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|The Ultimate Option (standard:other, 1307 words)|
|Author: Nadeem Akhtar||Added: Sep 18 2001||Views/Reads: 1944/1107||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|When life and death were separated only by a door.|
'Suicide is not difficult, or at least not as difficult as they say.' The thought sprang to his mind while standing almost a hundred feet above the ground, on the roof of the tallest building in the city. He was looking down at the people in the street, busy in their daily grind, with their thoughtfully drooping heads and bowed shoulders. He had been thinking long about committing suicide, but, until now, had not felt compelled enough for the idea to materialize into action. Today, finally, he had made up his mind, come out of his home, and climbed the stairs of this high building. He knew its height was sufficient enough, not to allow any possibility of failure in his plan. His firm steps and confident posture revealed his solid determination. He threw a final glance at the city, stretching beneath, and all around him. It was the same city where he was born, thirty years ago. The same heartless and cruel city responsible for all his sufferings, which, at last, had culminated to the point of no return: where he had to avail himself of the final option, the ultimate option of ending one's own life, the real remedy to all suffering and misery. "I was not asked, at all, while being sent to this lifeless life and now I'll not ask anyone while ending it." He thought. "Life is not worth living at any cost. It has not given me anything at all, these years. I only felt compelled to be more cruel and inhuman. I was taught how to keep my tears inside, even at the most moving and piteous sights of human suffering. My individual desires have been ruthlessly crushed and my hopes, permanently shattered. I feel as if I have spent years in a state of continuous flux, as if I am walking on a tightly-stretched rope, above a deep, dark void." The muscles of his face stiffened at the stream of hateful and disgusting memories. A sad note of utter despair came over him. Since boyhood, he had realized that he was somewhat different from the others. The usual impulses, of other boys of his age, were almost completely absent in him. He was over-sensitive to the point of being self-destructive. He had been repeatedly sensitized by those who dwelled around him, as they frequently stirred up his emotions with their cruel and inhuman attitudes. He had to fight for all his petty rights, yet he could never fully obtain them. Disappointment, of the world around him, turned his attention to the world within. His youthful energy was spent on developing his inner self and on absorbing the basic knowledge contained in books. Books, no doubt, impart wisdom, but a wisdom of their own kind, which makes a man more imaginative, introverted and hesitant. He, too, was not able to escape the obvious effects of books and so grew up to become a man alive in only his dreams, and imagination. When he completed his education, he had a zest for life. The world was too small for him and he resolved that, sooner or later, he would conquer it, or at least get his share of it. Elders used to tell him that time is the greatest teacher and what it teaches can not otherwise be learned. So it was, that time demonstrated to him how different reality was from his vision of life. Almost continuous unemployment, along with a deep-rooted sense of deprivation, made him realize the importance of money. This realization shattered his confidence, which was based entirely on his own abilities. When, finally, he succeeded in getting a job, he soon came to understand that it was like sitting beneath a glacier, trying to quench one's thirst with slowly oozing drops of water. He conceived that nothing is more damaging to a man than poverty. All attempts to rid himself of this menace were doomed to failure, and many of the other aspects of his life were marred by it, as well. He was passionately in love with someone, but his economic condition was a major hurdle in obtaining her. It is economic independence that ensures all other kinds of freedom, but it also becomes the worst kind of predicament if such mundane economic difficulties are supplemented with emotional turbulence. So now, here he was, on the roof of the highest building in the city and stepping towards the edge. He stopped for a while on the brink of the roof and looked down. A number of eyes raised toward him, as if some of the people below had suddenly sensed his intention. He stared back at them, with eyes full of hatred and contempt. He stretched his arms, like a big bird, and moved forward. It seemed as though he was here just to fly into the air, instead of falling down to earth. His raised hands and uplifted face, for a moment, reminded some in the crowd of a great orator who, while addressing the public, had reached some highly Click here to read the rest of this story (41 more lines)
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