the odyssey of guilt

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of detail.

Thanks for reading if you did ! Any opinion is welcomed.

Submitted: December 30, 2018

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Submitted: December 30, 2018

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18:54. There it is again.

This random number that always seems to show up. Enough for me to realise. I see it everywhere. Yesterday on the train, today on my watch, 1854, what could it mean. Could it be a message, a trick of my mind, maybe am crazy? maybe am special? maybe am...

Arr. There I go again, mumbling to myself when am thinking. This guy next to me seems to have noticed. Where did he even come from? He must think I'm a nut case. Looking like the judgmental type.

Ha. Who even wears red shiny shoes that bright! "Excuses me sir" i said to the man, "really, cool, shoes."

"Thank you" he replied, seeming unaware of the implicit mockery hidden on the surface of my tone. "I don't like them so much, he continues to reply, but I feel guilty if my wife doesn't see me wearing them."

As I nod my head slowly leaning back to my side of the bench, I also leaned to the side of understanding, questioning why I said what I said in the first place. Maybe my defense mechanism? The realization also hit me that the representation of these shoes were not the substance of egotistic vanity, but may just be strings of love he has for his wife.

Maybe...

Or maybe just a string of webs imprisoning his will to dress for himself. like a fly, unable to fly, the red an symbolising the blood leftover from his sacrifice.

A few seconds pass by. Contemplating whether I should continue the conversation when I suddenly hear my name shouted faintly behind me in the distance.

Sounds like Anna is here. Finally. She is always late. Maybe I should make her feel guilty for having me wait on this cold bench, in this even colder park for this long, she said 6.45 my watch now says 18:56.

(Anna once again calling out in the background.)

Wow. She is actually shouting out my full name! She knows full well I hate been called Benjamin. Has i awkwardly get up from the bench, am wondering whether to walk through the short grass path, or take the longer route just to annoy her. I will annoy her.

That will express my annoyance for her lateness again. Plus, it rained earlier. I can't have muddy shoes to meet her family again. Bad enough am wearing this big bag.

(Ben shift his observation from the ground trying to locate where Anna is.)

Where is she?

It sounded like she was in this direction, am sure of it. I start to call out for her. "Anna. Annna."

"Call Amber Ron, call Amber Ron!!" shouts a man from the distance.

What, Who the hell is Amber Ron, and where is Anna. In a moment of confusing i follow the man.

"Excuses me sir. Excuse me!" trying hard to demand his attention "What did you just say?" squinting my eyes, while keeping up with his running stride. "Call an ambulance, somebody has been badly hurt." He yells.

"Hurt? How!?"

Suddenly I stop, my legs seized by a cold silent in my head, seized by the wet mud in the grass. I start shouting, no screaming out for Anna.

It so dark, I can't see anything. I hurry to use the torchlight on my phone, when i notice 3 missed calls from Anna's dad. In this moment time seems to have slowed down, with this constant pulse buzzing through my head.

"What is going on."

In the distance, I notice an overwhelming amount of light flashing. A crowd forming. I feel the Invitation to great sorrow.

As I get closer and closer to the crowd, a woman with a soft voice says, "looks like its over" I could hear the lack of hope in her voice. But still my brain trying hard to salvage any goodness that could possibly come from her words. Maybe the problem is over.

Damn i can't speak.

I can feel the burning in my eyes demanding I blink. But I can't. I get closer all my assumptions are telling what am about to see.

Am not ready for whats next, but my legs can't stop moving.

I notices red dripping off the grass, as people quietly walked away from the person on the floor. Their knees soaked in mud. Their facial expression showing sadness and pity, but no recognition that they knew the person.

What I would give to just walk away.

But I can't stop moving, like a cord controlling my will to move, like an ant following the pheromone trail of blood.

The blurriness of my watery eyes limiting my vision. But still i am unable to blink.

"Unresponsive" I hear. My hands start to shake. Clenching my palms only made it worse.

As I lifted my arm to surpass the person blocking my view. I felt an overwhelming force grab me. Like being hit by a train.

"Anna." Ben says shockingly.

"Oh my god" she shouted, "I saw everything" with tears racing down her cheeks.

I still couldn't speak my mind in this belief.

How was this possible, she's here.

My assumptions were ready to see her laying on the floor, but she was fine. I felt, i feel sick.

Finally, I could speak "you're okay." The words hurt to say, it's all I could say.

Anna repeatedly saying, "am fine", demanding we leave.

I grabbed her hand. Trying to push through the crowd, overwhelmed by the faces of curiosity and fear approaching the body on the floor. They to tried to look deep into my eyes, trying to find some type of answer, like I once did. But i didn't care, Anna was save.

I hear the whispers of sympathy imagining the possibility of how different things could've been tonight. I almost forgot, we're on our way to see her family.

Why did she call me by my full name? Was she in danger? I can't bear to ask, i can't even bear to think, i just want to leave.

Then I heard it, something that sounded familiar, something that grabbed my attention, almost like I was meant to hear it.

"His shoes are covered in so much blood." "No, it's just his shoes are red." Red. I stopped immediately. Anna shouts "oww" me not noticing how tight i was squeezing her hand.

I told her "wait here" as I kissed her hand better, gently letting it go. Walking toward the person on the ground I could hear the cries of Anna distancing in the background. And the voices of sadness and sorrow increasing with each step forward. Only now realizing I never saw the face of the person on the ground.

Could it be the man, the man on the bench?

We were just have a conversation, it can't be.

It was.

But how. "What happened!" I shouted out loud even though I already knew the answer.

Someone quietly replied, "looks like a stabbing, sorry, did you know him."

My thoughts entangled by the question.

Should I say no, should I say yes. I did not answer. Was I the last person to speak to this guy? How did he get here so quick.

So much blood, his eyes still flickering. But I knew, everybody knew he was gone.

The ambulance finally arrives.

"Beeenn!!!"

Anna shouting my name. Without thinking I rush to her. She once again demands that we leave, so we did.

Chapter 2

Sitting on the train waiting for the anticipation of this madness to come to an end. Trying to convince myself this is a dream and my mind has forgotten how to wake up. But the tears on Anna's face as she rests on my chest keeps me constrained in this unforgettable moment.

The only words I can syntactically string together is, "it will be OK."But my mind, still consumed by the idea of the man on the floor. How could it be one moment someone is here, then gone. "Anna quietly whispers faintly "He saved me." I wanted to reply who, but then the train suddenly stops.

The doors open, I get up, but Anna doesn't move. I hold her hand over her head trying to help her up. Saying the same words, "it will be ok."

The hesitation within my voice starting to recede. As we get off the train. Unexpectedly I can hear her name shouted distressingly by the corner of the entrance.

"Is that your father, " I asked her, remember the miss calls on my phone.

Without a reply, she runs towards the direction of her name, shouting "daddy."

Only now realizing I never asked her how she felt, or what she saw. Did she call her family in the park, was she shouting my name out loud for a reason? Who saved her?

As I heard the sound of the train about to leave the platform. Along with the bangs of the engine starting. I felt a cold breeze on the side of my face. like the opening of a window, telling me I can escape this encounter.

Anna's father suddenly turning his attention to my direction still holding her tight.

Once again hearing the door closing one by one, screaming it could free me if I just moved.

In a moment of fear, I turn around jumping back on the train, my bag getting stuck between the doors.

The doors automatically opened, while I prayed for them to close again.

I felt the silence of the train like everyone knew fear as defeated me.

My head weighted down by the constant shame that she may not have come back home tonight.

I didn't know how to deal with the idea of how prepared I was to see her face on the ground.

His daughter, who i love. An image of disgust printed on my face.

I hear footsteps rushing towards the doors, getting faster and faster with a fainted yell.

My heart beating so loud, I start to nervously hum to drown out the sound. The footsteps increasing, each step erupting a burst of vibration through my ear.

My throats so dry I can barely continue to hum.

What have I done, what should I say. I start mumbling to myself again.

Bang.

The train doors close, an unassuming man walks passed me.

As I fought the gravity of regret to look up for her.

I could see on the outside of the train the look of confusion on the face of the father and the still constant fear on the face of Anna.

I try to communicate with anything but my words and the movement of my body on how sorry I was. But all I saw within her teary eyes were, you couldn't protect me.

And there I knew, I should never... I will never see her again. Maybe am not thinking clearly but her face said it all.

As the train slowly entered into the darkness of the tunnel, I am consumed by a feeling that feels familiar, a feeling I could not understand, a feeling unusual to my nature, guilt.

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