The hurled cellphoneA strange voice saves an agonised writer from his mother’s wrath.
I woke up feeling sick to my stomach, with sweat dripping down my chin and my shirt sticking to my back. It was yet another nightmare. I scanned my room to see if everything was in place. Once that was done, I sat with my back against the cold wall, my chin cradled in my hands, and my elbows resting on my knees. I began to wonder if my life was even worth living.
When I was 17, I dropped out of high school to be a writer, my dream career. But things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Stories I had submitted to regional, national, and international publications had all been rejected or gone unanswered for long. Even more frustrating was the fact that my typewriter had broken down and the owner of the furniture store where I worked was leaving for the United States. So I was now not only jobless but also didn’t have a typewriter to write stories. All of these things had left me depressed. All I could see was defeat.
As the wind howled outside, it rattled the bare branches against my room’s windows, causing the metal window frames to tremble. I let out a long, shaky breath, which rocked the bed and sent drops of sweat flying everywhere. Soon, loud thunders started shaking our house. The wooden boards in my room shook every time the thunder went off.
The curtains started to sway as soon as I opened the window. I looked at the sky and watched the sun setting behind distant hills. I used my hands to explore the wall before turning the lights on.
Discouraged and bewildered by everything I was feeling, I forced myself out of bed and looked around. I headed to the washroom and spent a few seconds looking at the mist-covered mirror. I wiped the mist with my hands and then started observing the reflection of my face. I noticed that my eyes had sunk, but what caught my attention was the green vein that curled on my temples. Then I started observing my nose, which looked abnormally long and crooked in relation to the rest of my face. My skin was stretched from my cheekbones to my chin, giving the appearance of sunken cheeks, and my beard had grown thick.
I turned on the tap and washed my face. Not feeling any better even after washing my face, I headed to the rooftop. The cold wind turned my face cold, and soon, I started shivering. I could see a few stars shining in the twilight sky. I could almost see the entire city sprawled before me and this left me more depressed.
I took out my phone from my pocket, stared at it for while and then hurled it outside knowing that no one would now be able to get in touch with me. I wanted the wind to carry me away. I wanted to vanish from the face of the earth. I could hear my phone hitting my neighbour’s tin roof and the sound echoed throughout the neighbourhood.
For the last time, I stared at the velvety sky. I knew that I had to do what I had to do soon because soon dad would be here. I headed to the edge of the roof. My heartbeat started racing, and I began to sweat profusely. I looked down at the distant ground where I would most likely fall after I jump. The thought of my lifeless body lying on the ground sent a chill down my spine.
As I got ready to take the plunge, a strong gust of wind threw me off balance and sent me flying down a flight of stairs. I banged my head against the floor and lost consciousness. When I came back to my senses, it was raining. At that moment, all that I could think of were the clothes my mother had left to dry in the garden. She would be mad if she came to know that I had left them in the rain.
I rushed downstairs. As I walked across the living room and headed to the main door, I heard someone shout, “So you just remembered to collect the clothes?”
I stopped and said, “Yes, I fell asleep.”
“Don’t worry. I have picked them already,” he said. “Anyway, here’s Rs1,000. Buy a new typewriter for yourself. And before I forget, your employer will be returning to Nepal soon and once he is back, you will have to resume work as well.”
My heart was bursting with happiness. I sat down comfortably on the thin stool.
“Call your mother and tell her to come home only after the rain stops,” he told me.
“I will call her right away,” I said.
I looked for my phone in my pocket but it was empty. I then realised how stupid it was of me to throw it away.