The Invisible Man

Daily routine part 1. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!!!!!! Morning. The noise of the alarm is infuriating. While still half asleep I instinctively reach out and slam my hand down, knocking the alarm clock onto the floor in the process. I try as hard as I can to resist, but I can feel my dreams gradually drifting away.

Awake.

I sit up and stare into the mirror for what feels like forever, as I have done every day since this nightmare began. I no longer panic that I can’t see my reflection in the mirror — I suppose I have become accustomed to being invisible. As I stumble out of bed, I knock something over. I look down and see a bottle — it’s okay, it’s empty. It’s an empty whiskey bottle.

Was I drinking last night? Can’t remember.

Daily routine part 2. The second part of my morning ritual is by far the most painful. I know that if I walk near it, I won’t be able to stop myself from looking. Every morning, I try to resist the temptation — I really do, but deep down I know I’m going to succumb. I pause as I walk past the cabinet and once more I stare. My eyes fill-up every single time I look but I don’t wipe — I just freeze and allow the tears to flow as I stare. The photos of my family are too painful to look at but too precious to destroy. These photos are the only link to the life I used to take for granted. I might be invisible now but I had a life once. I suppose I do this because I would rather feel pain than feel nothing.

Daily routine part 3. I force myself to get ready and go out for a walk. Most days I can’t be bothered to walk, but for some reason I always do it anyway. There is something intriguing about watching people walk past me without acknowledging my existence. I like to wonder what their lives are like. As I walk, I sometimes talk out loud to these people and they just continue on their daily commute. It’s not their fault — they can’t hear me.

Everyone I see on my commute has a routine. I always walk past the local grocery store at around 8AM, and every day the shopkeeper is there preparing his fruit and vegetables. I often say hello even though I know he will ignore me, but somehow it’s still disappointing when he doesn’t respond. I like to pretend he hears me sometimes and I imagine him turning round and smiling at me as he responds.

As I continue down the street I always look forward to seeing Bob. Bob is an office worker who is always late for work but he never runs for some reason — he just walks as fast as he can and it’s hilarious to watch! I almost break into a smile when I see him and it’s one of the few times in the day when I feel normal, just for a second. We’ve never spoken of course, and I’m sure he’s not called Bob — I just named him that, not sure why. I just think he looks like a Bob.

At the end of the street I take a left turn and walk into the park where I pick the same spot every day to sit and watch the world go by. There are many more people in the park — some regulars, some strangers but they all ignore me. I spend most of my time there dwelling on The Accident and wishing I could somehow fix things.

Daily routine part 4. Back home. This is the most peaceful part of the day. I cherish the slightly warm feeling that fills me around this time of day, knowing that I get to sleep soon and the pain will temporarily ease. This is the best part of my day.

Daily routine part 1. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!!!!!! Morning. The noise of the alarm is infuriating… I stare at the empty room in the mirror for a while then get out of bed, careful to step over the empty Whiskey bottle. I fail to avoid the photographs and stare at them again, a little longer than usual today. I force myself to get ready and begin my daily walk. Everyone ignores me as usual. The shopkeeper on the opposite side of the road is preparing his fruit and vegetables, and ahead of me, Bob is scurrying down the path like clock work. He’s not late, but he’s in a rush anyway. But hold on — something is different. There is a little girl behind the office worker. She’s skipping. I often see strangers on my walk, but this time something feels wrong. This isn’t just any girl.

I begin to feel light headed, everything around me becomes a little blurry.

As the office worker walks past me, I get a clear look at the girl. I stare. Time slows down around me. Surely it can’t be her? But she looks exactly like her — it’s been a while but I would never forget that face!! But it can’t be her — she died in the accident and it was all my fault. But I didn’t actually see her die — maybe she somehow survived? No!! That would be a miracle!!! I must be dreaming or something.

She’s getting closer. Should I say something? What if she says something first? Maybe I should just avoid all eye contact and she won’t notice me? Hold on? What am I thinking! I’m invisible, she won’t see me anyway!

As she approaches, the blurring gets so potent I feel like I’m about to faint. She’s by my side and my legs are about to turn to jelly. Then she just walks straight past me like I don’t exist.

I breathe slowly as the blur begins to fade. Every bone in my body is screaming at me to turn round and shout her name, but I can’t do it. It’s pointless — she won’t hear me anyway.

Then, just as I am beginning to calm down, I feel a tug on my jeans. I instinctively turn round before my brain has a chance to engage what’s happening. I look down and stare into her beautiful eyes. I can’t move. She gestures at me to come closer. Without any knowledge of moving, I find myself kneeling down next to her. She smiles, then moves in toward my ear and whispers:

I see you Daddy, I see you. The accident wasn’t your fault. I love you. We all do. Please come home.