Just A Man
I remember oh so clearly when I first met the man. He was older then me very much older then me. He wasn't the kind of man you saw in the gym nor the type you would see at social gatherings. He was fairly pudgy and fairly bald. With large glasses the kind you would use to stereotype someone as a nerd.
He seemed to be in a rush placing papers into his suitcases. He was trying to do it before the subway got there. He thought he had time as a paper flew close to the tracks. The poor out of shape man went after it. Tragic fool. He was hit and the world seemed to speed up from there.
Woman screamed, many people began to dial in the number for an emergency. But didn't they know it was already to late. Didn't they know in the chaos the man was taking his last shallow breathes. Trying to fight the horrible disease of death. Death is like a stain on a carpet. Horrible to try and clean out. But always slightly there staring back at you.
But then again it wasn't the idea of a man that interested me. It was the illusion of a man who was just having a bad day getting to work interested me more. I could swear if anyone had the time in this chaos I would have a thousand eyes on me at this moment. I was the only one who hadn't panicked. I was the only one who didn't call nor feel any guilt for this.
Guilty heartless man, I could punish myself with those words later. Or maybe even abuse my mind with the word emotionless. Or even worse yet I could say I was the man's murder for being such a satanical Sociopath. But eerie thoughts flood through your head.
I didn't know the man. Why should I care? Now the man's chaotic public death would make me late for work. How was I going to survive now because of him? Because of him he gave up my chances of survival. I calmly walked through the storm of mad men and woman. I walked to the train driver.
"How long will this take?" I asked.
The man stared at me in near shock. He probably hadn't heard a question like that before. He continued to stare at me with ponder in his eyes.
"I'm not sure sir," he said.
"I have to get to work," I said.
"Well we're very sorry," he said.
Of course he wasn't sorry. He had to get to work too. Which was driving this little subway all over the tunnels of New York. So instead of waiting and being stopped by the police and ambulance to tell a story I didn't want to tell.
I quickly left the station.
I could get a taxi or a bus. Time was money and money was time around here. I saw the people at the curb waiting in line to hail a taxi. I stood in the curb with them. Surprisingly without waving my hand nor calling out one of the yellow cars stopped right in front of me.
"Where are you going?" asked the driver.
"East Brookes," I said.
"Ah the new district," he said, "That's going to be pretty expensive."
"I'll tell you if price matters to me," I said.
"Well I give you a deal, you keep me entertained and I'll lower the price each time you do," he said.
"My job isn't to entertain you nor is your job to entertain me...get me where I need to go is all you need to do,"
The man laughed at my words.
"See you're already doing it,"
I sat in the cab. The one thing that had never changed was the traffic as terrible as always. The driver kept giving me quick glances. No smirk on his face no interest. So, what was his problem? We stayed quiet the whole ride. It felt nearly stalkerish as the stranger continued to watch me. When we finally stopped at a chrome building he stared at me again.
"How much?" I asked.
"You can have a ride for free," the man said.
"Why?" I asked.
My eye caught a glimpse of a familiar face. A friend of mine. Named Oscar. Tall guy with scruff in a suit. He ran to the cab and opened the door. He nodded to the taxi man and dragged me out of the cab. I stared at Oscar's firmness.
"What's the matter with you?" Oscar asked me.
"What do you mean?" I said.
"Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine Oscar...."
"Did they say you can leave your house?"
The words I'm fine wanted to come from my lips. But they somehow couldn't slip through. Nor could my brain function my lips to move. Oscars blue tie became double. The world shaky and I collapsed into Oscar's firm body. I think the last thing I saw was panic screaming that pierced from his lips.
I took my own last shallow breathes before the world had gone black.
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