Final Fire of the Endless Road

Image by: Maciej Bledowski

I strolled down the empty road. The vacant pathway stretched far ahead and behind. It seemed like I had appeared in the midst of this expanse out of nowhere and now there seems no place to get to either. Without an unclear idea and a fogged up thought I just tread forward. Except there can’t be one definite direction to call forward. It looked the same on both sides.

Do I have to walk even? I was unsure about that, but since I had nothing better to do so I just walked. A lazy walk by the side of the road. Over the yellow line which marked the end of the driving space on the three lane way.

A minute…
Two minutes…
A couple more…
Almost an hour now…

The time ticked by and I could still not see anything except the empty road. Some weird freedom mixed with a little fear kept growing inside of me. As if acting on that I tentatively put one feet on the yellow line as I moved on. Nothing happened. It was still me. All alone walking to the rhythmic slap of my chappal on the road.

A few more minutes passed by…

Nothing happened, no one appeared. Somehow it felt as if I was the only breathing being on the planet. So I shifted my left foot on the yellow line now too. Putting my feet one in front of the other I now moved on the yellow line. Trudging on gradually while stretching my arms out imitating a tight rope walker. Except a bag hung from my right arm which basically made things difficult. Going on like for some time was fun except I almost kissed the sidewalk several times. Since it was evident I’m all on my own, I got a bit braver.

Expanding my boundaries now I had crossed the yellow line and walked in the middle of the leftmost lane on the road. An exhilarated spasm went through my body as twirled a little stretching my arms towards the sky. It felt nice as I played hide and seek with the clouds and sunlight. It felt like many days had passed in this work of shadows and sunlight. An endless trick of nature, just like this never-ending passage.

Now a certain energy kept inching into my step and soon there was a little bounce in my gait. An upbeat powerful stride as if it originated from the complete sense of happiness that resided within me. Almost as if that wholesome feeling was a lie and before that doubt could take root anywhere inside, I was inching towards the centre of the road. Skipping to my heart’s beat right through the middle of the deserted road. It made perfect sense and somehow symbolised something surreal.

It has been a couple of hours now…

I could feel the chappal in my feet loosening as its straps lost their grip with every step I took. Bad choice with the footwear. Or maybe things have to go south ultimately and this was supposed to be just the first step towards it. I didn’t know and I most certainly had no way of determining that for sure. So yes… The chappal was coming apart and it was only in a matter of some part of the hour that I tread along bare feet.

This was freedom of the weirdest kind. As if the contradictions had just pronounced themselves in the most obvious way into this mess.

I stopped and I sat down. Putting my chappal towards one side I rummaged through the bag. Frantic hands found all things unnecessary and so the search went on for a while until I found it. So I sat there with a smile on my lips and tears in my eyes; a picture perfect embodiment of contradictions. In a helpless attempt to soothe my pains I beseechingly looked into the sky as I lied down on my back right there while with the right hand I twisted the little plastic bottle open. The tiny colourless crystal glistened in the last rays of the setting sun resembling the final fire to this endless road.

And with the painful gulp a darkness crept up like a slithering snake over my being. Its fangs aiming for the heart and left a quivering ache, so delicate yet so painful, behind. After having spent the day with drained smiles and empty laughs the show finally comes to an end. So I give up the farce and sink down into the murkiest of waters to tend to the burning inside. Except there is no way out and I’ll just rise once more to the vacant routine of ambitious lies.

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An engineer with a love for words and an aptitude to tell stories that matter.

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Huda Mahmood

Huda Mahmood

An engineer with a love for words and an aptitude to tell stories that matter.

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