Ann is a young bright girl. She works as an informatics engineer in a widely acclaimed MNC. She likes her job, she gets to learn a lot. She walks to work every day, and on some days she helps blind people cross the road. “Bless you dear child”, they often say. She smiles and says “thank you, you have just made my day”.
That is the type of girl Ann is, always helping people, always holding the door, smiling at strangers, giving away her seat on the train, lending an ear to a troubled friend, always being polite, always being kind. It is not that she doesn’t get angry, but she knows better than to let anger, and jealously, and hatred, and gluttony, and sloth, she knows better than to let all these vices get the better of her.
“Ann is so wonderful and so helpful,” her colleagues often say.
“Ann is so sweet and dutiful,” her relatives concur.
“Ann is just the best person to be around,” her friends declare.
On her way back from work every day, Ann visits a café, has a cup of coffee and smokes two cigarettes. She doesn’t leave a tip, the owners don’t mind, she is there every day, so it’s fine. Besides, ever since she started to visit the café, their number of regular customers has increased. Ann has this charisma that attracts people. So the owners really don’t mind her not paying the tip. They would even give her free coffee sometime, if she only asks. But she would never, and they know that.
After having coffee, Ann heads back to her apartment. It is on the 6th floor. She likes to sit in the balcony in the evenings and read a book, or listen to some songs, or watch a movie. But all of these things she does in the balcony. She hardly spends any time in her apartment. She doesn’t like it much. It is just a room. And it is small. And empty. Just like her life.
She has no money, no, Ann has very little money. Once upon a time, she had the chance to turn her life around, she could have picked up a high paying job at a bigger firm, but back then she chose to listen to her heart and in all honesty, like she often regrets, it quite didn’t work out that well. Every evening she spends 15 minutes browsing through social networks and looking at the photos of big apartments, and fancy cars, and exotic holidays, her schools friends now own and take.
Today evening, she hits a like on a photo which Tony has uploaded 6 hours ago. It is a picture of a piano he recently added to his plush drawing room.
Tony’s plush living room is sparsely decorated. But whatever little furniture it does hold, all of that furniture is high-boutique-end custom made. Tony drives a fancy black car to work, the one that accelerators to a high number in just under a few seconds, you know the type, sleek body, killer looks, much like Tony himself. Tony spends a lot of time in the gym, and jogging in a park by the sea, he goes swimming and kick-boxing.
A normal work day for Tony is meeting with venture capitalists, industrialists, sometimes even politicians, zeroing in on start-ups to invest it, or companies to buy, or bad loans to sell off. Every decision that Tony takes impacts tens of thousands of lives.
“Tony can pull off any deal,” his bosses say.
“Tony is your crisis guy, he is the one with solutions”, his co-workers boast.
“Tony is so great in bed,” all the pretty women confess.
In the evenings, Tony hangs out with some of the most good-looking and well-groomed people of the city, posing casually for group photographs and keeping a close watch on the number of likes each of his posts garner. Today evening, his 17th notification says that Ann has liked a week old photograph of a limited edition dragonheart-wood piano he had recently managed to buy after a lot of hassle.
“Sir, would care for a refill?,” a waiter prods.
“What?”, Tony asks, pulled back into the present. Ann used to be his friend in school. She was a simple sweet girl. Everyone loved her. Everyone wanted to be her.
“Your glass sir, it is empty”.
Just like my life, Tony thinks.
Tony takes a refill and continues to browse through his newsfeed. He sees that Adam has checked in a theatre nearby. He drops him a message – it’s been a long time, lets meet old friend.
Ting goes Adam’s phone and he sees Tony’s message. Adam is friends with both Ann and Tony. He knows about the empty lives they lead. A long time ago they used to date, their lives weren’t so empty then. Or that’s what they felt. But Adam knows that emptiness is just a relative concept. Like most other concepts which come in pairs – happy-sad, love-indifference, rich-poor, ugly-pretty, high-low, empty – fulfilling. Just like how once in a while everyone is sad, or ugly, or high, or low, thus once in a while everyone faces that feeling of feeling empty. It’s quite alright. We are all going to die anyway.
Adam is a nihilist. His philosophy is empty. Don’t listen to him.
That story has ended. Thank you for reading. I would love to hear about what you thought of it.
Also, here is a little poem I tried to write on today’s Daily post prompt
Empty your head, get rid of doubt
what is all that insecurity about?
Think big thoughts, why the hesitation?
Follow them with solid immediate action.
Empty your mood, why the unease?
Lack of conviction is an incurable disease
Empty your words, why be the cynic?
No one likes a pessimist, asinine critic