It is a quiet night. The birds have slept long ago. Even humans are sound asleep at this moment. Well, maybe most of the humans. Some are still up, trying to make ends meet, getting that last cent for the rent this month. Some are just wasting their precious time, playing online games or boasting about old tales to friends. Some are up just because they can’t sleep. As is the case with him. He couldn’t sleep tonight. Usually he’s sound asleep in his bed at this late hour, but not tonight. Tonight his body won’t let him sleep. Or rather his mind and heart wouldn’t. For he had just experienced a feeling so strong, so vivid, that it lingers even after hours passed, even when the full moon had rose to its peak and is slightly descending on the other side.
That feeling is regret.
That other feeling is rage.
And the one who had felt it was him.
It’s not like he hadn’t felt rage and regret before, nor was he oblivious to the pain that these two emotions can bring upon one’s self. He is fully aware of the threat these two emotions have upon one’s normal everyday life. Yet he can’t run away from the consequences this time. This time, he was unprepared. He knew that the situation was dire, but didn’t expect it to be as bad as what happened earlier. After a few discourses with his inner self, he came to the conclusion that he was at fault. Maybe partly but still a factor driving the fault that is theirs, not his alone.
In the eyes of many, what had triggered the feelings is something rather trivial. Heck, people may even say that he’s the one that overthinks, that everything is okay and he is the only person that felt that it was wrong. But rhetoric and biases aside, what they had done is truly wrong in the full sense of the word. A wrong is a wrong. That’s a given. This is not something out of a court drama, so the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ doesn’t ring true here. This is a simple case of logic and manners, of respect to one’s elder and one’s teacher, of simple courtesy that had in recent years fade away from this society. True, he wasn’t the one who did those horrible things. He didn’t partake in the charade that is a humongous act of disrespect.
He was neutral.
But at that moment he didn’t realize that there is no such thing as being neutral here in the world. No, he did knew that, but perhaps the knowledge of it slipped passed his clouded mind. There was never a line where one could stand upon and claim that one is neutral. The world is all about sides, and not taking sides with anyone is as good as siding with a group of un-siders and is a sin as grave as conspiring with the wrong-doers. He always knew that. But this evening the thought had slipped past him.
And now, a few hours after the incident, he hugs his knees and cradles back and forth, thinking that all this regret, all this rage, all this hatred and self-loathe could have been avoided. Well, speaking retrospectively, it is possible. Yet in the heat of the moment, he didn’t choose the option to avoid it, so his retrospective is for naught. All this could have been avoided had he done one simple thing. A thing that he has done relentlessly on uncountable occasions. A thing so simple, yet it also slipped his mind during the act.
He should’ve speak his mind.
He should have spoken.
Now it’s too late.
11th December 2014