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Life cycles

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Avatar for hamedbkh
Written by   76
2 years ago

He was cleaning his one bedroom flat for the first time in a long time. When one lives alone with nobody with whom to share responsibilities, even a small place like his become a time consumer and difficult to manage. The fact that he rarely had any free week-ends had only made things tougher to deal with. As he started cleaning the bookshelf, a coughing attack struck him. It's true that the man was never a fan of reading and he only kept the books as a form of decoration, but damn! Wiping the dust off them caused a small sandstorm around.

Among the books pile, something strange caught his eyes; it wasn't a book but a photo album. An album of his captured memories as a child and during his teenage years. He completely forgot about it, he thought it was lost when he moved here. Driven by a wistful longing for the good old days, he decided to give it a glance. The nostalgic flashbacks sent shivers down his spine and putting a faint smile on his face.

The first photo made tears rolling down his cheeks: there was a newborn held by his parents, with their foreheads against each other, grinning from ear to ear. It was days after the 34 years old man now was born. They looked so happy in the picture that it felt like earth itself can't hold the joy they felt. He didn't see them nor talk to them for few years. He loved them so much, but he never told them, and he never will. After all, there is no possible way to communicate with the dead. They died together as they always wished, however, it's doubtful they asked for that to be inside a smashed, burning car...

He turned the next page; the photos were representing him as a child. Growing up surrounded with kind and loving parents can only make life easier and cheerful. The photo taken by his dad of him and his mum hugging before his first school day might be a fair prove of those sweet old days. Back then, his mind was as clear as crystal. He never gave matters like affording food or paying the rent and bills any thought. The only problems bugging him were those annoying school teachers giving tons of homework, making it harder to find time to watch TV and play outside.

Flipping through the album pages, he stumbled across a photo of 3 teenagers: he was in the middle. A smiling, good looking 19 years old with thick, long wavy dark hair, wearing a blue shirt perfectly revealing his well shaped body. His girlfriend, a cute redhead, was leaning on his right shoulder, while his childhood friend stood on the left. The photo was taken 15 years ago, just a day before they all left for college.

This photo was supposed to capture a moment as a memory to cherish in the future. But instead, it made him feel like sadness sank its sharp claws into his heart. Everything that picture represented had faded away! Just gone! His muscles were buried under a thick layer of fat, without forgetting that belly beer. It became normal for him to hear stuffs like 'big guy" or "when are you due to deliver?"Everywhere he went. At work, his colleagues were stroking his belly sarcastically asking about the baby's gender. Well, what else to expect living on junk food for years?

His wide white-toothed smile got lost within the maze of life. Man! When was the last time he smiled naturally without forcing it? Not recently for sure. Of course, to top it all, his thick dark hair became thin with a decent amount of grey hairs on the sides, adding years to people's estimations of his actual age. In short, look up the dictionary for the word "change" and you will find his "then and now" pictures.

But that's not all what changed or faded away, even his relationship with his girlfriend and "best mate" took the same path. As for the girl, he knew the hard way she cheated on him on multiple occasions with different students from campus. Like shattering his heart wasn't enough pleasure for her, she decided to pour all her dirty secrets on him the moment he proposed to her, describing in details the "good times" she had.

As for his best friend, he had never heard from him again right after the sophomore year. He hung out with the "bad boys" and ended up dropping out of college, or was he expelled? Crappy memory! However, shortly after, he heard some rumours about this friend joining a gang. If they was the truth then who knows? He might be a drug dealer or an armed robber now if not both; or maybe dead with a hole in his head in the worst-case scenario.

He pressed his lips into a thin line thinking, not able to stop staring at the photos. It struck him hard how fast is this roller coaster called life goes, changing upside down and taking unpredictable turns. Yet, it struck him even harder how oblivious he was, not even aware of all the changes around him taking place, at least not until he flipped through the photos.

During all of his different life stages, he has never thought about the changes happening next, neither could he expect the truth hidden beneath each stage and each person it included. As a child, playing football outside with other children, watching his favourite kid show on TV and finding an excuse to not go to school were all what he had to think about. But he grew up, and soon after, truth revealed itself.

He grew up and realised that problems won't be solved with a piece of candy anymore, and there is much to be scared of than darkness and the monster under the bed. But above all, he learned that none would hold his hand to cross the tough roads of life like his parents used to in his way to school. They were always smiling, but he couldn't see behind that mask, where they tried their best to hide pain and grief, struggling to afford the family needs.

Everyone changes. He never doubted for a second his ex loyalty. He had imagined her as a perfect soul mate. Nevertheless she decided to throw that away and stabbed him in the back. What was a sweet dream once became one of his worst nightmares. What about his best friend? Nobody had ever thought for a second that supportive friendly man could fell head first in a deep abyss and never found the way up from it again.

He raised his head and his eyes fell on the standing mirror on the corner. "You are blaming everyone for changing, but how about yourself? Haven’t you changed as well?" His mad reflection shouted at him. «Did you forget how promising your future was? What happened to that ambitious young man from 15 years ago? You are no better than them and you deserve every slap this life gave you for neglecting what you were after all those years. A bright future should be fought for, but you are a coward who always give up mid way. You betrayed your hopes!"

He shook his head and stared again, only to find his reflection staring back. He put the album back to where it was, and went to clean the rest of his flat.

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Written by   76
2 years ago
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Comments

Amazingly written

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2 years ago

Kind of reminds me of my personal changes whenever i flip through my journals. You've gotten so much better at writing stories

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2 years ago

Thank you for the nice words. Well flipping through your journals can be a nice way to evaluate yourself and the progress you have made in life.

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2 years ago

But it's trueee. I actually thought it was a real account had i not remembered that you aren't even that old yet

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2 years ago

True haha. I'm not that old. This was something I inspired from older people and their experiences in life.

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2 years ago

That's a good read. A lovely story of an old photo album which takes you back in the past and feel that unforgettable memories and feeling of that moment. Xxx Just subscribe at your page and check some. You're articles can move your readers and you're a very good writer. Cheers!

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2 years ago

Thank you so much :D Your words are highly appreciated. Glad to know you had a good read :)

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2 years ago

Is it your own story? 😊

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2 years ago

Thankfully no XD It's a work of fiction. An idea that came to my mind and i thought it would be nice to share it here.

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2 years ago

You're starting to become a story teller here after that contest. 😊

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2 years ago

Thank you. Some change is good from time to time :)

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2 years ago

It's good to see you writing stories 😊

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2 years ago