“I would be happier.”
Isn’t that what we all have always wanted? He did too. In another world, opposites would rule. Sad would be the new happy. Lonely would be the new together. He didn’t know how it made any real sense, all he knew was that he didn’t want to be here.
He closed his eyes for the first time in the last 24 hours. Every muscle in his body felt like it had been tumble dried till the last ounce of strength was squeezed out. Ouch.
He closed his eyes. Sleep felt like an effort too. Not because he wasn’t sleepy, but because when he slept, it began. The incessant, never-ending suckfest. The feeling of being sucked into his bed further and further ahead till it seemed impossible to wake up. It wasn’t easy.
As the phosphenes in his eyes shone like city lights he’d seen a million times, he realised he need not have worried about anything at all.
The anxiety attack had passed.
He had just shut his eyes, when the damned phone rang. It was her. That country song said it all- Stay Beautiful.
He picked up. She spoke with a smile. She always did. But, this was not her voice. The automated tone on the other end of the line said a lot more than he wanted to hear.
Another day to kill. Another chance to die. Another chance at anxiety.
You see, this WAS the alternate universe. You killed to survive. It was the only thing that stayed back from the other end. Survival of the fittest.
He’d forgotten the meaning of “beautiful” a long time ago.