Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Third instalment in the series.
He stoically sits in the college library and gazes at the undulating movements of his friends’ mouth. Marcus and Samuel takes turn to thrust historical facts down his consciousness. They are going at rapid fire, maximising every second of the hour before the start of the A-Levels History examinations. “Dude, are you even with us?” Marcus drags him out of his stupor.
“Yeah, sorry. I think I’m all good with the fall of Communism,” he says. “Basically Gorbachev holds his dick in hand as his wonderful policies exacerbate the fall of the Soviet Union – right?”
“Right,” Samuel responds, “Global Economy – anything you are unsure of?”
“I can’t remember shit about China’s economic zones or whatever the fuck Japan did to theirs,” he says.
He decided to sit for his examinations after all. He had already paid close to 500 dollars for it, so he figured he’d try his luck. Besides, if need be, he could always retake the papers the following year.
His mind was regrettably – but understandably – in utter disarray in the wake of the funeral. He never bothered to reconvene his halted exam-preparations. He was demoralised and defeated by his prospects. It was now a matter of either passing or failing the papers all together. He was eternally thankful for his friends, though. Every morning, they dragged him into the library and spent a good hour or two giving him a crash-course on the respective day’s subject content. In fact, they were the sole reason he managed to scrape through the ten agonising exam days; post-funeral.
Just days after the end of his examinations, he fell into a state of depression. His self-imposed isolation and bleak outlook compounded his situation.
He spent weeks confined in his room completely ignorant of the concept of time and day. He spent his time in darkness – paranoid nights that left him perpetually high and drunk. His smoke-staled curtains shut off the encroaching light, as he reclined to slumber each morning. He then set this plan on loop – right up to the last week of December.
He sips on his ice-cold coke in between his coughs. He worries about his condition. His dry coughs and swollen throat does not seem to be receding for the better. Perhaps the Macdonald’s meal he had just gobbled down wasn’t of much help either- but hey, a man’s got to eat. He picks out a cigarette from his pack and contemplates the tobacco stick. He picks up his lighter and lights it anyway.
He doesn’t see it coming. He remains oblivious to his breaths getting shallower – right up to this point.
He hastily gets off his bed, and heads for the door. He goes into the next room and shakes his father awake.
“I…” he gasps and points to his throat “…cannot breathe.”
(to be continued…)