

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, THIRTEEN"

As I was taking those steps, I was thinking of all the things in my life that matters; the things that should prevent me from putting an end to my life right here, and I couldn't think of any. My heart was pounding faster and faster with each step I was taking, it was only thirteen steps but it was the longest walk I've ever had.

"Just a step forward on the edge of this worn out old bridge and I will disappear from the face of the earth, and I won't even feel the difference. I hope it will be painless as they said, I'm on the verge of doing the world a great favor by getting rid of such a negative person like me, the least thing I can ask for is that my death will be quick and painless." I thought

"Farewell… you greedy world. I hope you'll be better off without me, as I am sure I'll be better off without you… Farewell…" I shouted

I stood there for some seconds, on the hope that someone would stop me, but no one took any notice. I mumbled some words under my heavy breathing and I jumped.

Nothing happened, it didn't hurt at all. It was wonderful, I felt like I was born again only this time was into a world that I've never thought it exists, a world with no hatred and fear, a world that was overwhelming with love and peace, a world where I felt at ease, a world where I felt free, a world that I belonged to. I couldn't believe that this was actually happening, but more importantly, I couldn't understand what was happening, was I still sleeping in my bed and this whole thing was nothing but a dream? Or am I really dead and this is heaven? I don't know, all I know is this; If this new world I've finally found was nothing but a dream then I don't ever want to wake up, And if I really did jump and now I'm dead, then I thank God and his great mercy for giving me another chance to be happy in a much better place. Either way I am happy and satisfied where I am right now.

How strange life can be! That that starts bitter ends sweet.

Suddenly, a great pain overcame my body, and as I was getting conscious, I was getting more aware of the real world around me, I tried to move but I couldn't, I opened my eyes slowly, but I barley could open them enough, only to see a bunch of people looking down on me, some with pity in their eyes, some with anger and resentment for choosing the easy way out, and others were just too scared of the fact that life can be so hard that some people choose to put an end to it. Apparently that world I began to love was nothing but the hallucination of a dying man lying in a pool of his own blood. Of all the people out there I should have seen that coming, it was too good to be true or at least to last for a while.

Lying there on my back, staring at the sky and the sky staring back at me, I felt scared, I didn't want to die, I wanted my life back with all its malice and ugliness, I wanted a second chance on this earth.

"Maybe I can turn things around this time, maybe I can make something of my life, maybe all I need is some help and I will be just fine." As soon as those words left my mouth, I felt how useless and hopeless they were. Who am I kidding? It's too late for a second chance, too late to make something of my life; it's just too late.

As I was taking my last breath, someone from the crowd knelt down next to my aching body, and started talking to me, saying that everything will be alright and that there is nothing to worry about; and that was a lie. I looked into his eyes only to see the reflection of my sinful eyes looking back at me, I looked again much deeper into his eyes, and I saw how scared he was, scared of the fact that I am about to die, and that there is nothing he can do to help; and that was the truth, and before I knew it, my soul left my still warm body, hopefully to a better place.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder: Am I better off dead? Have I made the right choice? Or have I given up on life so easily? Have I tried enough to put my life back on track? Or was I too weak to do so? Am I being selfish for leaving nothing behind but pain for everyone who once loved me? Or was my whole life nothing but a disappointment to all of them and it just doesn't matter anymore?

Well, I'm done asking those questions, because I don't have the answers, and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell you, because now, I'm nothing but a dead body with so many broken bones and bruises to display.

How strange life can be! That that starts sweet ends bitter.

: : End : :

Copyright 2009

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