Man of Time

There was once an old man who lived a repentant life. He had outlived his family and friends, had none to speak of, none that knew him. He often thought of the past and dreaded the future since death was only eminent. He wished he could travel back in time to see his friends and family once more, save them from the clutches of their fate, atone for his wrong doings and maybe find ever lasting tranquility.

He dwelled in darkness, inebriated by day, sober by night, barely noticing the sun blaring outside his tightly closed curtains. His heart was heavy, full of guilt and shame, while his mind pondered and kept him awake. He hardly slept, and when his eyelids grew heavy he’d be startled awake by the voices screaming in his head.

“Shut up! Shut up!” he would shout at them,expecting to quiet them, but they could not hear him for the voices howled from the past. He longed for peace, a fleeting thought he once recalled, but none would come.

‘When will they leave me alone,” he moaned, and covered his head with his pillow, hoping to assuage his heavy heart. “I can no longer take this. I am an old man, leave me alone, go away, stop tormenting me this way.”

He cried and cried until the tears dried up, and he had no strength to continue lamenting.

When night broke away and the sun rose the next day, the feeling of peace still evaded him. He was afflicted, day and night, barely breathing a sigh of respite. His senses were numb and his body would tremble, all he remembered were the terrible things he said and done to his beloved ones.

“I feel the ache in my heart, tearing me apart,” he cried to no one in particular. “I can’t eat, food tastes like sand, and when I force myself to swallow, down it goes like a lump of coal, sticking in my throat. I gasp for air and swell up with sorrow. All the colors have dissipated from my life, leaving me no joy or gladness, no hope for something better. My world has become black and white, the colors of gloom and despair. I hear nothing, but the screaming, taking up my time. Silence is rare, and when it does come upon me, I cry, realizing I am alone. All alone. I smell the decay of my body, struggling to survive in such a grim reality. Has my life come to this? Was this all my fault? If I can only turn back time, I promise to redeem myself. I promise. I promise.”

He lies in bed, waiting for comfort, a hand from above, a warm voice to sooth him, but nothing happens, nothing comforts him, no one comes to save him from his dejection. When the sun vanishes over the horizon, and darkness plunges around him, his tormentor never leaves him, making time pass him by, forgetting this forgotten man.

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