A journey from existential angst to immortality through words, as Safi battles the haunting spectre of Evanescence in a narrative that transcends life and death

Death is not an antithesis of life. It is Evanescence that stands opposite to life, signifying ‘not remaining’ post-death. Death does not bring regret, but Evanescence does. We may not fear death, but everyone fears Evanescence. This fear hovered over Safi, causing deep, unmanageable agony. He stood up and shook himself, attempting to figure out the treatment for the fear of death. He surmised his early departure, leaving nothing behind to be remembered. He realized the intense urge of life to linger after an apocalypse. His nights became insomniac, and his days became engrossed. He pondered over the catastrophe called the Evanescence of life, grappling with his existence, shaking himself a thousand times a day, muttering, “I want to be remembered after my death.”
People had to call him twice to communicate with him. He began remaining occupied in profound reflection, surfing Google every night to discover ways to be remembered after his death. He was badly afflicted by the fear of Evanescence.
You may ask what triggered his realization of life as an Evanescence. It traces a story. One day in September, he peed blood, horrifying him. He diagnosed it to be caused by dehydration. He drank water and did some exercise, but when he peed next, it was bloodier than before. Days went by, but the blood pee remained. He consulted doctors and took medicine, but no improvement happened. Improvements happen as diseases happen. He underwent test after test, but they revealed nothing serious. Death did not frighten Safi, but Evanescence did, the thought of not remaining after death troubled him.
He always thought about living after death, recapitulating his life quickly, considering his successes and failures. One night, he sat for nocturnal readings and handed the poem, “I could not stop for death” by Emily Dickinson. He read it again and again, contemplating death, extinction, and Evanescence. He imagined the state of the world after his death, asking himself, “Will my death affect the glamour of the world? Will it stand as it is? Will it miss me?” He asked it thousands of times, but he got no reply.
Whenever he asked this question to himself, he underwent the reminiscence of hundreds and thousands of people about whom he read from books who left this world unaffected. They are not even missed, mourned, and remembered. It was a reply for him that if their deaths could not affect the world, how can yours do? The word Evanescence impressed him terribly. Whenever he uttered the word, tears started trickling down from his eyes. He often and always wept, moistening his pillow cover. He contrasted the word Evanescence with remaining, and he wanted to remain, but he did not know how.
He put down the book and commenced musings on ‘remaining.’ He asked himself the way to remain. He asked this question to himself multiple times before, but today he got the reply and it baffled him. He got the voice from within directing him to write like Emily Dickinson did, “you will remain like she still is.” The bloody peer triggered deeper reflections on life and immortality for him, as the “mark on the wall” triggered reflections on life for Virginia Woolf. His face flustered. He understood the answer, and it satisfied him. He decided on that night to remain in words that never die.
He was happy to resolve the greatest enigma of his life. He began writing, started writing articles for newspapers, poems for magazines, and short stories for journals. He wanted to write a book during winter, but he could not get time for it. He left his job and decided to devote his time to writing literature. Only literature overcomes Evanescence, beats it, and surpasses it. He knew it by reading novels, dramas, and plays by Shakespeare. He read the novels of Virginia Woolf, always trying to understand the “accidental affair,” a name given to life by this writer. He got time to write. He was happy now, but Evanescence did not stop chasing him.
One day, he wrote a paragraph on social media with the title, “Few things for reflection.” It was read by some girl, and she was so impressed that she quickly contacted him, and the Evanescence began again. He got busy with her, getting alienated from his devotional work. They began chatting, then talking on the phone, and it grew to meetings. No, it all actually terminated with a breakup because Evanescence can’t be overcome by love but only by literature.
He again got worried about his Evanescence. He wanted to overcome it, but he did not. He felt only literature could help him out. Nothing else could assist him in being spared from Evanescence. He was insisted by his family to get married. He denied it and decided to write only. He wrote a few books in a few years. After four years, he died, but his books remained. It was only a death, not an Evanescence. He was satisfied. Some temporary ends are eternal beginnings. Safi still lives.
The writer can be reached at [email protected]

 

Fear of Evanescence – a short story added by on
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