Anhedonia

Qualified Entry: Fiction Category

By: Srikanth Tirupattur Ramamurthy

I have lost the most important part of life, the part that makes me get up in the morning and take a shower, the part that makes may make me want to get up off the kitchen floor and return the calls that have been rushing in, the part that makes me want to continue to breathe. I have lost all motivation to carry on living.

My mind is just chaos. I cannot hold a thought, but that’s only because it is erased quickly and my mind turns black again and another thought comes in. I try to grip my bottle of whisky, but I cannot, so I let it go and I lie there on the floor.

I just want to surrender, give in. Everything seems so trivial and mundane when you have lost all motivation. You feel alienated and detached from all the things you once loved. Nothing appeals to you. Absolutely nothing. You feel alone, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones, you embrace that loneliness, and it becomes you. You would rather be left alone with nothing but your soliloquy than talk to anybody. Everything seems grey and boring, and nothing seems to be able to end my anhedonia.

Let me take you back a couple of weeks and tell you the reason for my current state. It was the 19th of September 2011, when I found out that I was an accident after my mother had nonchalantly let it slip. I felt that there was nothing worse than finding out that the only reason for me being alive was because my father didn’t wear a condom or maybe because my parents had a little too much to drink. Hearing that I was an accident from my mother was indeed shattering, but at that time, I had Jen in my life. It took all of thirty seconds for her to cheer me up. Just her presence would’ve been enough, but she gave me more, she gave me her love, and I like to think that I reciprocated equally. She had this innate gift to lift me out of the darkest holes that I had dug myself into and dust me off and heal me.

Around a week after this, we went out for drinks, and I made the horrible mistake of driving to the bar. We may have had a little too much to drink, but I thought I could drive back home. On the way back, I nearly crashed into a stop sign, almost hit a pedestrian and killed a cat, but I reached home in one piece and so did she. All in all, it was an uplifting night for sure, but more was to come.

I looked deep into her eyes, and with all of my heart, I said, “Thank you”

“For what?”, she replied, quizzically.

I just sat there and smiled at her sight and felt that for the first time in a while, life had suddenly become worth it. I would’ve walked through all the bullshit that life threw at me on a regular basis if I could just be with this woman for a second. I reckoned it was a good trade off. She was sun lit perfection. She gave me a reason to stop whining and get on with things, to keep my chin up and fight the good fight. She made me feel like I was a kid running around in the meadow again.

The next weekend, as we were walking back from the theater, a man wearing a hood approached us and asked us, surprisingly politely, to give him all our money. He then pulled out a knife and ever so calmly held it to her throat. I fumbled as quickly as I could and gave him my wallet and my cell phone, my mind was blank. As soon as he took my wallet, I tried to hold her by the hand, but the hooded man smirked and said, “You irk me”, and immediately slit her throat.

I immediately fell to my knees and felt the blood touch me. My mind was empty and dark. I felt empty and petrified. The only thing that gave my life meaning had ceased to exist, just because some bastard was fucked in the head. Hardly fair.

I called the emergency line and when the ambulance arrived, I remember feeling disoriented and numb. The ambulance reached the hospital in about 6 minutes, and the doctors declared her dead.

I reached home by about 2 in the morning and went to get a glass of whisky from the kitchen shelf. I gripped the bottle and tried to pour it into a glass, but I immediately felt it all. At one go. I was overwhelmed by grief and anger. I immediately fell to the floor, bottle still in hand and I lay there with nothing but my empty, hollow mind, and that brings us to now.

I’d like to tell you that I’ll be OK, that somehow, I may get up from the floor but all I can think about now is being with her. All I want to do is crawl into her arms and lay there. Forever.

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