The Loss

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Cold raindrops began to dot the windshield of the truck, which was in turn beginning to fog up and distorting everything in view. He keyed the ignition with one single abrupt movement like a jolt of electricity had gone through him and cranked up the defrosters. If the weatherman had been telling the truth, those little raindrops would turn into snowflakes by the end of the day. It was that time of the year anyway. In the background, the voices of two of his favourite sports talk radio personalities filled the truck though he hadn't the faintest idea of which subject the were discussing exactly.

His gaze shifted to the left, taking in the wide expanse of the man-made lake where he had been coming for years to find solace and solitude and get away from everything that had been bothering him in his life. Except that that didn't work anymore. It just wasn't working anymore. Many, many years ago a road had run through the trees, providing a shortcut to the high school and the baseball field which was now just barely visible through the overgrown brush and the expanding fog which seemed to hover gracefully above the surface of the water, swallowing up everything that it touched.

The high school, the one he'd attended all those years and the one he'd graduated from, usually brought back a flood of dark memories and negative emotions. Since he had skipped a grade in elementary school, he had been forever destined to be on the fringes of school society and despite his intelligence and good looks he was still an outcast, even to himself it seemed. He never really fully belonged to any of the established castes so he tried to use humour and flirtatious jokes to make friends or get female attention but no matter what happened he never got the satisfaction he was seeking. Each day spent in that large brown brick building was a gut-wrenching struggle to belong, conform, but most of all to find the meaning that he was devoid of.

It was at a young age that he began to lose himself, or maybe he had never been found to begin with. The negative emotions about school were strangely distant through the fog that day, but other things occupied his mind. He thought back to one particular time during his youth when he thought about ending it all, once and for all. The memory was almost bittersweet in a demented way, like it both irked him and comforted him at the same time.

That one night in September 2013 he'd sat all by himself in the garage, drowning in the tough times that had swallowed up his life and the thought of ending it all was floating around his brain. Could anyone else understand how he felt? Was he really alone in the world or had someone else felt the way he had at some point in the past? His thoughts haunted him and he ended up spending the night sitting there, on that little metal chair in the garage until the next morning. He had made up his mind. He was going to jump.

Dead set and suicidal, he went downtown into the nearest big city and went up to the 22nd floor of his former place of employment. His job had been one of the extremely few sources of pride in his life but like everything else, he'd let go of that too. Up there on the ledge his throat tightened and the world around him seemed to warp and morph into strange things. He'd been in the shadows all his life, his ending was going to be public. It wouldn't be done in obscurity. Not this time.

He was just about to jump off when by happenstance he looked down into the streets below and noticed a man with no arms dancing around. In his suicidal state of mind, the dancing man seemed to float elegantly in the streets. His performance was effortless and done with such grace. For once he realized that maybe jumping wasn't the way. He still had so much going for him and he was about to end it everything by jumping off a building while some other guy in streets below had no arms yet he was dancing around joyfully without a care in the world. It was as though God had placed that dancing man there just so he could see him.

He then decided, still with a lump in his throat, to get down from the building as quickly as he could and go find that dancing man with no arms because it all seemed so surreal that he couldn't believe his eyes. He wanted to know what that armless man's secret to happiness in life was. He ran through the crowds until he found that man, now sitting on a bench and approached him quickly. Maybe a little too quickly and risked looking like a lunatic, but he hadn't exactly been in his right mind anyway. He sat down next to man and completely poured his heart out to him even if he hadn't asked him but once the flood gates opened momentary relief was found.

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