Thriller/Fiction

He tried too hard to forget his past but always failed miserably. His whole life had become a game of lies and regrets. Waking up to his living reality never gave him any pleasure; never any solace. Sleep despised him the same way he hated everyone around him. He never cared for such quotidian and banal goings-on.

He talked a lot and listened too little. He read too much but never shared anything. He had read all the great poets and novelists; chroniclers and biographers. He adored the humanistic poetry of Walt Whitman and was almost envious of his ability to merge the best of transcendentalism and realism.Though he had read other masters of prose and poetry as well, Whitman's Leaves of Grass always held a special place for him. The reason was almost impossible to discern but we can always try. When the book came out in 1855, American society was not accustomed to such boldness and honesty and ostracised it brandishing the book as too overtly sexual and obscene.

The society, our beloved and perfect society, was ridiculously narrow minded for seeing the beauty and its sheer genius. It was different from its times, intellectually superior, and of course honest, too honest for people to appreciate it; digest it and accept it. A loathsome journey of sorts, defying the norms and not following the rules set by fearful people. A rebellious act of justification, a rebel without an end; without any means.

He is Dr. Saadiq Haider. A Genius. A Narcissist. A Loner. He derives pleasure off of sleepless nights; long affairs with almost every drug known to humankind; abuses inflicted upon his body and mind. His face is a reminiscent of an old mistake, far from being the handsome man that Saadiq once was. Age has treated him brutally making his face look old and broken; vile and weak. But there are glimpses of his innocent youth if one cared - dared - to look at his face at the expense of being yelled at by him.

Nothing excites his long-dead emotions. He eats alone in the cafeteria ignoring the requests of both the teachers and students. He lives alone inside his comfortable Stanford University apartment. He never has any visitors at home for Dr. Haider has made it clear to everyone on numerous occasions: “My home is my home, your home is your home. I don't visit yours. You don't visit mine.” Saadiq follows this rule without any exception.

Dr. Saadiq Haider is a professor at Stanford University in the Genetic Engineering department teaching graduate students and advising Phd candidates. His work in the field of bioengineering and genetics has made him famous all around the country and outside the USA among intellectuals and researchers. His recent paper on Lateral Gene Transfer (LGT), combined with his brilliant research in the past, published in the most prestigious science journal Science Report skyrocketed his reputation and made him the youngest Nobel Laureate in medicine at an age of 41.

‘Looks are deceptive’ is what describes Saadiq best. At 41, he looks like a 50 year old man with his ill maintained long grey hair. He is always well dressed in his favourite dark suits never breaking away from grey and navy. Though his abuses have taken a toll on his appearances, he still looks strong with a well built physique and a height of 6 feet. At the university campus, he is feared, respected, despised, adored; Ph.D students follow him like a herd of sheep, always asking his advice and suggestions. A great mind with an unbearable personality.

Everyone knows his reluctance for socialization and conversations; but invitations never stop coming. A glimpse of impetuous demeanour always surrounds Dr. Saadiq Haider. He has a fast paced walk almost imitating the carelessness of young children: not a care in the world. He has chosen this path of self destruction and annihilation. The annihilation of soul. Why?

The Memory of an old wound lingers
Defying the solemn vision of sages
Round and round it endlessly wanders
In every corner and all available spaces

The man sitting across her was a master of disguise. His hands held high almost imitating the gestures of a sermon-delivering minister. Her attention wandered trying to identify her new-found benefactor but failingly hopelessly. Hers was an appeal of desperation; of someone who has been defeated by time for no other reason but for her mere existence. He approached her with a raised voice offering his silent protection and home.

Why would she reject an offer like this? Why would anyone? Her beauty had blinded the great deceiver. She was all he could think about. She represented everything he ever wanted but never had. Bickering about her sense of denial, the deceiver asked for her permission violating his vows. He wanted to touch her and hold her in his arms the way he always imagined them to be. It appeared like a night of great happiness; a night to remember. Imitating the great illusory that it was, she started fading away without giving him any chance to hold on to his dream.

She disappeared among the crowd of blurred faces, shattering all his hopes of finding love; of finding solace. That night the mighty deceiver lost his sanity and never spoke again.

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