Hello there! I know I promised to post “The Magic Fountain” soon, but the thing is that I wanted to make it perfect (if that’s possible) so while I’m working on it, I decided to keep you busy with some other stories, and this is actually how I got to write this one which you will read in a few seconds ( hopefully).
This is part 1 out of 2, but just to keep you on edge I will post the second part tomorrow giving you only a hint what might happen there.
I hope you enjoy this cacophony of thoughts and decissions! Have fun! 🙂
When a suicide goes wrong, or the short life story of Ben Taylor
Part 1: When a man goes to suicide, provoked by a surprising turn of events
Ben seemed to not understand what the man before him was saying. At least he wanted to. For once to be def, stupid, foreign or whatever preventing him to comprehend the shouting words, mixed with sprinkles of saliva coming right at him from the mouth of his boss. That red face staring at him, with veins about to burst from the tick neck, and eyes filled with absolute insanity, and hysteria, those three things were making Ben feel small, useless, fading. They made him feel like a child that had messed up brought back a bad grade in math, broke a window, or stained his brand new jeans with mud from playing outside. And that finger being waved at his face, pointing all he didn’t want to hear right now. A right hand fist hammered the desk reminding him it would be best if he regained his ability to hear and understand:
– Pay attention when I’m talking to you, you little brat! Ungrateful, after all the compromises I did for you! I’ve putted a great deal of fate into your work but you’ve been going downhill instead of uphill! You lack attitude in work, you are lazy and you make mistakes in almost everything you do! Do you have any idea how much money we’ve lost because of your incompetence through the past month? So much you haven’t seen in your entire pointless life! And I can’t even possibly think of taking it out of your wage, because oh wait…you make 5 times less than it!- Ben rolled his eyes, because of this unfair exaggeration of his payment- I am saving this company before no one wants to make business with us anymore… you are fired!- The man breathed in then out, trying to calm himself, and for no particular reason, reached and moved the sign on his desk with the name “Frank Riley- director” an inch to the left- Leave my office at once. I want your desk cleaned, office empty and you gone in thirty minutes.
Ben remained silent, wondering what it would be like if he was a natural born idiot, but didn’t stay to get the answer from his boss, correction, former boss, and without even a nod, he turned on his heels and walked out of the office. No one dared to look at him, as he walked by, but they all gave his back a fare amount of stare as he passed them, and as Ben thought they would do, they shared a few words after he was out of their sight.
He packed his stuff quickly, the ones which he wanted to carry, the rest he’d send a car for, some papers threw in the garbage, didn’t even bother looking at what they were, gave the blue staple to Sara the cute new girl for all, who wouldn’t last very long here, and she smiled, thanked him and rushed do to her own things. Ben looked at the box, full with pencils, pens, rubbers, a photo, a lamp, few bubble gums, his phone which ended up accidentally there, a small cactus , and thought he’d probably throw most of the stuff later on, keeping only his cell and the photo of him and his wife. The thought of her arose to the image of her beautiful green eyes turning red with anger of him being fired, which made him shiver.
As he walked out of the high building with windows covered in sunlight, Ben removed his red with white stripes stupid tie and gripped it so hard his knuckles turned white “Big deal you got fired man – he thought to himself- Lots of other companies would die to hire you. Because you are good you are really good. You just had a bad moment that’s it; you know lots of stress, and then you paused, puff! – blank mind for the time. It happens. Your just gonna get over it, relax for a few days and then get back in the game! Go home have a beer, ease your mind and body and you’ll be good as new tomorrow. That’s it. Come on buddy.”
Ben got in his silver Jaguar XF 2011, comforted by his own thoughts, tossed the tie on the seat next to him and started the engine. Everything was going to be fine. He wasn’t that type of guy to go and kill himself, or cry in despair for losing some job. There were lots of jobs out there, lots of opportunities for him. No need for panic. He was a grown man and he would make it out of this situation just like he made it so far, by himself. He wasn’t stupid. There was a path for him from now on; he just wasn’t able to see it at this moment. This job was a waste anyway. Without him the company would crash soon. They made a mistake firing him. No, Frank made a mistake kicking him off like that. Disrespectful ass, after all the sweat he’d putted in his work.
Making himself think less of his former job, and boss made him feel a bit better, and as if it wasn’t his own fault he was driving home six hours earlier, with no vision of his future. Ben sighted. He chose to forget it even happened, turned on his CD, and played some jazz, letting the music fill him up, and take him to some place of its own, some late 1945 with dim streets, high heeled ladies with red lipstick, and night life spent under the heavy taste of golden colored alcohol, and concentrated on driving. Minutes later he parked in the parking lot of his building feeling much better. Music always relaxed him. Snatching his mind away, it released him of his worries, giving him a bright idea, that all will be well. Music made magic, true that.
He had his jacket in one hand, the box underneath the other, and was about to walk to the entrance of the luxury flat when a man with glasses, black suit and a briefcase walked over to him:
– Mr. Taylor? Ben Taylor?
– Yes. How can I help you? – The answer was provided to him when the other man reached over an envelope to him.
– My name is George Deroy, and I work for Bank of…
– Seriously? – Ben was amazed by the persistence of these guys- Can we not talk out here I’ll come by the bank tomorrow, sort things out. I really can’t be bothered right now…
– I’m afraid not. You haven’t returned any of the banks calls neither have responded to any of the letters we’ve send. – the man was still holding his hand reached out with the letter, but he saw Ben wasn’t having any intention of taking it, so he lowered his arm- You are way behind payments Mr. Taylor, months upon months. Do you have any idea how many times we’ve tried to get in touch with you? Or how many people we’ve send over?
– I am … a busy man. Perhaps I’ve missed all your … signs. What do you want me to do now?
– Give me your car keys – said George with a serious look from behind his glasses.
– Repo my car? I am definitely not that behind payments! – Ben was shocked. First the job, now this? Couldn’t they wait? Or at least get appointments when to ruin his life.
– Afraid you are. Even further. It is all detailed in this letter. Perhaps you did miss all of our signs, but maybe you decided hiding was a better option. Seems it didn’t work Mr. Taylor. Please the car keys- Ben dropped the box on the ground, reached his pocket, pulled out the keys and gave them to the bank employer. In return he got a white envelope, containing a letter, which words he’d rather not read.
– Have a good day Mr. Taylor. – George Deroy moved past him without a word more, and that was actually the last Ben saw of him, because he had picked up his box and had started walking again towards the entrance of his building, not feeling bad, but not feeling anything at all. His mind was even blanker now.
The concierge greeted him, possibly asked him how was his day, or said “You are early today Mr. Taylor” but Ben left him without an answer, just walked into the elevator and pressed the button with number 22 on it. Doors started closing and the bright light from the foyer, decorated with paintings and flowers, began to disappear before Ben’s eyes, leaving only a small gap, before it completely shut itself. Ben considered the possibility of his beautiful and rather large apartment going away too, by the snap of someone’s fingers- his company which actually found it for him, or the bank with which his former employers were working with. A “ding” confirming that the elevator had reached his floor interrupted his thoughts. Doors opened and he stepped into the corridor, with black doors like dominos, walls painted caramel and a mosaic floor with beige color. He approached the third door on his left, black as the rest of them, with silver number on it unlocked it and went into his home. Ah, home sweet home of his, a familiar place to set his eyes upon after a day of torment and an upcoming headache.
He put the box with his belongings on the table, threw his jacket and tie on the soft couch, sipped himself a large glass of scotch, not beer as he previously thought and sat down, with the silence of the big room and his confused mind. First time lifting the glass to his mouth he thought this “Screw it all I don’t need expensive cars, or big apartments. Maybe I’ll just leave, go to some faraway place and start all over, just me and Caitlyn; second time he drank from the scotch he thought “Or maybe this is it, the end for me. My world colliding under my own selfish mistakes, and now here I sit bitching about how bad the situation is, drinking up, 36 unemployed and God knows what next. What the hell happened to me?” The rest of the drink he gulped at once. Indeed what had happened to him? Suddenly he became uninterested about the world around him, didn’t give a toss about his job, or how bad he was doing it, sloppy and lazy. And in home, he was always tired, always bored. Was he done living? Has he reached out the maximum of his life? Was that even possible?
His head was about to burst with doubts and self pity when the door opened and his wife walked in. Tall and beautiful, she was with dark brown hair and green eyes. And of course her first words to him had nothing to do with love:
– What are you doing here so early? Something happened? And where’s the car? I didn’t see it on the parking lot – Her eyes slowly moved to the box on the couch, with the frame of the picture sticking out, right next to the cactus.
– Damn it Ben! I told you this behavior of yours will get you fired! But you never listen! Now what are we going to do?
– I’m figuring it out Cat. And it’s their loss I’ll find a better company to work with. I was and still am the best for the job. No one can run an entire department as I did.
– Yeah right?- she made a pause here, a long one, good enough to make him notice the sarcasm in her voice- That was before, now who would take a lazy employ like you? One call to your former boss and you are done! No one would want to hire you now! And don’t act like it isn’t your fault. For God’s sake stop blaming everyone around you for your mistakes and take some responsibility! – She became quiet for a moment, before asking with an ice cold low voice- What happened with the car?- She already knew the answer, but Ben knew better than to lie to her or say nothing. It was no good. He braced himself and swallowed before speaking:
– A man from the bank came, said I’m behind payments for the car, and took it- he became silent also- I haven’t paid the loan for a few months now. I just didn’t want to. Letters came, I threw them away, calls came I didn’t answer.
– Why? Why would you do such a thing and not tell me? – What else can they take? The apartment? – She had crossed her arms on her chest, but Ben didn’t dare looking at her, afraid her eyes might actually have turned red now, but from her voice he could tell that she wasn’t completely furious and anger had mixed with worry.
– Maybe… I don’t know. Probably not.
– Probably not?! We are not playing guess here Ben. If the company wants it back, they will take it back. You no longer work for them. Look at the mess…
– I’m sorry ok! I’ll try to fix it, but I need you here by my side. I can’t do it alone… I’m a mess ok? I admit I screwed up, but I will fix it, I promise. You believe me don’t you? – Ben had stood up, fast on his feet shaking like a leaf, holding hands as if begging. He tried to give an expression, that meant “everything will be all right, I have it all figured out” , but instead he was looking worried, face and hands sweaty, with messed shirt to which he had rolled up the sleeves, no tie , and eyes that suggested he was about to go mental if Caitlyn continued to say nothing. She just walked straight into their room, slammed to door behind and stayed there for about ten minutes, which Ben spend totally baffled, staying by himself in the middle of the living room.
She walked out, suitcase in hand. He stared knowing what she was doing, deep down inside that confused and paralyzed mind of his, but was unable to realize it at the moment when it happened:
– I’m going to my mothers, for a while. Until you sort things out here. I’m sorry Ben but I can’t be your boxing bag every time some shit happens. I made too much compromises. You didn’t. I can’t live like this. You always grumpy and tired and bored and can’t be bothered after work, and now this. Work this out on your own. Don’t call me for now- another long pause, before the almost unspoken “Goodbye”
Just like that she walked out. Door closed. All that was left was the fading scent of her perfume around the room, and her words echoing in his skull, banging hard with the truth.
Lost his job, bank was taking on his property, his wife, who he loved walked out on him and left him to drown in his own sorrow and stress. And for once Ben Taylor did give a care.
He stared shaking, on the edge of a desperate cry for help, and sat down on the carpet, hands dipped into his hair. He remained silent, with a scream paused in his throat, choking him. He had never felt so alone. He couldn’t ignore this paranoia arising in him like a storm. The feeling of the sound of his own heartbeat pulsating in his ears, and in his brain, all over his body angered him, and he wanted it to stop, this banging sound, so loud and screaming. Breathing in and out, fast, after some minutes of calming himself, he realized something.
It was like eruption. Before his eyes, in his mouth, past his ears, and it assembled his thoughts into one point, one area. Yes some sprinkler system in his head had obviously watered his brain cells until his system had crashed. But now, it kick-started again, bam! A reboot taking all that had happened back to the beginning, making him see it clear. He smiled with the curve of his upper lip. An eruption caused by enlightenment, providing another more vivid one. It was all clear now. He knew exactly what to do next.
The day was mostly sunny, vast sky, with that blue for which you don’t have a specific name so you call it “sky blue” making it simple like that. There were some white clouds, slowly moving undetectable for the human eye, but once you moved your sight from them only for a second, they were changed, forms deformed, that one cloud which looked like a rabbit, had now tear itself apart, big pieces of cotton rolling on the sky, chasing one another until they collide again and start to shape themselves as something else that you can’t quite say what but love to figure out, name it, point it, describe it. And the sun was like the great master sitting in his throne made from clouds like animals, or planes, or faces, and was shinning bright, tempting Ben to look at it, just to blind him. The rays on his face were warm, although when the wind blew his skin crawled, but he remained still, up high on the roof of the building he lived in. The whole world was before him, beyond him, waiting for him to close his eyes and make a final flight, in search for freedom. He understood this was the culmination for him, the last strings of the violin.
His heartbeat had calmed now, its sound no longer pounding like hammers in his head. Did all people feel like this moments before they’d put an end to their life? Ben doubted. For what he knew, they were scared, confused, and paranoid just like him minutes ago and continued to be even in the last few seconds separating them from death. But it was different for him, a bit unreal yet a fact and he wasn’t afraid to accept it. Embrace it as his peaceful fall. Ben shook his head.
He knew he sounded like an idiot in his mind, and if there was some public to watch his final hour and be able to listen to what he thinks, that he thought would be a good performance to observe. He sighted. He also knew he was a damn right idiot, for at least one of many reasons. This was it, his way out of all the trouble, a one way ticket to salvation from all and everyone. And he did not find it too dramatic or too conclusive or too rush. He found it a truth, a fixed point in his own time stream, created bright and early this morning. Since he had lost everything, in a matter of hours he suddenly found no reason what so ever to live such a lonely, painful and miserable life, and if Ben had to be honest to himself, which he tried to do most of the time, he just couldn’t cope with all of the above. He had realized he wouldn’t be able to stand this new upside down world of his even for five minutes. So he got to this very decision, requiring one step, one single movement from his body and will, and he would fly through the cold air and hear the screaming in his ears until the solid ground 700 ft down, 50 floors.
Ben had stayed up there for the past 15 min now, thinking and re-thinking everything in his head, not daring to move a muscle. It was easy to picture it in his head, like a game of dare, to imagine what freedom he would receive and how totally ignorant he will be for the world after he’s death, but to perform it, well he found that hard. Truth to be told, there was one thing, which had kept him up here on the roof of the building making him think over this suicidal mission. Despite all he had thought so far, all those actually dramatic conclusions for death being his only exit, couldn’t trick his inner feeling for self preservation first and second the main fact of his reconsideration- his own skin was too precious to him.
He liked himself, as a human and all that. He liked living, eating, sleeping, drinking, watching sports. He enjoyed being alive despite the ups and downs he’d encountered thus far. This little fact about him was ringing in the back of his head all along, but he chose to ignore it, to shut it off, fully concentrated on dying. Yes death was going to end all his problems in an instant, but then again Ben wanted to continue living. So he was tempted both by death and life. But waste himself over a job, a car and a woman? He was hurt yes, his pride crushed a few times today, but was that enough to die for? To give up? Give up? Ben was shocked by that statement flashing through his mind so fast he almost missed it. He had never done that, he was not made to lose. The lone man on the roof felt ashamed, of his weakness. All the paranoia he felt to this moment, and didn’t admit to feel, was gone, evaporated from his body into thin air. Such a pointless doing was this. He was not going to die after all the hard work he’d put into becoming what he was today. One more truth he discovered, staying on the edge with wind threatening to push him off if he didn’t stay still. Ben had thought, to this moment that his life was all about the job he had, the home he lived in and the woman he loved, who maybe, just maybe didn’t love him back as much as he wanted to, but stayed with him. Simple as that it was for him, having all he ever needed and wanted. Like a normal human being. But that wasn’t the case. Because he knew there was something not quite right with his existence for the past few months, and now it finally got out, revealed itself. He had stopped working because of it, because he was tired and bored and wanted a change. That was it- the magic key to the cage which would set him free for real. He needed a change in lifestyle in thinking even in marriage perhaps. All those years he knew there was a different plan for him, a different path, but not until today, not until he panicked and wanted to die, he found out what the path was and where it was. Here the answer was lying right before his eyes, staring at him. The world was his, just one touch away, waiting to be tested, explored, conquered, and lived to its maximum. He hadn’t reached it as he thought before, when sitting down on the couch drinking scotch, but was just at the beginning of it.
– This…this is the truth- He whispered to himself tasting the word “truth” in his mouth and he liked it- I am a new man. Reborn from his own ashes. The old Ben jumped from this roof and smashed like a melon down on the street- “And I remained here with a new vision” he finished in his thoughts.
Ben Taylor smiled and laughed with ease, with joy with relieve.
“So at the end I needed to stand this high to receive the answer. Answer from God I suppose? Thank you God, if you were the one kind enough to send me this enlightenment” Ben felt more sincere talking like this to himself, by whispers which only he could hear. He needed to make on step back from the edge, and get to work out his little unimportant now problem, call Cat and tell her she’s in for a surprise, pick her up with a taxi, and two bags of cloths and personal things, and the two of them would take off to some random place, randomly picked…if not he knew how to travel alone and how to swallow sorrow from a breakup. “Now- he said in his head- just one small step bac……..
Part 2: The man who was tempted by both life and death, ends up in a rather strange place – Read that tomorrow on this blog only!