As he stood on the edge of the beach, watching the sunset as the cool, gentle breeze caressing his skin as the gentle ripples danced in the water. He reflected back onto his life as if he was watching old family movies on an aged VHS player.
He slowly inhales on a cigarette as he stares at the white filter, burning away slowly. Shaking his head as he drops it between his fingers, crushing and extinguishing the smoke with his sandals. He slowly sits down on the warm, coarse sand as he sinks his toes into the shifted earth. Staring at the sun as it lowers beyond the clouds, he cries knowing that there were only a handful amount of sunsets he is able to watch, he knows his time on earth is coming to an end, he knows he is dying.
Greg was like any other common man, short, stocky, fatish with a thinly combed mustache over his upper lip, bottle size glasses and a receding hairline. Married to a women who took him for granted and worked 9 to 5 for a company that didn’t appreciate his time and effort, in a little cubicle that was smaller than others around him. Working for a man who belittles his employees and makes obnoxious jokes. Everything was normal until earlier on that week when his doctor asked him to come and visit him.
“Thanks for coming in, I have the results back from your latest blood test” the doctor proclaimed in a monotone voice. Greg sat quietly and nervous, as he sat there patiently waiting for the results, nervously tapping his fingers on his lap.
“I’m sorry sir, but you have inoperable cancer” the doctor went into details but nothing was heard by Greg, as if time itself stood still, Greg sat there in silence. A blank stare fell on his face as he reflected on the news he had just heard. His wife began sobbing uncontrollably as Greg quickly shifted his gaze onto her. He quickly remembered that over the course of 6 months ago, he found her in the arms of another man and quickly remembered her excuse of how she didn’t remember how it happened. Staring at her as her mascara runs, she grabs his hand and the reflection of her wedding band glared in his eyes as he sat there in silence, still reflecting on the news.
“Greg?, Greg!” she said sternly as Greg slowly comes back to reality and looks at his Doctor and says “I have to go!” Greg rushes out of the office, down the corridor and out to the parking lot and made his way to his car. He sat in the warm, sun-soaked car as he fumbles with the AC. “Piece of shit!” He exclaims as he pounds his fist on the dashboard and lays his head on the steering wheel. He stares at his feet, noticing one of his shoe laces had snapped off and broke.
His wife quickly enters the vehicle and consoles him with open arms and hugs, he doesn’t feel anything. He shifts his eyes towards her and broodingly shakes his head as he puts the car into drive and heads his way back home in silence.
As he sits down in his favorite chair, kicks his feet up, his wife walks into the room. “Do you have anything you want to talk about?” she questions Greg. “No” he simply said as he turns his gaze onto the television. Flabbergasted, his wife stood there in a puzzled state with her hands on her hips. She stood in silence and stared at him in disbelief. “I need to get out, I need some fresh air” she proclaimed as Greg sat there in silence, ignoring her. “Do you need anything?” She asked once more. “No!” he said once again in a dismissive tone. Shaking her head, she grabs the keys and storms out the door. Greg sits there in silence, staring at the TV and reflects on the day.
As hours passed by and the night moon rises, Greg sat there flicking back and forth between channels until he heard the sound of sweetness come across the TV screen. The sound of a booming piano accompanied with slow swinging violas and echoing harps. He listened and watch the orchestra play beautifully as if the players knew of his pain and sorrow. He cried as he stared off at the moon light, burying his head in his hands as he sobs harder and harder, barely able to catch his breath, he falls from his chair and lies on the ground, sobbing uncontrollably to the sweet sound of slow classical music.
When the thunderous boom of the drums kicked into a swifter and uplifting pace, he slowly raised his head from his hands and looked up to the sky through his narrow window. On his hands and knees, he begged for mercy, crying out to god that he wants to live, that he wants to grow old, he begged and begged but god did not listen, no one did and it wasn’t until the lull, silent part of the song that he began to realize, that nothing can save him, that he is hopeless. The sound of booming drums picked up louder and louder through the TV. He became angry and angrier to the point of blinding rage when he finally let out a scream, proclaiming “Fine!! I don’t need your help! who the fuck have you ever helped anyways?” he roared throughout the house, cursing the sun and the moon, cursing god, cursing the world.
He picks himself up from the ground, wipes off his knees and put his hands in a fist and stared at the blank wall in front of him. He draws back his arm and releases and swings at the wall in a fit of rage, smashing through the wallpaper and thin drywall. He pulls his hand out and swung for a second time, making a second hole in the wall. As he begins to release a fury of angered punches against the crumbling wall, his hands become swollen and bloodied. He screams in pain “Ah!!” as he quickly turns around grabbing the lamp from the table and throwing it down the hallway.
He makes his way to the kitchen and opens the cabinet door, grabbing the plates and dishes and throwing them against the wall. Plate after plate, glass after glass until the floor was covered in a layer of nothing but ceramic and shattered glass.
Kicking the debris with his foot, he over hears the couple next door yelling at each other, looking out the window, he witnesses his neighbor violently striking the wife and watches as she falls to the ground.
As he quickly made his way through the rubble and down the hallway, he flung open the front door, he ran across the yard and through the thicket of the bush. He emerged in front of the angered husband and distraught wife. “Greg, get out of here!” she pleaded to him with tear-soaked eyes that were wrapped in bruises. The husband rushed over to Greg and stared him in the eyes “The women said leave bud!” as the neighbor shoves Greg across the yard.
Greg smiles as he looks down at his chest where he was pushed, locks eyes with the neighbor and as if time stood still, Greg released a crushing right hook against the temple of his attacker. Greg began swinging left, right than left then right then left and left again and followed by an uppercut and in a ball of rage Greg unleashed the final blow knocking the neighbor onto the grass. Staring at his hands in disbelief, he looks at the man lying on the ground in the cold, damp grass, motionless. Greg looks at the women and said in a cool manner “Check to see if he’s breathing, if he is, don’t ever let him do that to you again, if he’s not”, Greg pauses then states “than you’re welcome” Greg walked away, went into his house with his chest puffed out, walked up to his bedroom, took two shots of whiskey than went to bed.
It wasn’t long until he heard a shrieking scream come from the kitchen, Greg sat up in horror and made his way downstairs to find his wife, once again sobbing as she looked at the rubble around her. “What happened Greg!” she screamed across the room, panicked and waving her arms. Greg looks up at her and said with a smile “I hated those dishes” as he turns away, she screams at him one more time until he quickly turned around and snapped back “I’m going to bed!, I had a rough day, goodnight!” leaving her in a sudden shock of disbelief. She gasps as she stares at the floor covered in ceramic rubble and shattered glass. Greg walks up the narrowing stairs, lays his head down on his pillow and chuckled to himself until he fell asleep.
By Lucas Durelle