He could feel the burden lift off his shoulders as he neared the end of his shift. The booth that he had been entrusted with was starting to feel like a prison he had unwittingly signed up for.
He began packing his belongings when he spotted a woman walking towards the booth. He ducked under the small little desk, hoping she wouldn’t see him. He knew he’s job as a ‘listener’ wouldnt end for another 5 minutes but he simply didnt want to listen any more.
Listening used to be fun, it made him happy that he was helping another soul relief its burdens but having been stuck in this booth for the last 3 years made him weary.
He shifted his weight clumsily while hiding behind the table and knocked the chair behind him over (he was a rather big fella you see).
“Are you still open? I won’t take long.”
He pulled himself up from his hiding spot and took the seat next to the veiled partition.
“Yes, for another 5 minutes.”
He sighed silently as the woman began her story.
He wasn’t paying any attention to her words really – they were all the same.
Man and woman fall in love, he falls out of love and she begs him to stay. He refuses and she breaks into a million pieces.
It was like all women were schooled to react the same way, all they needed was the right moment.
Young and old, plain or beautiful.
They were all the same.
He was getting impatient and rolled up his sleebes to check the time when she asked him
“Will he finally see me if I did that?”
He chose the easiest and most noncommittal answer he could think of,
“Its your choice. If you think it’ll work then do it.”
He sensed desperation and resignation in her voice.
They all sound the same..”
He reminded her that his time was up and she has to leave.
“I understand. ”
He heard her skirt rustle as she stood to leave. The door creaked ever so slightly as it was being pushed open. He waited till he could no longer hear her footsteps before he stepped out of his booth.
Her voice was strangely still lingering in his mind; she sounded really familiar, like he knew her from somewhere a long time ago.
He shook the thought out of his head as he stepped out of the building.
The sun was still up, and he turned his eyes downwards to avoid its glare; and thats when he saw it.
Growing darker and smaller as it neared the ground.
He looked up to see her red skirt fluttering in the air as gravity pulls it closer to its heart.
It all ended with a thud.
Her head had smashed in from the impact and there was blood everywhere.
Especially on him.
I know her..
Her face was half gone but he remembered her.
They met in the hospital where she was sent to after she was beaten half to death by her boyfriend.
She asked for help.
And he told her to look for him.
He told her he could help her.