What to you is an intelligent plot?
A story unknown, stranger than all, an unimaginable twist and turn that makes you feel a little lost?
Will all this be enough or do you need more?
Will the edge of your seat hold you or will you know where this is going to go?
So let me begin, and see for how long, I can hold my own!
As we trekked these mountains, I thought why does every mountain resemble those which I have already crossed. But even before my thoughts could be answered, I turned to see my friend who seemed wanting for water. As he caught the bottle that I flung, I looked at this 30 year old man whose life in the past 3 months had just taken a u-turn.
If to lose your entire family in an accident wasn’t enough, to be the only survivor of that accident was indeed tough. I was in my late 30s and his best friend, but even I couldn’t fully understand. Painful was his pain. 6 bodies to burn and as he traveled with his girlfriend to their wake, he lost her when their train derailed. No wonder he had no joy, he had no goals, this why my wife suggested we boys should do a trek on our own.
But now it didn’t seem like a great little plan as he kept to himself, and every second expression of his was dead-pan. These mountain and these hills was where once he had gotten me. I thought when we reached the peak, a redemption to his misery he would seek. Not just for the fact that he acted strange, what unnerved me most was his fixated gaze. He stared at me with those dead dull eyes, it made me feel as if a ghost of his was walking behind.
The last stretch to the mountain top was the hardest part, we sweat and panted climbing that treacherous rock. And when we almost made it to the peak, I turned around to let him take the lead. He stared at vision ahead of him, not a single word nor couldn’t I even hear him breathe. An uncanny silence hung in the air, the afternoon sun didn’t do enough to ease the despair. Mountains ahead and valley in sight, but he looked up at heaven as he let out a sigh.
I wanted to comfort him and tell him that all wasn’t lost, but I feared his reaction, maybe I feared his wrath. How do you console someone who has a lost a lot, how do you tell him everything will be okay, when you know everything was not. I had imagined what he would speak , maybe “how beautiful” or maybe “you are a true friend indeed”. Maybe because I remembered him as my friend but when he started to speak, I realised this wasn’t my friend at all.
“Ages ago someone once said; if you escape death twice, the third time would be your end. This proverb made no sense to me before, but today i realise that it isn’t just folklore. Today death calls out to me in everything I see, these forests, these jungles, this mountain, this peak…”
Somewhere inside me I realised my fault, don’t get a depressed man to a mountain for he will be dreaming of his fall. So I slowly moved inching closer to my friend, hoping against hope that his monologue doesn’t prematurely end.
“I know I should have died with my family or in that train, but I felt I was left alive so that my lineage doesn’t end. But then everything around started talking sometimes in screams and sometime in silence. Somewhere within, I knew I would end but then the story took a turn and brought me to you, my friend.”
Startled by his reference I froze on the spot but I knew I was right behind him, so jump off the peak he could not.
“You my friend told me a story once, of a man cheats death many times till nature plans to finish his existence. And thats is when you had said; if you escape death twice the third time would be your end. Somehow I know why you brought me here, but I don’t understand your story’s end.”
I lean close to him like the wind sailing by, and keep my hand on his shoulder, while I whisper with a sigh. “While your pain is real and so is your loss, your story has grief but it isn’t strange at all. No matter how much you gain, no matter how you rise from the fall. If your story isn’t stranger than fiction it isn’t worthy at all.”
He shrugs my hand off and looking up he bawls, “If everything about me is a story to tell, why not tell without a fault. Is this enough as a plot, why twist and turn it, why make it look unreal at all”
I put my hand back on his shoulder and say, “While it does seem unreal, imagine what the end will speak. Death killed his family, death stalked him for weeks. Death finally brought him here as gusty winds pushed him off the peak”.
And as I pushed him off the mountain top, lost was I in my own thoughts . You had to die for me my friend, you had to die for all that was lost. You had to die for my story to end, you had to die for an intelligent plot.
– sage-ing out.