A Prelude to an End

It was almost dawn, the damp air a reminder of rain that had come showering the night. He was sitting at the rooftop overseeing the sleeping city and I had been standing behind him for eternity. I had been wondering whether I should have made the first move when he finally spoke in annoyance. “Don’t just stand there like a ghost!”

I smiled. Thank you. I took the seat next to him.

***

He had laughed when I had told him that he would die, then screamed. His eyes had been flaming. “THAT is the point of my existence? To die?”

I had stood there silently watching his reaction.

He had wreaked havoc then. He had burnt down a house or two that I had had to interfere and sent the occupants elsewhere beforehand. Through the blazing fire, he had yelled at me. “Why you let them live?”

Again. I had just stood there watching.

He let himself into the fire, “You want me to die? Then I’ll die now!”

I sent a massive rain that day.

***

“Well, what have you got for me?”

I opened my notebook where I have left a marking. Then I read the passage to him.

“This would not be as painful as you may think,” Doc said. “Slow, yes, with little pain.”

“…”

“I just wonder what you would do with time you have left, knowing that poison runs through your veins.” He put the syringes back into his briefcase. “Men do unexpected things when they are pushed to a corner.”

I stole a glance at him. The darkness around us gave a stunning background to the stars, but his eyes, staring at the distance, glimmered the brightest. I continued my recitation.

[…]

His breathing had fallen short and his legs refused to move. He would be vomiting soon because his stomach was on a roller-coaster. He knew his end was near. Not now! He willed himself to stay conscious and drag his feet to reach the door. But another wave of pain soon struck. He fell down.

***

After a while he had gone into silence. He had refused to acknowledge my presence and slipped into self-destruction.

Then one day, he came to me. He looked weathered and weary. His eyes now had that look, a look of eyes that had seen too much, but still as bright as ever.

He asked again. “Why did you create me?”

I looked into his eyes in silence then asked, will you listen to me now?

I opened my notebook and I began telling his story.

***

[…]

I said not now! Move! His mind, very much alive, was yelling commands to the rest of his body. His eyes, still alight with fire, fought for focus.

“Stop.” He held up his hand. I stopped my recitation.

He stood up and walked to the edge of the rooftop. I followed his gaze. The far sky began to lighten, marking the break of day. The twilight had come. Soon, a colour emerged from the horizon. The tint boldened and brought more colours to the city that was still asleep.

“My eyes, ” he looked at the horizon, “you like them, don’t you…”

…… Of course, how could I not? Those were the only eyes that can see me, that had seen me. But I’d rather not admit it if I could.

The clouds started to flare with orange. My favourite colour. Our favourite colour.

“Then let this sight be the last thing they see.”

I nodded.

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