Dead Man Walking (Part II)

Embers of Regret

By Pankaj Debbarma

April 3, 2024

Khorang stumbled through his morning routine with the same lethargy that had become his trademark. Each day blurred into the next, a monotonous cycle of waking up late, dragging himself through the motions, and numbing his mind with substances to escape the weight of his existence.

But one morning, as he mechanically brushed his teeth, his gaze drifted to the mirror. There, staring back at him, was a haunting reflection of a thin, pale young man – a shadow of the person he once was. It took him a moment to recognize the face as his own, to reconcile the hollow eyes and gaunt cheeks with the image he once held of himself.

As the realization washed over him, a surge of panic and regret flooded Khorang’s senses. When had this happened? When had he become this shell of a person, lost in a haze of addiction and self-destruction? He racked his brain, trying to piece together the fragments of memory, but the timeline was shrouded in fog, obscured by the haze of substance abuse.

The memories came flooding back in disjointed flashes – the first hit, the rush of euphoria, the descent into darkness. He remembered the allure of escape, the promise of oblivion, and the gradual erosion of his sense of self. Each moment of clarity was swiftly swept away by the tide of addiction, leaving behind only regret and despair.

As Khorang grappled with the weight of his past, he realized the extent of the damage he had inflicted upon himself and those around him. He had squandered opportunities, betrayed trust, and alienated loved ones in pursuit of fleeting highs and temporary relief. The faces of friends and family flashed before his eyes, their expressions a mixture of disappointment and concern, their voices a distant echo of lost connections.

As Khorang stood before the mirror, engulfed in self-loathing and despair, he longed to escape the harsh reality of his existence. But even as he closed his eyes, seeking refuge from the torment of his thoughts, reality intruded in the form of a gentle knock on his door. It was his middle-aged widow mother, her eyes filled with a mixture of concern and disappointment, calling him to breakfast before they embarked on their journey to the rehabilitation centre.

As they journeyed to the rehabilitation centre, Khorang’s mind was consumed by a sense of hopelessness. What was the point of trying to recover what was already lost? Could he ever truly atone for the wreckage he had wrought upon his own life and the lives of those he loved?

As they made their way to the centre, Khorang felt a sense of hopelessness settle over him like a suffocating shroud. What was the point of trying to recover what was lost? The damage had been done, the bridges burned beyond repair. He was beyond redemption, a lost cause condemned to wander the wasteland of his own making.

With each step forward, Khorang carried the weight of his regrets like a burden, a constant reminder of the person he once was and the person he could never fully reclaim. As they arrived at the rehabilitation centre, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was like a dead man walking, trapped in the wreckage of his past, with little hope for a brighter future.

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