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Contemporary Drama Sad

Inside a speeding car, an angry man drives aggressively through the city streets. The song Lunatic Fringe (by Red Rider) blares from the car stereo. The melody hearkens back to the man’s high school rugby days as his team’s hype-song before they took the field. The man pounds on his steering wheel in time with the music. Adrenaline courses through his veins. Images blurred by the windows of his car: concrete buildings; flashes of street lights; streaks of chrome; the Doppler effect of car horns. He suddenly switches off the car stereo. His eyes stare ahead as he drives, determined and unyielding, as he forced his car to achieve greater speeds. One would think that the man had to be someplace in a hurry. In truth, he didn’t really have a destination in mind. There was only an undeniable need to leave the city, to get away from her.

The man decides to head for the countryside to a place he had not been to in years. Where that decision came from, he wasn’t entirely sure. But there it was. A calm, picturesque pond springs to mind. The pond is surrounded by rolling hill and willow trees. He found it ironic that he is going to the very place he first met her—the object of his scorn. His cold hatred slowly subsides, replaced by the warm glow of nostalgia. They often spoke about going back to that place but circumstances never permitted it.

A light suddenly appears before him. At first, it looks like daylight at the end of a long dark tunnel. The man stares curiously into the brightness as it grows stronger, more intense, until he is forced to shield his eyes with his hand. He guns his car and steers away from the unyielding illumination. The light, however, would not be denied. With each turn, it was there before him, blocking his path. There was no getting away. The light continues to grow larger, brighter until it completely envelopes him. Then everything stops.

The man finds himself standing in his living room. All the lights were out. Before him, a woman sits on a couch sobbing miserably. Her face is buried in her hands. Upon seeing the woman, the man bows his head in shame. He remembers all the hurtful words he said to her before storming out of the house. The shameful man has never felt as helpless as he did in that very moment. Silently he approaches the woman, not wanting to startle her, and sink slowly to his knees before her. There were so many things he wanted to tell her, mostly explanations and excuses to justify his unruly behaviour. In the back of his mind, he knew nothing could take away all the painful things he said to her, for his vicious words struck straight to her heart. Chagrined, he had a sudden urge to take her into his arms, hold her tight, and never let her go. His unspoken words and beating heart would tell her all she needed to know. Yet all he could manage to do was stare at her in dumb silence.

The woman stops sobbing and stares up into his eyes. Streaks of tears and sorrow mar her flawless features. The look on her face (a contemplating, lost kind of look) reminds him of the first time he saw her. On a crowded picnic area by a pond surrounded by willow trees, she sat alone with family and friends. She had the same lost look as she peered out into the sky. That look fascinated him. It was what drew him to her. He wanted to know, needed to know, what it was she was thinking about. What was it that possessed her so profoundly, so completely, that she would become lost to the world? In his search for a meaning, and the years that followed, he found more than an answer to his query; he found his soul mate.

The man’s eyes burned with tears—tears of love; tears of joy; tears of hope. It all came crashing back to him—all the good times, all the hard times, and all the quiet moments in between. His life would be empty and meaningless without her. How could he have forgotten that? His feelings threaten to overcome him. The man gulped down hard and steadies himself. He was ready to confess his undying love to her, promise her that he would never again yell out to her in anger, that he would make up for every slight, every spiteful word he has ever said to her. From now on, he would make every effort be more attentive and never take her for granted. The two of them would go to parties, go dancing, and travel the world. They would do all the things they planned to do.

The man felt an immense sense of gratefulness for having the chance to make things right. He thanked the gods, the Heavens, all the deities ever conceived for granting him an opportunity (to use a Canadian idiom) to take another kick at the cat. Their life together will be so much better this time around.

The woman's eyes continue to stare out with that same lost look. His hand reaches out for her, lovingly. His hand is a hair’s breadth away from her face when a realization struck him like a bolt of lightning. She wasn’t looking at him at all; she was looking through him. Her eyes were fixed on an open window that revealed the streets outside.

The man twirls around. The bright light appears once more, blinding him. Suddenly his world shakes violently. He finds himself sitting in his car seat. His hands clutch onto a steering wheel as his car careened out of control. The man struggles to correct his vehicle, but it is too late. Helplessly, he stares straight ahead, eyes wide open, as he watches a building getting closer and closer. In that brief moment, in the face of calamity, five words escape his lips “thank you for loving me,” then a loud CRASH followed by darkness.

August 15, 2020 01:33

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6 comments

Roshna Rusiniya
03:25 Aug 15, 2020

Another beautiful story from you. Great descriptions. Ending was sad but very well-written. Great job!

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Rodrigo Juatco
04:06 Aug 15, 2020

Thank you so much. I appreciate the comment.

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Zion Hintay
07:28 Aug 16, 2020

Very vivid flash into the past right before the crash. I loved your description in this piece from the Doppler effect, to kicking the cat, the crash itself and his regrets towards the woman he cared for. Very well done. Also thanks for teaching me what kicking the cat meant. Wasn't familiar with this lol.

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Rodrigo Juatco
15:19 Aug 16, 2020

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I appreciate the comment.

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:58 Aug 15, 2020

This whole story is just such marvelous backing to the advice, "Never drive angry!"

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Rodrigo Juatco
04:05 Aug 15, 2020

Hahaha. So true. Thank you for the comment.

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