Discontent

Discontent

A Story by Chris Rampersad
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This story may be boring to most. Its basically a conversation between two people.

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   “CLEAR!”  ZAP! “ Anything?” “No sir.” “One more time! CLEAR!”  ZAP! It had already been ten minutes; I stood and watched as they tried to revive that person lying on the sidewalk. I squinted at the flashing lights on the ambulance vehicle, I already knew he was gone I could see blood coming from the bashed in head, and I quietly said to the doctor, “It’s okay; you did your best my friend.” “Did you know the deceased?” came a voice from behind me, and I turned around to see a handsome, tidy man in a business suit and a briefcase in his hand. He smiled warmly. “I did.” I replied, “He was… very close to me.” I chuckled. The stranger put out his hand, “I'm Chris.” “Let’s call it.” came a voice from the small group around the body. “12:05 AM-“ I turned to look at them, then turned back to Chris and shook his hand, “It’s John.” “Nice to meet you John.” he smiled as he shook my hand enthusiastically, “So John, how'd he die?” he asked, gesturing to the body. “Oh it was a robbery. A guy dressed up in a batman costume beat him to death with a bat.” I chuckled, “Man, what a way to die.” Chris smiled, “Well Mr. John, what’s next for you?” I looked at the night sky and breathed in the fresh night air, “Well, I figured I'd walk around for a while I don't really have much of a plan.” I replied, “Okay then, would you like some company?” Chris asked, “Sure, why not.” I looked at the scene behind me one last time and began walking in the opposite direction.

   

   Chris walked calmly next to me, we were silent as we walked, and from time to time I glanced at him, he always wore a gentle smile on his face, he had a commanding presence his strides were graceful, the way you would expect a king to act.  “You seem to be really admiring me there John.” he laughed while still looking ahead. I quickly stared ahead in embarrassment. “So tell me about yourself John.” “Hmm. Not much to tell, I had a pretty boring childhood, I didn't have much friends.” “But those that were your friends you held dear, you would do anything for them.” “Yeah, that’s exactly what I was gonna say how did you know that?” “Oh. I had a hunch.” Chris said with a mischievous grin on his face.  “Okay Chris tell me about yourself.” “What ya wanna know?” “Okay, let’s start with something like, what sort of job do you do?” “Oh well you could say I work in administration.” “That’s cool. I was never able to settle down in a job that I liked to move up to any type of recognizable positions. My parents were always looking out for jobs for me, whenever I left a job they would help me look for another. I never told them how much I appreciated that.” “I’m sure they know that.” replied Chris, “Wow. Thinking bout it, they really spoilt you didn't they,”   “Ahaha yes, yes I guess, I love them a lot though, I regret never telling them that though. My mother, she always fussed over me my dad didn't talk much but he worked hard to take care of us... I keep thinking about that one time we had this big fight and I was so horrible to them. I wish I could take that back.” “I’m sorry but you can’t, but they’re your parents John, they know you love them, and they have already forgotten that fight.” Replied Chris, and for some reason hearing him say that was comforting, I looked at the ground as I walked and thought to myself, I didn't feel that overwhelming regret I felt a few seconds ago, I felt… lighter, and for the first time tonight, I smiled.

   

   The night had gotten cold, I thought as we kept walking, there were still a few people on the streets, I nodded to them pleasantly as I passed but it was like they looked right through me. “So tell me a little more about your life.” Chris broke the silence between us, “Why? Nothing interesting ever happened.” “Well John, in my line of work, I meet a lot of people and you know what I found out? Nobody ever really has a boring life.” I sighed “Why do you even care?” I asked, Chris looked at me with that gentle warm smile and said, “Because I believe we are friends. I would like to know about my friends. I looked at him and he stared back calm but still manage to be so intense. Finally I sighed in defeat, “You know Chris, you’re really weird.” Upon hearing this remark he burst out laughing, “Hahaha! I guess I am John.” I put my hands in my pockets as we walked, where we were going was a concern that never even popped into my mind, my pockets were empty, no wallet or phone or money, I must have left them in my other pants I grinned, I looked to the night sky as I walked and began to tell Chris my story, “Well, let’s see, I was an only child, I was pretty spoilt. As you can see I wasn't very good looking I was what the other kids called a nerd.” “Yeah you do have the whole nerd thing going for you there.” joked Chris and we both laughed, and as I laughed I felt more light I suddenly felt like telling him more, “I got bullied a lot and I usually stayed quietly by myself. See I told you I was boring.” “Oh no don’t say that, things got better didn't it” I admired the stars tonight they looked more bright, I liked to look at the stars, their glow always seemed to calm me, “They did, I met my first friend when I was ten. His name was David, he was funny and smart and was like my brother, we were inseparable, but when we were twelve however he had to leave. His parents were moving halfway around the world to live... It would have been nice to know where he was now and if he was doing well.” “I'm sure he is.” Chris replied, and that small comfort made me feel even lighter again. I found myself feeling contented. I continued, “When I started attending secondary school things got a little better, I was still the odd one out, but this time I met three friends that I'm proud to call my best friends today, I remember we used to sit together at lunch time and just talk about everything, from girls to games to girls playing games.” Chris chuckled. “That was how it always was, and it didn't change much when we graduated, except we didn't see each other every day, but we still spoke to each other each day. I'd do anything for them. I hope they know how much they mean to me and how proud I am of them.” “They do I'm sure of it.” Chris replied. “You think so?” “I do.” “Hmm. That makes me happy.”

   

   We came to a small diner. Though I had recognized which part of town we was in I couldn't remember ever seeing this place it was named “THE HOUSE OF REST” “What an unusual name.” I said to myself, “Come on let’s go in and have some coffee,” Chris said already walking towards the entrance, I shrugged “Huh. Why not, it’s not like I have anything better to do.” so I followed him. Chris pushed the glass doors open. A bell chimed as we entered. Inside was nearly empty except for a couple sitting by themselves eating pan cakes and sipping coffee. The layout was like a normal diner, the aroma of coffee filled the air, there was no one at the counter at the moment, I could spot some movement in the back. I followed Chris to a seat by the counter, as I sat Chris gestured for some help to place his order. When I saw the woman who came to take our order, I was dumbstruck, she was beautiful it was like there was an aura emanating from her, and it was so kind. “Hello Chris.” she said whit a voice as beautiful as a bird’s melodious chirping at daybreak and a beautiful smile on her face, “Oh hello Sita, how are you?” “I'm fine you’re working tonight?” “Yeah.” Chris replied smiling proudly and adjusting his tie. Sita then turned to me, “And who might this be?” “Oh this is John he's my friend,” “Nice to meet you John.” Sita said, with a smile so radiant I would call it almost blinding, “Oogblya.” I gurgled out a sound that I was pretty sure started out as words in my brain. For a minute they both looked at me in surprise and I stared back wide eyed almost frozen in embarrassment, and then Sita giggled, and Chris burst into laughter. I bent my head in embarrassment and I could still hear her giggling when she left to fill our orders, “Arrrgghhh!!!” ,I moaned as I buried my face in my arm in embarrassment, Chris was still laughing, “You'd be surprised how many men and a couple women, had done the same thing you have done when they meet Sita, Oooh There was this one time this guy upon seeing her got down on his knees and asked her to marry him.” “Really? Waw what did she say?” She turned him down she said she was already married, “Aww. The guy married to her has to be one lucky guy.” Chris grinned, “So what about you John you have a girlfriend?” “Me? Nah. But...” I paused as her face flashed through my mind. “Ah I know that look.” Chris interrupted my thoughts, “There’s a girl you like.” I smiled quietly and nodded. Sita came back with our orders just in time to overhear what we were talking about, “Oh that’s so cute what’s she like?” I looked up at her, her beauty was still awesome but I was mentally prepared this time. “She was really pretty, I met her at my first job and we became friends. She was the first girl I was ever really comfortable around, I liked being around her I always felt like I could do anything as long as she was there to cheer me on,” I smiled feeling sad now, “She was the only girl I think I actually ever loved, but she didn't feel the same, when I told her how I felt she said that she saw me as a brother nothing more,” I laughed as my stare fell to the floor. “What is it with women always trying to make men into their brothers? And love is a cruel thing it lifts us up, and then choke slams us to the hard concrete floor.” I felt Sita rest her hand on my head, “It is a cruel thing John but it gets better, as the saying goes, it’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. She's happy now isn't she? John you should be happy for her.” “I am, she just had her first baby and I was on my way tonight to see him. I'm going to be his godfather.” I smiled suddenly the heartache that I felt a minute ago was gone and I could no longer remember what it felt like. I was content.

   

   Sita left to talk to some more customers and I and Chris silently sipped our coffees. I found myself staring into the black coffee in my cup my mind lost in thought. After a few minutes had passed Chris spoke. “John do you know what happened to you tonight?” I looked at him and for the first time since meeting him he was not smiling, although his face did seem to look like it would revert back into a kind smile if he wasn't trying so hard to keep it serious. I nodded. “It’s hard to not figure it out when you watched your body take its last breath… Hmm… What a way to die.” Chris stared at me quietly as I spoke. “So Chris who are you?” a question I should have asked from the beginning but honestly I thought the answer would have been too depressing to hear at the time and much rather the simple company. “Well over the millenniums I've had many names. “You're Christ?”,he shifted in his seat. “Well I was at one point, then people remember me as Buddha, Vishnu, I was a lot of prophets. And even more normal everyday men like you.” “You’re yanking my chain right?” I asked in disbelief. “Nope. I'm the same person who's there in all religions.” “Hmm. I never imagined you this way.” “Haha. no one ever does.” Chris leaned back and smiled. “So then why are you here? With me? Well I came to purge you my friend.” “Purge?” “Tonight when you died you died with so much regret and discontent, In order for you to rest in peace you need to have no regrets, to be content. When you talked to me you told me all the things you regretted and as you told me your story you felt lighter didn't you.” I nodded. I looked back at the cup of coffee in my hand; “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure.” “Why me?” “I do this for everyone who dies.” “No I  mean why did I have to die? I mean I may not have been making a huge impact on the development of the world but... I had hopes and dreams I had people that I loved and they loved me and some idiot beats me to death with a bat. For fifty dollars?” “FIFTY DOLLARS?  Wow John you were seriously broke.” I sighed, “Tell me about it... But still why the hell did I have to die? And he lives.” “Actually it was a woman.” “WHAT?! MY GOD CHRIST YOUR NOT HELPING!.. Really? That was a big woman and strong.” Chris nodded in agreement “She takes steroids.” “Wow. And I'm the one that’s dead?” I ground my teeth realizing that the more I thought about it the more angry I was getting. “Please... at least give me an answer Chris.” I finally said. After a long silence Chris spoke, “Your time was up for this life my friend, how you die I'm sorry to say is pretty random, it’s like a wheel turning and where it stops you die in that fashion. When you die however is simply when your time is up on this world.” “But that’s so cruel to those that are left behind man.” I protested. Chris sighed in understanding he looked sad now, “It is.” he said softly, but that grief is what they must go through, it makes them stronger. It's just the way it's planned out to be.” “You know if you weren't a divine being I would have punched you already. Chris smiled. “I'm sorry John life and death are things that if I was to explain it to you you'd never really understand it. The only explanation I can give you is that.” I sighed in disappointment but I still found myself accepting it all. “Hmm. So what happens now?” I asked, “Well you can do two things, you can return as someone else but you will never remember your life as John, or you can be judged, at that point you will go to a realm that your actions created just for you while you lived. The evil like criminals and murderers never get the option to return they are judged immediately… When you've made your choice John you walk out that door.” Chris pointed to the diner exit. We sat quietly again and I sipped my coffee processing all that Chris has just told me, Chris waited patiently, and when I had finished, I got up, Chris looked calmly at me and smiled as I turned to face him, “Could you do me a favor Chris?” “Sure my friend.” “Could you watch over them all for me?” Chris smiled, “I promise my friend.” “Thank you Chris.” I walked to the exit and pushed on the glass doors. The small bell chimed as I went out.


© 2013 Chris Rampersad



Author's Note

Chris Rampersad
Needs work. Feel free to comment.

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Reviews

This story was anything BUT boring. It drew me in immediately as someone who has been through the dreadful experience of losing a friend and witnessed several medical dramas as both a patient and a bystander. I then couldn't help but laugh at the way the death happened- a similar effect to what the Darwin Awards web site and books have on me.

The only comment I need to make is that it was difficult to read because it looked like one giant paragraph to me. I'd definitely advise taking the time to add a space between paragraphs (I know Writers Cafe has the irritating habit of showing pasted content as a big clump of words when you paste over word, but the simple act of manually readding the spaces works wonders for readability)

Posted 3 Years Ago


Chris Rampersad

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much I will take your advice. And well I figured since death was a sort of depressing.. read more
ReAlly killed by a woman in a batman suit? lmfao!!!!!!.Seriously it was really good and interesting keep on keeping on .

Posted 3 Years Ago


Chris Rampersad

3 Years Ago

Thank you.
Vidya Bacchus

3 Years Ago

You are welcome:)
Hi, yeah, boring... Anything but, Chris. A truly beautiful tale which carried my interest from the words "CLEAR!" "ZAP!". The way you naturally take the story from beginning to end, and the whole piece and character comes alive through the conversation is excellent. You are a born storyteller in my humble opinion. Your modesty belies your talent. I wasn't expecting that twist in there until it came, nice. Also, the absurdity of how the main character dies adds further credibility in a bizarrely real way.
There are the odd typos here and there, maybe re-reading to correct them isn't a bad idea; takes one to know one: I keep seeing them in my stuff too.
A pleasure to read this piece, yet again I come away from one of your poems or stories glad to have read it and feeling a little cleaner inside and more hopeful about the world. Great job.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Chris Rampersad

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much dude and yeah I know there's a lot of typos and errors and I plan to check it ov.. read more
Daniel Sala

3 Years Ago

Hi Chris, me too, writing's the fun part, the revisions are the dull but necessary bit I try to avoi.. read more

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3 Reviews
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Added on December 1, 2013
Last Updated on December 4, 2013
Tags: death, regrets, reflections

Author

Chris Rampersad
Chris Rampersad

Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago



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