Toque de la vida (Part I: The Persuasion)

He was sleeping with his eyes open again; the traces of
darkness layered beneath his black eyes was so visible, that we could palpably
suggest that he had not slept well for the third time that week. He laid his
head in an unmistakably uncomfortable manner, slumped on the wooden,
weather-beaten desk. Sweat was pouring richly from his left eyebrow which
soaked his still wide open eyes.

After the third crow of the rooster, he decided to lift his
head a little, as he straightened up, the supposedly white paper which he used
as a pillow, now had the oily markings of the right side of his face. He
irritably took it off his cheek, crumpled the now gray piece and threw it
violently across the room, that it missed the nearest trash bin a few inches. Though
his mind was now slightly clearer than it was minutes ago, his limbs were
evidently not on the same page as his head was, the reason he fell over and
knocked his head on the white tiled flooring. The impact was painful enough for
one to scream, yet he lay there quietly as if he was used to that degree of
soreness. Nothing moved or sounded for an hour or so, until someone knocked on
the No.XVI door.

His eyes opened
slightly, now that he regained his sense of touch, he could feel the hurting on
his cranium. As if he was drowned in a bucket of ice cold water, he shambled as
fast as he could, collecting every bits of paper, assorted colors of pens,
broken shards of glass cups and empty ink cartridges, shooting them in any
empty drawers and full trash bins within his reach. After he gasped for some
breath, he straightened himself, as smartly as his aching body could afford,
wore a smile of foolish hypocrisy and opened the door carefully.

“Sir, Hi.” said the man, twice his height and thrice thicker than his
frail shoulders.

“Oh, it’s you.” he replied, in an obviously mitigated tone, he then abandoned
his formal posture and returned to slouching his shoulders and back.

“Wh-where you
expecting me? This was supposed to be an immediate visit.”
answered the confused and suspicious-looking, foreboding
brown-skinned man.

“No, no, I meant
that I was surprised not to see her again.”

he responded quickly, seeing the look on the unknown visitor’s face.

The man outside his doorstep now looked murderous, so he
continued.

“You know, the
landlady, the owner of this place”
, he
pointed his hand ridiculously at the room behind, “I haven’t paid my dues this month, so I get nervous every time
someone knocks on this door.”

Not noticing the man was about to speak, He rashly added, “ She is one old, stout, evil lady, you
know, no respect for privacy, she shouted at my face last week, I would have
thrown her out of the window if she hadn’t stopped ridiculing me and my family.”

It could be seen on his and the man’s faces that they were
both shocked on what they had said and heard.

To end the awkward silence, he asked slowly but with an
apparent note of impatience, “By the
way, why are you here?”

The man took a deep breath and attempted to speak again, but
he again interrupted and said more cautiously and erroneously politely, “I m-mean, How may I be of your service, sir?” He had clearly mistaken the low breath of the stranger as a
warning threat.

For the third time again, the man spoke in an astonishingly
bass and clear voice, “My master had
just passed away around 3 in the morning and his wife suggests that you and
your skill could help us.”

After the man has finished with his sentence, he carelessly
examined the speaker from top to bottom and smirked, “That explains the height and the blue “americana”.

The man now looked brutal, and with clenched teeth he snapped,
“Meaning?”

He opened the door even wider, leaned on the doorframe and
answered with a idiotic smile, Meaning, that I have stopped doing what
I do, my conscience has been killing me ever since, I am not helping anyone.”

Without waiting for a reply, he stepped back and closed the
door.

Before he closed the door, a foot separated the door’s collision
from the lock.

The blue suited man answered rather calmly, “My mistress told me that you have stopped
for a long time, and you would be tougher to convince because of what happened,
so she told me to bring you this.”
He reached for his back pocket and got
out what looked like a folded piece of paper and thrust it to his fists.

He received the neatly folded paper and looked at it with his
eyes a little wide open; he made sure that the man did not see his
vulnerability to these kinds of temptation.

The brown skinned man seeing his noticeably concealed
reaction, added before he left, “I think
that mad lady will be cursing you anytime, unless you pay her soon, and I’ve
heard your father is sick, he’ll need that.”

Before the man in the suit reached the second set of steps
downstairs, he went out of the door and called out, “Fine, I’ll do it, but I’ll assure myself this is my last doing.”

The stranger smiled and said, “We knew you’d fall. Come, I’ll drive you there.”

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