He stared at the screen; the blank paper was staring back at him. The same feeling every night; a void of thoughts, of ideas. As if the world offered no stimuli to write.
Since when was the world so predictable? Or so commonplace? Or so uninteresting? He couldn’t tell. His last book was a best seller. But that was it. After that, nothing. No inspiration, no motivation, call it whatever you like.
“It went to your head,” a friend told him. No, no, that wasn’t true. Of course, he felt proud. But up to a point. He had self-control, self-discipline and was a modest man. But then why this punishment?
He continued to stare at the blank screen every night. He put pressure on himself. “Write!” “Just a line!” “Only a word, to start with!” But nothing, the page remained blank, and kept staring, sad.
The hours became days. The days became weeks. And the weeks became months. Nothing seemed to reverse the situation. “It’s called writer’s block,” another friend told him and looked at him sympathetically. Is there a remedy for this condition? He didn’t think so. His friend would have told him. That’s what friends are for. All he could do was wait. Be watchful for an opportunity. Something to stimulate his imagination.
So he went on living, existing, almost vegetating. To become a published author was a dream come true. But nobody had warned him for the consequences, the shortcomings. The pain of the failure to move on.
He wasn’t interested in eating, or getting dressed, or meeting his friends. All he wanted was a brilliant idea. He wanted to feel the eagerness to fill the blank pages again. The thrills of writing.
He couldn’t do, and didn’t want to do, anything else. That was his vocation, the reason he was brought to life. He felt it deep in his heart. But he couldn’t explain this block, this emptiness in his head. “There must be something I can do about it,” he thought but no idea came to his mind.
Almost a year passed, and the page remained empty. Like his heart, like his head, like his soulless body. Like his life. Nothing mattered more than writing to him.
It was spring time. Everyone was in a good mood, except for him. He tried to persuade himself that he would be better, more productive, more fulfilling. All he had to do was wait a little more. Be more patient, and be on the lookout for writing opportunities. But he didn’t have the stamina to go on like that. He was utterly disappointed.
He was invited to celebrate the beginning of the new season with his friends at a restaurant. He couldn’t refuse, not again. He had to go. So he had a shower and a shave, got dressed and left for the restaurant.
On the way he admired the city lights and shop windows. The city at its best. He let a sad smile out. If only he were in a festive mood! If only he could feel alive again! But it seemed impossible.
He saw her as soon as he got in. She was sitting near the window, chatting away and looking out from time to time. She was so beautiful in her lovely red dress, and it was spring time. “There’s a sign,” he thought to himself. “A sign for a new beginning.” He could feel it. Although she wasn’t looking at him, he felt her attention on him. Was it sixth sense? Was it intuition? He felt her eyes examining his presence.
He fell for her instantly. Blood flew in his veins again, his heart started to beat. He wanted to talk to her, to learn everything about her, and to give her a peck on the cheek for good luck. But the place was so crowded it was almost impossible. Almost.
“Tonight nothing seems impossible,” he thought.
“The word itself says I’m possible,” that night seemed to say laughingly, like another Audrey Hepburn. Well, that night everything seemed possible.
Fireworks started, which meant the new season had already started too. Everybody hugged and kissed and laughed happily. So was he. And so was she. For the first time after a long time, he laughed. Wholeheartedly. He smiled at her and, what a surprise, she smiled back!
Her smile was imprinted in his memory. He would never forget that genuine, innocent, childlike smile. And he would never forget her face, too. She had given him a new lease on life. She was unaware of how much she meant to him, and that was the beauty of it all.
He didn’t try to approach her. He didn’t even try to get her phone number. He believed in destiny. They would be together if it was meant to be. He trusted fate. Maybe she was the muse he was searching for. Maybe she was his soulmate. Only time will tell. He had no doubt about it. He would wait for her. And he was sure she would wait for him.
He returned to his apartment, over the moon. “Yes, now I know what to write,” he said to himself and turned on his laptop. He had found his inspiration back. He looked at the blank paper which was staring at him. But this time it was smiling. As if it was aware of everything that had happened that night.
He started to write. Words flew from his mind onto the screen. He filled pages and pages, and refused to stop until it was all over. He didn’t care to eat, or drink. He just wrote. He would write until the result was perfect. Immaculate. He wouldn’t settle for anything else. Only the best result. He wanted to put everything he had in his mind on that screen.
His friend called him on his smartphone.
“What are you doing?”
“Guess what. I’m writing!” he told him excitedly.
“Oh really? That’s great news! What are you writing about?
“I’m writing about love. Love at first sight. Unconditional love.”