“Where have you been?” she asked when he walked through the door.
“For three days?” she screamed, her concern melting away and anger taking its place. “My god I have been worried sick. I told your work there was a family emergency. I even called the cops.”
“I was just thinking. I can’t keep doing this; I have to get off the treadmill. I can’t go back to that cubical.”
“Are you kidding? You will go back to work. We have bills to pay, kids to put through college. Stop this crazy talk. What has gotten into you?”
The clock said three AM, she could here him typing from their room upstairs. “Why does he have that old typewriter out? Uh, it must be part of this depression he’s going through, he’ll be better in the morning,” she thought, then covered her ears and went back to sleep.
She made her way downstairs as the sun came up, but he was nowhere to be found. The typewriter was sitting on the desk with a sheet of paper hanging out. She picked up the paper and read:
Have you ever had a day when something inside you was calling? Saying, don’t go to work, just let go and enjoy the day. I had that day. I squashed the voice and went to work. I was paranoid at first, wondering if tragedy would strike, curious to know if I missed my opportunity to opt out. But something much worse happened. The building didn’t collapse, I didn’t get fired, no, I didn’t even get scolded. Nothing, nothing happened. I sat in my cubical and droned through the day.
Lunch came and went, underwhelming and tasteless, leaving me tired and yearning for another caffeine wake-up. I sucked down a cup of coffee, looked at my watch, and prayed the next four hours would go by quickly. And they did. In fact the next thirty years went by quickly. Like I said, something worse happened. I squashed that inner voice and left it to die. That was the day I bought into the hype, just do what you have to do, do what your told. That was the day I quit living and started existing.
Three days ago I woke up and remembered that day. I decided to take its advice, the voice that is, thirty years late but I had to do something before life got away completely.
I took a trip to the cost, found a rock and just sat there. I had no agenda, no plans and no timeline. But I did find a sense of peace I have never felt before. Now I know it’s a peace I will never feel again. Goodbye
This short fiction story is my entry into the Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge.