Instance – The Other Shoe

As he fell from a great distance, he waited for the other shoe to drop – just like the movie, Holes, which he loved to watch when he was younger.

And it did, except this was not a children’s book nor movie. This was his life – And the shoe was metaphorical, but it dropped just the same; right into his baggage which held no additional space for one as bulky as this.

He thought to himself that by now, life could have had the decency to be a bit more kind to ease his suffering. But soon after realized that nature is rarely kind to humans, and the plan for his life had always been imagined and written in the stones on which his body lied.

In this brief time, he thought back to the significant moments in his life. He remembered all the tears and cries, the pain and suffering, while he merely stood by and watched it eat him alive.

He had no recollection of any diverging paths or forks in his roads – at least not ones he could ever see with his mind. So he never questioned which one to take and continued straight. He believed every choice he could have made was already written in this timeline and there was little use in trying to escape his fate.

Soon, he mustered the strength to call out for help, though he knew it was likely useless, since his voice was faint and he could not imagine who might want to save him – “karma,” he mumbled to himself.

But still, his muffled screams for help echoed through the bridge, under which his body lay until someone might come to his aid. Defeated, he thought he might try to pray: his moved his eyes to his right and his left, then up and down to form a cross with the little mobility he had left, and closed his eyes to question whether his view of the sky would be so perpetually obstructed.

He waited for the sound of sirens or the helping hand of a kind samaritan. Instead, he only heard silence. At times, some would drive near – his heart would sink and rise much like riptides carrying anticipation – all so that life could hand him the grueling disappointment of seeing these people staring right at him and then watching them pass by.

He wondered what this great plan had in store for him next: what tragedy would befall him in these circumstances? – as if he hadn’t already felt the restless urge to end it himself.

The night began to fall, then. The crisp air of dusk pierced his body as his bones began to shake, rattling his insides.

It was as if the moon and the sun and their faithful Allies enjoyed watching him suffer, simply for revenge, if nothing else. And they waited until the moment when bitter defeat would coat his tongue to arrive with help.

He awoke to men and women carrying him by his limbs as if he were a puppet being pulled by all his strings. They threw his body to the gurney, not the least bit gently, and they scoffed at his presence indirectly.

On the road, the sirens spoke to him about his time and warned of the questions he asked himself. “It is better,” they said, “not to dwell on it – as this is the nature of life for someone who does not question the virtues of his choices and only his wealth.”

Now, at the hospital, his body was stacked in the back room with the others, where the groaning and moaning filled the room with their troubles.

There, he waited at the mercy of the doctors for his fate. But there were so many mothers and fathers and children, and they paid very little attention to the soldier who must have known that it was in his chosen path to expire.

The nurses, too, were not so kind. It was clear from the empty stares on their faces that they had grown apathetic to human lives – or at least ones of his type – as they informed him that he was paralyzed, then proceeded to ask for a form of payment.

At this moment, he understood he needn’t wait any longer for the other shoe – it had just fallen before his very eyes. It was a reminder of what he could no longer do.

He could not move. He certainly had no means to pay in a foreign place to salvage his life. He could not defend himself after having lost his ability to fight. He had no family or friends nor the mobility to climb from these trenches, as was always planned, he thought in his head.

So, he did not attempt to climb. He assumed it was already written. There would be no other fork or path to walk in this life of his, but the life was his to take.

He submitted to the only option he saw before him, and chose to stay in the convenience of the hole he had dug himself. And with this decision, he prayed again for better luck in his next life, which never came.


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