Moment of Truth

The rain poured incessantly, sweeping away the dirt from the city’s much-used and unmaintained roads. Ever so often, a dagger of white would split the western sky in half, and the loud crack of thunder that followed would rumble and roll through the layers of heavy clouds till it lost itself in the eastern sky.

The drops poured unceasing on his dark and solitary figure, soaking through the thin clothes and drenching his skin. He had no care for it at the moment. He sat and stared at the wet pavement beneath his feet, thinking deeply about nothing.

Life hadn’t been a bed of roses, obeying its rules. But what it had been, would perhaps call for an exceptional stretching of the rules. Life had been vacant and miserable, and life had always been what he had been least prepared for. It was enough to break anybody’s fort of mental strength.

He opened his backpack and fumbled inside for a few moments before he extracted a small knife. Small, but sharp. It could serve its purpose if he wanted it to. The last clause of that last sentence could decide his life. Never, never had he been faced with such a barrier, such a hopeless situation. Life had never seemed less fruitful, and he was feeling now the force of the inevitable choice. If he were left with the knife for five more minutes, he wouldn’t let himself live to see the rain stop. He closed his eyes and listened to the quiet rhythm of the raindrops falling on the pavement, on the streets, on the grass, on him; a moment of quiet before the moment of his decision.

He opened his eyes. The landscape looked hazy. He clasped the knife tightly. This was it.

With one hard swing, he had sent the knife flying through the raindrops, through the dark night. From all his baseball training, he could bet it would meet the ground so far away he wouldn’t be able to hear it.

He turned, picked up his backpack, and walked away slowly from the moment of his decision, a solitary figure in the rain.


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