The Scientist's Suicide

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

Submitted: December 12, 2018

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Submitted: December 12, 2018

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Was it always this hot? I don’t know. I can’t say. This is what comes of spending too much time in the lab. You lose track of time, you lose track of the weather, you miss your anniversary, you miss your daughter’s birthday, you miss everything.

It was worth it though, wasn’t it? After all those years and those sleepless nights, it was finally worth it. I should be happy, ecstatic even. It wasn’t just a breakthrough, it was a result; the culmination of decades of effort and research.

But instead, here I am. An old man in a crowded intersection grumbling at the heat. I look at my watch. I had at least 10 minutes more. Had I known it would have been this hot, I would have stayed indoors for some more time. Maybe spend a couple more minutes with my dog.

The dog. Did I leave the front door and the exit unlocked? Did I leave enough food and running water? Did I leave his favorite music playing? Yes. Whatever else time may have taken away from me; my wife, my daughter, most of my relatives and friends, it left my memory intact. In fact, I have never felt sharper in my life than I feel today.

The dog can stay till whenever it wants to. Of course, that is until the report the open doors or the robbers rob the place. Knowing them, the neighbours would first rob the place and then report the open door. Can’t blame them though. There isn’t enough going around begin with. Not the way it used to.

Look at me. 8 more minutes and all I can think of is my dog. I should be thinking of my wife or my daughter. So I do. I try to think fondly of them, try to extract all the beautiful moments I spent with them. But they are too few and too far in between. All that really comes to the front of my mind is how the warm hugs turned into cold pecks on the cheek. And then nothing.

It’s true what they say. Whatever you may give or not give to your loved ones, you should always give them your time. A significant part of it. And I was not able to. I should have taken a raincheck when my friends and family started drifting away. Alarms should have gone off in my head every time I received those cold pecks.

But no. I was too focused on my work. My colleagues from around the world worked in different time zones. Collaboration and co-operation needed me to work at all times. She understood that but she couldn’t accept it. God knows she had problems of her own. Everyone had in this economy. But she should have been glad that I could at least put food on the table. And buy our daughter those tiny pebbles of happiness from time to time. Most people couldn’t even afford the former properly. In retrospection, this thinking of mine may have lead to our separation. If only I had spent a little more time with them…

I was brought out of this thought by a rude jerk to my shoulder. A teenager curses coarsely at me and continues on his way. Irritable, with no patience and always angry; that’s the state of most people nowadays. Cutting the food ration even further didn’t help. Nor did the announcement that the earthquakes may hit the northern farming lands next.

I looked at the watch. 3 more minutes. Better get ready. I reach into my pocket for the syringe. And come up empty.

A cold fear grips my heart. My head starts to throb. I pat the pocket again. Then the other. It was gone. The syringe was gone.

My years of hard work; mine and my fellow scientists’. The only solution to all the problems of the world. Gone.

The teenager. He must have picked my pocket. I immediately turn in that direction. But the jostling crowd deny my advance. The advantage of this place, hundreds of bustling humans, the perfect place to implement the results of our research, now turns to my disadvantage.

My heart sinks at the thought that I was going to miss the moment. I think of all my fellow scientists around the world, standing in their respective crowded places, maybe already injecting themselves. I can’t miss this. I lost almost everyone in this world, everything. For this moment. To perform this action in harmony with my colleagues, my only friends. I can’t miss the moment. If I miss it, there would be truly nothing left for me.

This realization gives a new burst to my feet, and I push forward through the crowd. People glare at me, shout at me. Some raise their arms and hit out. I do not protest. I just need to move forward. Towards that teen.

Somebody kicks me in the back from behind and I go tumbling forward, face first onto the ground. My head rings a bit. The realization that I may have lost my one last chance of true connection with other people leaves me almost paralyzed.

But then it touches my fingers. The syringe. Years of sweat, blood, and tears unceremoniously on the ground. Elated and relieved, I look at my watch. There’s still a minute left. I quickly remove the cap and inject myself with its content.

The subject said the tingling sensation was almost immediate. I had to wait for at least 10 seconds before it began. I knew that it was working. I wondered if all my fellow mates felt the same around the world.

I waited to see if I would feel any guilt. Nothing. In my I knew this was the only choice.

The watch started to buzz. 30 seconds to go. I search for something to tickle my nose. The mass of human bodies covers anything that might be useful. But then I see it. The feather.

An actual feather. Wow. It has been too long since I saw these. I remembered the time when the sky was filled with birds, even in cities. Once upon a time. Too long ago now.

I take it as an omen, this feather. We were responsible for the birds vanishing and now this feather is going to take their revenge. Poetic justice is served.

I pick the feather. And rub it slightly against my nose. I instantly feel the sneeze coming.

I wondered what the newspapers would say if they were still being published.

PROMINENT BIOLOGIST KILLS HIMSELF.

AWARD WINNING SCIENTIST COMMITS SUICIDE.

More like SCIENTIST TURNS INTO MASS MURDERER. Wait. That should have been SCIENTISTS CAUSE MASS ANNIHILATION.

The watch starts beeping. It’s time. I look at the teeming mass of living, breathing people.

And sneeze.

 

 


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