The news struck like a bomb. 18 months, of which only 12 were suspended. And all he'd been looking for was a little bit of solace. That he'd find none at the bottom of a bottle was obvious. The bottle was only there to smooth things along a bit, to soften the girl up a little before his natural charm did the rest. He actually remembered leaving the pub arm in arm with Maria. But the rest of the events were just a muddled blur in his mind. The taunts, the blurred fists swinging around in front of his face. The crack as his fist made contact. The screams, the blood pouring red all over, turning to blue, mingling with the sirening flash of the policy bulanamces... "have you anything to declare, Sir?" "No, only a broken nose and an enemy in a coma and in life of his danger."

It took three days before he realised what he had actually done. It seems Maria's brother would be in hospital for at least three weeks, and all he'd done was to ask her for a fiver to get back home by bus.

Those three days had been terrifying, but were nothing compared to the 24 hours to follow. For the first time in his life he started to face up to the truth; the truth that his life was empty. Yet, he had so much going for him; more than most. Now, he realised none of that counted. All he had built, had been nothing a house of cards that came tumbling down with a crash. And with this discovery came the tears. He cried out every last tear that he had in his body. And then he cried dry ones, until they finally came to a stop. And then, staring disaster in the face he began to dig for whatever really mattered. That digging was still going on. Indeed, he now knew it would the dig of a lifetime, offering no respite. And yet, it was in itself respite. He was learning to recognise the true value of things. And maybe, this time in prison would turn out to be far more precious than the pearls he had shared around to obtain so many favours in the past. This fact was true solace as he was said goodbye to his one remaining friend and was led away to the cells.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.


sad story. Why did Marias brother start a fight with him? I think I may have missed something Paul, but I am so interested.. please fill me in. :)

25 July 2008 at 22:53  

Vivid and sad. Self-understanding can be solace if there is an answer at the end of the tunnel.

26 July 2008 at 00:34  

a sad man badly in need of comfort - is he mourning over the deed he did or its eventual outcome - his comfort will depend very much on his perspective!!!

26 July 2008 at 23:12  

An optimistic ending to a sad tale. I would hope it came true.

27 July 2008 at 19:15  

Oh, yes. Lots of truisms written here - a solace of sorts...:)

27 July 2008 at 21:35  

The journey through dectruction to self discovery goes well beyond this one individual's story, and you certainly gave it that life for me. Thank you.

30 July 2008 at 14:44  

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. It can take pain to wake us up. Hopefully we choose gentler ways after that.

1 August 2008 at 01:53  

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