The Way

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


Four hours were all the boy had, to complete his important client project. Failing in doing so will lose him four thousand dollars. Not a small amount for him.

On the other hand, he was sitting in a dark house.

No friends near his house. No lights. Piled-up project – the most dreadful to him. Accompanying electrician. The boy had a panic attack.

In the normal practice, he would first investigate the occurrence of certain faults then would contact the recent electrician who removed the fault and after getting a befitting reply would finally come to find some solution. Because this very moment he didn't have much time to deliberate on petty dysfunctions in daily livelihood things. So, he immediately called the electrician anticipating he might fix the issue once and for all. He hoped this every time.

On giving a glass of water to the electrician the boy said, ‘You better do the work quickly. I am in an emergency and can't focus on you and my work simultaneously. Have I made myself clear?’

Yes sir. You will get your work done. No worries.

The electrician shared the working plan that first he will see the problem then he will tell the solution and the rest will be on the boy to decide.

The boy sighed. ‘Do whatever you want to. Just get this god damn electricity back.’

Both started their work.

After five minutes the electrician gave the boy a call to hold the flashlight for him. To which the boy replied by placing support behind the light.

At one time the boy was sitting on a chair the other time laying on the bed with the laptop and a notebook. Standing near the open window and a hand fan was his last recourse which he loathed.

The boy adjusted himself on a chair. ‘Oh damn... Why I can't just focus on the work it's not that hard?  Can I excuse the client? But who will pay me that much money. I better tight up against my ass.’

Sticking to the first stage of work the electrician tried to examine the fault by seeing every wire and junction. Meanwhile, the clanging of tools was a punishment for the boy who was pampered to work in a perfectly focused-friendly environment.

I guess you can work without making some noise.

Noted sir.

‘God what this project is. I should focus there’s no one in the house but me. I can do it.

Twenty minutes were passed. Getting his head out of the room the boy said, ‘Have you seen the fault?’

Oh... Not yet but I am trying to. I have called my friend to hand over the multimeter to me I forgot it at my shop. Meanwhile, ‘Can you spare a minute and tell me what exactly happened when the connection was gone?’

The boy shrugged. ‘What was to happen?’

‘Any flickering or a sort of noise?’

Yeah. I heard some suppressed explosion and feared that this was my last day.

Oh...‘An explosion?’

I mean it sounded like that.

I see... that’s why I can smell the burnt wires. But I'll recheck to confirm it.

The electrician summoned the boy. ‘You see the wires can’t hold the voltage crossing from them. I can save your time and fix it but it may cost your expensive appliances. It’s up to you.’

‘They cannot survive even for three four hours?’

As I said it could be dangerous. You have two options boy, either you buy new wires or blow your house up.

Ok.. Now.. Are these wires really expensive?

Buy the average ones.

Here comes an insight to the boy which he forgot all this time about the popular custom that the owner will purchase the new goods and not a worker. In past, the town had seen a lot of malpractices by the workers.

The boy knew his next step.

The boy was left with three hours and according to his estimation, he hadn't even understood the project completely.

It cost half an hour for the boy to get wires. With thumping of feet and a piercing gaze, the boy throw the wires and said, ‘Take it and don’t you disturb me now. Arse.’

Mister, please watch your word. I am here for work. I already told you about my way of working.

Huh... your way of working.

The electrician was confident that the wires will solve the problem. It took him half an hour to install them.

Where's the light? It's more than an hour and still, we are in dark. Is it a joke?

Really... more than an hour?

Yes. Ask from me. I am counting every possible minute.

Ok, wait. Boy, I am trying to find it. Give me a couple of minutes.

I don't know why it happens to me all the time. As per my knowledge, this neighborhood has seen a couple of electricians because of me. Last time it was the connection problem at the main switch from electricity headquarters. Before that my electric meter melted because it was cheap according to the other electrician. This is an endless vicious loop. Do you guys even know how to work?

Sorry, couple of electricians? Is this a long-term problem in your house? Why didn’t you tell me before?

Well... I forget...but you do your job. It’s irrelevant who comes how many times.

Just chill. I'll fix this issue. But if you have told me, it could have been a lot easier for me to find weak spots. Doing proper work requires time.

The boy sat back on the chair. Another reason.... please resume your work. Everybody's right. Sorry for disturbing you.

Here I must tell you the electrician had been doing faulty work in a couple of houses which lasted for a maximum of two days. He feared something was wrong with his work ethic and to be able to pay his house bills he has to figure it out. Otherwise, his boss will not hesitate to assume the conventional boss role and bid farewell to him. Later on, he conjecture it was his fast-paced nature that was the root problem. So, the electrician challenged himself to stay poise and patient and do the work avidly.

The electrician was humming Let's Get It On and Billie Jean for quite some time .

Hey... you remember what you said about your freaking plan of seeing the fault. But I also said you something – to work quietly and quickly. But all you are doing is making me hold the light, forgetting your meter, asking me questions, and trying to be a flop MJ in an hour like this. You tell me are you an expert or some crook dressed under its name?

I want to do the right work. And it requires time. I have come to know that’s the standard of satisfying work.

Yeah... and your standard is costing my concentration on the work.

Got it... my faulty standards.

The boy grabbed a pair of painkillers. This time he decided to not stress about limited time, colossal work, and a dumb ass in his house. Rather do the work and rest will take care of themselves. With this mindset, he decided to work.

‘Hey boy come here.’

With that voice, the boy was headstrong that no project is going to be completed in that night.

I have come across a new fault. The breakers are not supporting the new wires.

The boy put a finger on the chin. ‘Are you sure that’s the last thing you want?’

Oh... please don’t doubt me. The breakers are looking ancient. You look yourself. They cannot stand the current they deliver to wires. If I connect new wires with old breakers the system will last for a day or two only. It’s up to you now.

Keys in. Car out. Panic attack start. ‘I am a fool to live in this house. What a fucking miserable condition. A maniac in house and another waiting for the fucking project. God, why I am so fucking poor that I have to work for four thousand pennies to live. What’s the point to live this way. Why can't I be in the top 10 richest people in the world? I am useless. I wish I could die. Ok, Stop. Close your eyes. Lower your gaze. Inhale. Exhale. Everything’s under control. I can do the work. ’

At half-past eleven, the boy gracefully handed the breakers to the electrician. As regards his project, he was not even halfway.

Wires in. Breakers in. Light absent.

The electrician mouthed, ‘Boy what's the real problem here?’

‘I too am baffled by this electricity problem.’

We both saw the faults and I have given you reasons and solutions to fix them.

The boy looked at him. ‘There's still some flaw. That’s why it’s not working.’

I don’t know why this is happening. I cannot even fix the damn small problem. I am feeling like I am under a pressure to prove myself.... I am trying but don’t know why fate is testing me this way?

The boy only stood and saw him.

‘I think my usual way of working was perfect. Getting at the site. Setting high rates of repair. Fixing the short-term problem. Free in half an hour. Getting the head off. Why adopt this patience-lover-work-ethic-behaviour where people like you, misunderstand calm and relaxed workers. They want ferocious workers. And I was one. And can be. That way I don’t have to go through such a slight where I have to stick my head in wires for so long yielding no result. I should go. Call another one.’

The boy stood off his chair and make the electrician sit and give a cold glass of water. ‘Maybe you can give your last try. You're not under a pressure. Breathe the air in and out. Now, I am waiting. Take your time.’

That night the boy acted in a new way – the breathing technique he read in the newsletter worked for him. And maybe he felt a need to give hope to another working person – the electrician, who was in a way reflecting his situation – working under terrorizing conditions. Or maybe the boy had an epiphany that the client will forgive him for unsatisfying and uncompleted work if he forgives the electrician.

Maybe, afterwards, the boy had thought of his changed behaviour. Wondering where his mindless, anxious, and unstoppable thinking which seemed to go wild in unwanted situations have gone. Wondering does the newsletter techniques works this way.

Boy’s disposition shocked the electrician. The type of shock we feel when we expect the least good from the most annoying person around. At times these shocks linger with us for our lifetimes. I’ll call this ‘Adorable Shock.’

The electrician felt the same way we all do when we are trying something out of our comfort zone. Something which challenges our safety. But deep down we know the new practice will save us from our bad habits. But doing the actual work haunts us because the thing we regarded as ‘out of our comfort zone' appears to be the most boring thing in the world to do. It doesn’t fit the picture of the perfect life we imagined by going out of our comfort zone. We feel that it is unrewarding. We revert to our bad habits. And that’s where doubt starts. We start hating a part of ourselves that failed to reckon the facade. But can it be changed when you meet a person who gives you hope in your uncomfortable time?

The boy had nearly an hour to meet the deadline. And no near future hope of electricity. The laptop’s battery was dead ten minutes after he gave an unexpected hope to his least favourite person that night. He felt an urgency to grab the phone and look the work focus-minded.

After the boy's hope, the electrician gathered himself and headed towards the issue.

With all the other problems the electrician has solved the last one was at the DB of three-phase located in the garage which he seemed to forget all this time.

The connection was restored at 11:40 PM. The electrician took his pay and off he went.

The boy completed his work and send off at 12:38 AM. Nearly quarter an hour late. The boy concluded that the real work was hardly an hour. He came to know the pattern of his thinking which suggested how his mind sometimes just makes things look more arduous than they really are. He made a difference between actually working and having an idea of working. A difference between giving actual time to work and giving all the time to work.

So, here I have told you the story of two adult men who happen to meet in a challenging time. It wasn’t easy for them to work given their situations. One challenged himself to work patiently to get better results who lost his hope when he couldn’t find the right way although the way was right all this time and he was about to reach his destination but he doubted himself. The other wanted to hysterically complete the work who was first hopeless but got the hope midway the least when he expected – the moment when he embraced his conflicting situation.

The question I now put to you is, ‘Should we lose our mind on the happening of an unexpected event?’

 


Submitted: September 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Umar Farooq. All rights reserved.

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