He was feeling uneasy today, again. He had been feeling so for the last few days now. He stood up from his chair and walked towards his window to slide it open. The view was wonderful. In the night he could see all the houses ahead with their lights as stars on earth. In the far one could make out a power plant with its silhouette of more tiny lights, like a cluster of stars. This was one of his favourite sights, and on a particularly good day a cool breeze would blow across. Today it didn’t have the relaxing feel as it normally did. He looked at the book in his hand and wondered where he had gone wrong.

He was reading Fountainhead when he paused upon a line. “He did not know that he had given someone the courage to face a lifetime..”. He brushed his hair with his hands as he thought of it. Courage. Courage had changed its meaning. It once meant walking across the hall in the dark, or crossing a street full of dogs on his own. Now it meant doing something to come out of where he was. Few weeks ago his mother had seen his bank statements. He had taken a loan some time back that was half way through. He hadn’t told her anything about it. Nor could he explain to her where he had spent it. In his defense he thought, he had taken the loan so that he would not have to take money from his mom for the expenses and investments that were due. But then he had no ways to explain how and where he had spent them away in the past few months, with some thing being bought every other day. It is a good thing he thought, that she hadn’t seen his credit card statements. That would have lead to hell, whatever of it was left to see.

Things were sour between him and his mother before. If they didn’t get along that well before now was a miserable time. He didn’t blame her, she lived alone in a different city, and the fact that he didn’t trust her with things hurt her more. Every discussion would end up in an argument. He wanted to change how things were, but end up walking out of each argument with his fist clenched or biting his lips so that he would not speak something he would end up regretting later. It was not that his mother had raised him in poverty. They were a well to do family, but money was spent only on the necessary things. Now that he had a good job, the sudden influx of money made him spend at things he wouldn’t have spent before. Now that he thought of it, that money was only as good as the person who was controlling it. This is not who he wanted to be. He thought himself to be great, and now had only great mistakes.

A week later after the first argument with his mother, he was almost run over by a car. He was walking around the park for some fresh air with his earphones on, trying to be away for some time. He didn’t pay attention to the car that was coming his way while crossing the road, but was lucky that the driver braked in time. It did give him ideas. He walked back to his home and picked up the chef’s knife. He had always admired it, all 8 inches of it with its smooth sharp blade. He was particularly fond of it as it cut vegetables of all sorts with great speed. He wondered if it could cut through his veins too with it. Maybe that would a way to end it all. He would not burn out as he had always thought, but would silently bleed through in the night. To be found later in the morning when his room mate would come back from his job. He took a moment for it to sink in, before the the horror of the very idea of taking his own life struck him. The knife fell with a clang as he began to take in deep breaths. The idea that he could even think of something like this was revolting.

A month had now passed since that incident. He got back to reading from that line. He thought the line was right. He needed courage, courage to face a lifetime. And he had to find that courage in himself.

This is in response to WEEK #53 (5-20-12 to 5-26-12): Pick a Line from a Book and Write from There. My entry is based on a line from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

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16 thoughts on “Courage to face a lifetime

  1. "He thought himself to be great, and now had only great mistakes." My favorite line of your piece. This is a great piece of fiction. And worked the line from the Fountainhead in really nicely.

  2. Hrishi, you have matured/evolved as a writer from yahoo days. And I love the smooth flow I can see in your style. Like Tiku says above I am tempted to join and write for GBE as well. Good going bro.

  3. The line you’ve quoted… the entire passage that culminated in that line… will remain my favorite passage from Fountainhead. The emotions she evoked were so deep, their threads so elusive, their nature so undefinable yet what a marvelous job she did of it. That young music student who begged to see the happiness of his brothers… to know it can be reached- that thing we set out in search for at the dawn of our lives.
    Beautifully written story. Just, beautiful. Thank you.

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