Pain & Pleasure

Short Story 12

As the years went by, the one thing that kept pace with his age was the amount of regret he collected. No, he was not a failed man with broken dreams, he was an energetic family man who had found both love and happiness in his married life. The pay check was good, so were his kids and neighbors.

And yet, he felt at a loss.

As a young man, he had vowed to travel and explore, to live and relive, to learn and engage with his environment. With time, his priorities changed, and so did the face of his life.

He wished he was a hermit, a monk who could spend his days detached from the rest, away from all forms of sufferings. The thought of a free and trouble-free mind filled him with envy. If only he had been wiser earlier in his life, he wouldn’t be presently wounded down to an armchair, working even after coming home.

The laughter of his children broke his reverie. Just the smiles on their faces was enough to lift his moods and the mere thought of not being with them filled him with horror. A life detached from his family and friends? He couldn’t ever tread that path. Shaking off his thoughts, he went back to work, vowing not to think on those lines ever again.

Years later, as he introspected during his final breaths, he realized a simple truth. There was not much difference between his path and that of the hermit monk. Both had realized that pain and pleasure were two opposing parts of the same whole. You couldn’t let go of one without clinging onto the other.


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