Conversations at Wintercearig
Conversations at Wintercearig11 mins 272 11 mins 272
The street seemed dull. Few cars passed by. At the right corner, stood a billboard of some of the richest man in the world. Some clothing stores and shops were about to be opened. The clock tower just struck past ten.
The cafeteria was not that pleasant sight either. There were only a handful of waiting tables and few people sitting on it looked bored. Most of the waiters were giggling along with a big red-headed guy, who presumably might reckon to be the manager of the cafeteria.
Wilson sat still contemplating. The past weeks, his thoughts were always jammed with things.
Will a car crash or a jump from top of the bridge be much better? he mumbled looking pale than ever before.
He had gone into deeper thought and was drifted far from the present. He was trying to figure out a get away ticket from his life.
Is this seat booked? interrupted an ardent smiling stranger.
No! Not at all, exclaimed Wilson, coming bit of a shock.
You can seat. It’s vacant.
So coffee, huh? asked the stranger.
Yep, just setting the mood, replied Wilson putting down the cup.
He just had four cups of blueberries coffee within a time speed of thirty minutes which could be clearly judged by the cups lying on the table.
Do you mind going another round? offered the stranger.
Mmm, okay, but this time less caffeine, accepted Wilson with a bit reluctance.
Then the stranger ordered two cups of coffee as he began to make himself comfortable.
Wilson sat without an impulse to talk, uninterested in conversing. The waiter brought the coffees at their table, still Wilson kept mute except for a ‘thank you' to the stranger. His eyes laid busy on the sidewalks of the street and was deeply fogged with thoughts. He sat there like a lone companion.
I'm Felix by the way, greeted the stranger politely, handing out for a handshake.
Huh, paused Wilson.
He then quickly woke up from his thoughts and felt embarrassed but let out his hand to shake. I’m Wilson, nice to meet you.
Then, Wilson and Felix, both drank a sip meanwhile stared into each other’s eyes, both trying to read out that there might be a slight possibility of a short relaxing conversations between them.
Any problem there? asked Felix doubting to get an answer. If there is, you can share maybe. I don't bite, continued he.
No, I’m good. But everyone in this world does have at least some kind of problem, don’t they? answered Wilson, acting a bit curious to get an answer.
I guess everyone does.
I think that is why people call it life, you know, humoured Felix, later excusing himself for a laugh.
What do you do anyway? questioned Wilson changing the subject matter.
Not of anything I can think of right now, joked Felix, I mean, I was in the Free Hand Society for about five to six years but now, I’m retired.
Free Hand Society is a non-profit organization where anyone can volunteer to help the poor and needy people in and around the society. It had been formed in the early 2000s and was growing in popularity due to its large volunteers and their works.
What about you? What do you do, Wilson?
I work as a manager in a company, replied Wilson with hesitation.
Company, like what?
I work in CRESCO.
In a second and without a thought, Felix interrupted in a shock, No way, you do!
Not Felix alone but everybody has got to be shock and surprise by the name ‘CRESCO'. It has been the largest business company in the whole of Georgia ever since its establishment. There was even a rumour that the pay-check of the employees working there amounted to sixty thousand dollars per month and that was also for the lowest designated employee. In fact, every ambitious young teenager’s dream was to work in the company one day. It was such a big company and hold a great reputation all over the town.
CRESCO and you’re here in Wintercearig, what a day to ponder.
What's there to ponder? asked Wilson. We, the workers of CRESCO are ordinary people like you all. And to say the least, don't be blinded by the rumours. Having a great reputation doesn't always makes our heads held high.
Anyway, it’s my first time here actually.
You mean, in this cafeteria.
Yes, indeed it is. Thought of fooling around this morning and see, stuck myself in this lonesome but timely cafeteria.
But the coffee’s great here. Maybe, I should write it up on my everyday to-do-lists and should come here more often if life don't stumble on hard blocks.
Ha-ha! You yourself make quite a humorous thoughts, said Felix. Thought I was the only one. Why did you say that, anyway?
Wilson sighed and took a moment to exhale his breath. Nothing, just trying to be relevant accordingly to the weather.
Look up, it might rain soon, don't you think?
Ohh yes, it might.
Ugh. I hate running, replied Felix.
But knew it you’d like the coffee here. It’s quite different from other cafeteria, continued Felix smiling.
For about an hour, there were small talks poured all over the table. Questions about the Free Hand Society were raised by Wilson who was quite new about this organization. He learned about the evangelical missions and philanthropy works people do there. Felix was no less the same, he came to know the full form of the abbreviation ‘CRESCO' and what it stands for. Thought ‘CRESCO' was the full name, marked Felix. It had been bothering him since he came to know about the company eight years ago.
Felix then joked about the one incident that took place while he was serving and Wilson upon hearing it, cracked up hideously. There was a roar of laughter between the two, triggering a gigantic expressions from all the waiters, who rolled their eyes in a confusing state.
Filled with lots of excitement, Felix shared about his family too, which he loves to share and does often to all the young interloper he meets. It gave him the peace he needed in life. But meanwhile, Wilson, who was still trying to find a remedy to his wild laughter, accidently dropped the anti-depressants pills which was inside his shirt's pocket. The pills had been there the whole time. In a lightning moment, there came this awkward silence. Both of them sat staring at the pills spread all over the floor.
Oh! It’s time, I've got to go, exclaimed Felix suddenly.
My master cages me after two, joked he.
Wilson opened his mouth in dilemma. It was fifteen minutes to be 2 o'clock and he wandered how the time passed so quickly while on the verge of recovering from the two-sided world. Felix was hurrying up to dash off, just then Wilson asked, mind telling me where you live?
Just across the street, Living Hope..., answered Felix.
Okay, see you again and Felix dash off in a swing waving goodbye.
Hey, wait a sec...but Felix swift away.
Living Hope, where? Does he work there or live there, mumbled Wilson again.
Never mind, compromised Wilson, counting the coffee cups.
No wonder both of them drank three cups each in the process of their interaction, totalling it to tenth cups lying at the table. Well, that's a new Guinness World Record, said Wilson.
Then dusk slowly began to fall. Birds began to rest upon the trees. Vehicles were less-jammed. It was such a pleasant conversation with a stranger, thought Wilson. For an hour, I was kind of stable. Then, he left the cafeteria, tipping a huge amount at the bill receipt and walked off the silent street.
The next day, Wilson decided to look out for Felix at the Living Hope, though not sure he was of the name and place and for him, it sounded quite odd. He had lot of trouble sleeping the previous night because of the incomplete response, he thought maybe Felix made fool of him by giving out a wrong address. As he was on his way analysing it, he reached a hospital off the street with the named ‘Living Hope' on it but he was still unsure of it. Anyway, Wilson decided to take a leap of faith and took a strong agreement to go inside the hospital. The hospital building was well-structured, at the middle of the front of the building was written ‘Welcome to Living Hope Hospital, Georgia' in pure golden colour. That's how Wilson came to know about the name though still unsure whether it was the right place.
Amused by the outer appearance, Wilson hoped the same inside. It will be well-organized and heartfelt sight-seeing, thought he as he stepped inside. He reached the counter and inquired of the name ‘Felix'.
Felix? replied the counter-lady.
Yes, you know Felix? asked Wilson with a surprise look.
Everybody here knows Felix. He’s the loveliest and most joyful person ever, gushed the counter-lady. All the doctors and nurses adore him, not forgetting the patients. They love him, tear up while leaving for home.
Are you his friend? asked the counter-lady, escorting Wilson towards Felix's room.
Well, I...how to say...
Then the counter-lady opened the door.
I...I don't know what to say, muttered Wilson seeing Felix lying on the bed with the chemo bags and all the required meds needed for an over-sickly patient. There were sterilized needles and liquids all spread on the table too.
Hey, miss me already, welcomed Felix smiling. Come and sit, make yourself comfortable.
So, what’s the deal here, huh? asked Wilson who stood in deep puzzled but tried best not to act out, calming it down.
It’s nothing. Just a trial of how to die soon, said Felix laughing.
But Wilson stood without a word, in complete silent.
Then after a brief second, Felix answered, well, I am a victim of leukaemia, cancer of blood-forming tissues...l, ahhh, you know what leukaemia is, no need to explain it, right?
It’s been for over four years and I've been undergoing treatment all this time.
Oh, yesterday. Don’t worry, I'm permitted to go out for a while everyday and Wintercearig is the only place I wish to go, answered Felix.
Where are your parents? Aren’t they here with you? asked Wilson looking.
They are, they’re just on leave right now, humoured Felix.
You joke around a lot, don't you? You really can, said Wilson.
Hmmm, I hope that doesn't bother you? asked Felix. I can stop if you want, will I?
No! No! It’s fine and I’m loving it, answered Wilson.
Since when? Yesterday?
Wilson, let me tell you, you are a lucky person and you know, good. I might have spent maybe only an hour or two, but it felt like I knew you my whole life. You're special, complimented Felix.
Well, that's quite surprising and flattering, but why you'd say that? asked Wilson.
I observed you had a pain you're dealing with, you know, legends say, ‘faces may lie but emotions don't'. You were clearly out from the reality.
How did you know about it? asked Wilson.
Oh, for God’s sake, you dropped the anti-depressant pills, who wouldn’t know? marked Felix.
Besides, when I met you there, the cafeteria, I knew you were not a regular customer, and also one thing to add to your knowledge, only sad and depressed people visit there, my comrade, said Felix.
I didn’t know that, astonished Wilson.
That’s the trick and coincidence. And you’re here with me this early morning, what can be said more? laughed Felix.
Wilson glanced and said, actually I wanted to say ‘Thank you' for saving my life yesterday. I've been living under a rock for quite sometime and you came around at the right time. And yes, I did feel so calm and peaceful about you and felt like I knew you from quite the start, said Wilson.
Wilson had been filled with void and chaos for the past weeks. With the death of his loving wife last month, his best friend and a brother whom he lost last year, all hopes of living a better and happy life had gone away from his weary soul. And along with it, came the work loads too. Nothing seemed easier and lighter for him, so he wished only for death which too didn’t come true when he wanted it too, so badly. He thought, his life has been cursed and is deemed to live a mournful life for all his eternity on earth.
Yesterday was just the day he was on the verge of committing suicide and was pretty firm with his decision. After an hour at the cafeteria, filling up his empty stomach, he was just about to go for it, then Felix entered and everything changed.
Tell me truthfully, did you really know I was depressed and sad beside the pills? And about the cafeteria, is it really true? asked Wilson.
Felix laughed and exclaimed, Oh, boy! You've got to learn a lot about the cafeteria.
But to tell you the truth, even I have to say ‘thank you' to you too. I've met so many depressed people throughout my life from that cafeteria but never have I learn so much from anyone. I only wanted to make everyone happy but left out my own happiness, and after conversing with you and seeing your willingness to change your decision, I felt the urge to push myself forward and live to the fullest with the time I have.
Wait, wait, interrupted Wilson, you also knew about the change of my decision?
So, well, then let me tell you about the cafeteria from here..., continued Felix ignoring Wilson’s question.
Both had a great laugh.
Then, their conversations continued again...