The Man, his Diary and a Story!
The alarm tore apart the silence in the room; starting off smoothly, slowly and steadily gaining pace and sound. The shade of a hand, rose in the darkness and started crawling in the surface; searching for something and in a few seconds it got hold of the alarm clock and killed the already loud tone. Hesitantly a figure rose on its knees, it was that of a nicely built man; he looked all around in the dim light, as if searching for something and switched on the lights by the bed side. The room was not as messed up as a young man’s, a bachelor’s room. There were quite a lot of books in the table and some clothes hung on his chair, the shelf was closed down and the room was pretty empty but for the table, the mattress, the study table and chair.
He opened the laptop lid and starred to the background wallpaper for a few seconds and opened the VOIP calling software in his laptop, and dialed a number from the contacts.
Albertttt!!!..... You are so on time again, right at two! (Looking at the clock rear side) Where are you now baby?
I am way far off, Mamma… (Far away from you he whispered)…
Far?? So what time is it over there?
Time..? I just woke up now Mamma…
Why do you sound different? Have you caught cold or cough Alby?
No Mamma…I am fine…
You said far, are you in the Siberians? Should be pretty cold out there…
No Mamma…it’s not the cold! I said… I am fine…
Alby, it’s been three years now, when are you visiting me?
Soon Mamma, I gotta go now, next week…Mamma…
Oh… So soon again!! Love you Alby…
You to Mamma…take care!
He pressed the end call button and kept his eyes on the phone number and the magical letters beside it, ‘Mamma’. Several expressionless moments passed by and he got down from his bed and went to the far end of the room and opened the door by it, the bath room. He spent several moments in front of the mirror, running his hands through the scars and marks and acne’s in his face, again the silence prevailed. Closing the bathroom door behind him, he took a sip of water from the flask and sat beside the study table. He searched for something among the ocean of books, and soon had that thick covered elegant looking book in his hand and the hard cover read “Diary – 2008”.
Under the elegantly written “Diary – 2008” was a hand written phrase in a nasty way which read “ Call Registry – only for saturdays”.
He smiled and opened it and kissed his mothers photo which was right at the first page. He moved on to the bookmarked page and read it and the page before it and the one before it, the dates kept on changing, but not the writing. The same text kept on repeating as in one of those impositions you were made to write in your yester-year classes, only the handwriting changed, which kept swinging from impressive to un-readable, probably explaining the regular mood swings.
He took the pen and started scribbling.
Called Mamma today. Another week has gone by and another week is to come. Another 6 days and 23 hours and 50 minutes to go; the wait for the last week now goes down the lane, the lane of history and its almost 3 years now. I still find it d…
There was a knock on the door and someone was calling out his name, he dropped the pen by and rushed to the door dragging the chair while he was getting off it and making the irritating high frequency sound of metals.
The elderly sounding voice from outside, that of a woman, continued,
“...oh…how many times have I told not to drag the chair Alby? And how many times, not to lock down the door always?? You never listen to me…”
A rare smile crossed Albert’s face and replied, opening the door…
“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”
“You & your love!! It won’t be long before I take away that chair from your room. Alby… have Suzanne come with the medicine yet??” enquired the elderly lady.
“No Mrs. Haven…its just 3.20 now and today is Saturday; your memory is rusting Mrs. Haven”
“Oh…well,come and have your lunch now…right now!!” added the lady in a stern voice.
“Sure Mrs. Haven…I’ll be there in 10 minutes…”
She let a sigh and said “Okie!!”
Closing the door behind him, he went back to his diary. He ignored the bookmark and raced to the back cover of the diary and took the cross-folded sheet of paper, nicely written on the flip sides and appeared to have been folded over and again in the same manner. He opened and glanced through, wondering if his hand writing was the only thing that had improved over the 2 years since writing it. It read,
I want to apologize to you Mamma and this surely is not the letter you would have wanted to read, after not hearing from me for so long. I am sure you will have the patience to read through these lines and … and I love you Mamma.
I have been lying to you for all these years Mamma, of being busy across borders and oceans, with some work. I have been in an asylum in Philadelphia all these years I was infected by a disease and I was no longer wanted by my company. I was coming down to meet you on your b’day several years back and I lost consciousness while in the subway. The people took me to hospital and they found out my disease and with no personal information and contact details, they were forced to send me to the asylum where I had been for all these days.
I was told by the doctors on how serious my situation was and having faced troubles from my work place and among my old friends, I decided to stay full time at the asylum under the supervision of Dr. Stevens and Mrs. Haven & our lovely care taker and nurse, Suzanne. The time here was peaceful, with every one of us, the inmates being in more or less the same situation. I never returned to you fearing how your friends might respond to my sickness. I never even had the heart and guts to visit you. I called up only once in a week, because i wanted you to get used to, living without me, and i called you every week because i owed you every second of my life, for the breath that i took in was all a mercy of yours.
Mamma, I had AIDS and I am to be blamed for it. My actions are to be blamed and my care-less nature is to be blamed. I apologize to you for the discomfort this letter is causing you and I pray to god that you have the strength to overcome this. I’ve been regretting all my actions for the last years, knowing millions of hours of regret won’t let me rectify my moments in the past! I cry for another chance, for a wiser yesterday and a better tomorrow. I am sorry for leaving you all alone and by the time you read this, I would have closed my eyes for one last time.
Today is your birthday Mamma, a few years prior to when you will read this though. Happy Birthday Mom!!
Oct 15, 2006
He was brought back to senses by Mrs. Haven’s loud thud on the door asking him to come over for lunch. He wiped the tears trickling down and moved on for lunch. At the dining hall he tiredly dragged the chair making the loud irritating metallic sound again.
“Alby, again how many times have I told you, not to drag the chair?”
He smiled and replied,
“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”
AIDS not only kills you gradually but also kills your status in the society. People have their fear of being infected by working with or touching an infected person. Infected ones are hurt more by the way others behave to them rather than their bodies. This one’s a short story which was inspired by the Tom Hanks starrer Philadelphia in which he’s an infected men, who was thrown out of job on discovery of his disease. Various other films these days speak of the terrible diseases like AIDS and Cancer and the best thing one can do is to curtail one’s actions for a better tomorrow.