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The Ultimate Option (standard:other, 1307 words)
Author: Nadeem AkhtarAdded: Sep 18 2001Views/Reads: 1944/1107Story 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 


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