one day

author: @aestranger

Reading time: 6 minutes

One day...

People running around, family’s trying to stick together while rushing off to a platform or gate. Everyone going somewhere for some reason. A blurred mass of entities, each with their own purpose.

So many different individuals, an ocean of bodies. So seemingly full of life and energy.

Amongst them, I stand there, with my small suitcase. Looking at an announcement board. Really, I’m just staring into the distance. If any one of these busybodies looked at me or approached me, I’d not realise it. I’m in my own world.

I think to myself – ‘you know…one day….’ – and then my mind jumps to another thought. Standing there alone in a sea of people my hand moves on its own, to the soft spot under my jaw. I form it as a weapon of a kind, and for a brief moment I imagine firing it, and it all ends. Just white light as I squeeze my eyes closed.

But it’s just a thought and I’m back in the crowd. I now see what I was looking for, a location for my train, platform 5 in ten minutes.

I slowly move in the direction I need to go, my own purpose now. I don’t rush, it only takes me two minutes to get there, meaning I have a further eight to wait on the platform. Waiting…with another group of people. All waiting for something.

A group, similar but different. We’re going similar directions but we’re different. I stand there on the platform and look down the dark tunnel. Expecting the train. 

Still five minutes before it arrives though. 

I scan the length of the platform, looking for a specific person. That person who may have the thought of ‘today…fuck it’. Leaving it all behind and leaping in front of the moving train as it comes in. I imagine it, like a bullet to the body. For that person it all ends, white light. For us, it’s a red mist. And hours of delay. No…that’s not something I’d want.

The ride home is quiet, I stare out the window, I see the cars all heading my direction. Lights glimmering in the distance, the sun hasn’t quite set yet, but I guess it’s dark enough that road lights feel a need to come alive. No-one is startled by this; every car remains straight on their course. I turn back inside. Fellow passengers, all in their own worlds. Most are busy with something, few are reading. A couple are arguing. I look around, bored…my mind goes empty for a moment, or at least I imagine that it does. A moment of bliss and silence. But that’s probably all it was, my imagination.

The train arrives, as it always does, at my stop. I get off, a few others do as well. I walk down the main street in the city I live in. Still enough light to see. Colours of the sky are peach and apricot, nice colours. Scanning the street, all I see are sad colours. Grey’s, blue’s, brown’s, people who have lost their purpose, their way…they lost.

I think to myself; would this ever happen to me? And I catch myself wondering if I’d have the will to stop it, to end it if it did. Do these people wonder the same? Do they go through the day as well, thinking ‘one day…’, and then the next day comes regardless?

My mind drifts to the reflexion of whether there are any tall buildings in this city. The exhilaration of rushing wind, and then white light. And then the thought returns, pressing against the soft under my jaw. I shake my head and continue my pace.

Home. Keys in the plate on the table by the door. Jacket on the hook, shoes in a corner. Suitcase on a chair by the dining table. I stare out at the city from the window, at this height I can see quite far. Dusk has finally come. And I think once more ‘one day…maybe today…’. As the thought persists, I go to a cabinet, find the bottle and pour myself a small glass. Whiskey. I take a measured sip; I feel the heat and the burn around my chest as the liquid slides down. Staring at the almost full bottle, I decide that that isn’t a good idea.

Walking through the home, I come to the bed. White sheets, clean, double bed. I sit down, glass in hand, and I stare at the blank wall, as it stares back at me. For a moment I think, if I were to go through the drawers would I find something that would bring a release to the emptiness of this place.

I walk back to the room with the couches and the television. There’s a computer in the corner. With a bookshelf above it. I browse the titles, half-recognising them.

Perhaps the tv will drown out the silence. But it’s not really silent, is it…Sounds of the city seep in, neighbours, noises…dissonant and distracting static. There’s a longing for true silence, but for now, a different noise, one that can be controlled will suffice.

The mind wanders again, to murky places. The thought returns and my hand makes the shape again. What would it be like? Maybe one day…

The tv drowns out the door being opened. I don’t hear the footsteps coming in and walking down the hallway. My back is turned to the door, I wouldn’t have seen it coming anyway, even if I wanted to. Too late do I realise. 

Two hands come down either side of me…and embrace me. I’d forgotten my partner was coming home tonight as well. And for a brief moment, there is serenity. We both have another glass of whiskey. We smile and laugh for a finite moment.

Eventually, the hour becomes late, I’m reminded that tomorrow we’ll need to get up early. I decide to stay up a little longer. Others can enjoy their sleep first. Sleep…

I stare out, lights blinking in the distance. Silence has finally arrived. Perhaps I can extend this silence to eternity, maybe one day.

Entering the bedroom, I glance at the drawers again. Shaking my head I instead stare out the window once more. A calm and tumultuous scene greets me. I shut my eyes, squeeze them tight. I open them and see the bed, one half already filled, waiting for me. 

My eyes burning I stare outside once more. Thoughts racing through my mind, the scenes of the day, both real and imagined flying past my vision. Would I have the will to do it? Would that person next to me have the will?

Do I have the will?

I take a deep breath, and I tell myself, one day…

And I keep telling myself, one day…

Just more one day…

Just take it one day at a time…

I hope that you enjoyed this story and the brought some levity to your day.

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