Friday, November 11, 2011

The Real Mr. Thompson

Mr. Thompson appeared as normal as a regular Joe to anyone who knew him. One of those that
were a bit too much of a square for his own good, never really enjoying life to the fullest. It wasn’t that
he didn’t have friends or wasn’t well liked, it was actually the opposite. He had various acquaintances
around the workplace, coworkers would often invite him to parties that he’d decline nine times out of
ten.  On the off occasion that he did turn up, the invite was realized to be a regret. Upon his first week
of employment at the Hewlett Packard distribution center in Des Moines, everyone thought it would
just take a bit longer than most to come out of his shell so to speak.
                As time went on it became more clear that he preferred to keep to himself. He was an
asset to the company and respected by his peers, but never accepted by them. He had been planning
this night for over two and a half months, and the day would arrive tomorrow.
                As he undressed from his work clothes after his ten hour shift, he strolled into the bathroom
and took a long, reflective look at his face. He looked no different than yesterday, but on this inside he
felt like a brand new man, which was ironic considering the circumstances. He thought about showering
before calling it a night. Mr. Thompson decided against it, tossed his clothes into the hamper and
crawled into bed. The shower could wait until morning, he thought to himself, it was better off to start
fresh in every way in what he determined to be would be his final day on Earth.  
                He reached under his bed and pulled out a notepad and thumbed to a page with a creased
corner. There was a pen attached to the cover, which he removed and savagely added on to the half
completed page.
                Room service knocked at the door, he shook his head in dismay and told them he was sleeping
and to come back in the morning. He found it odd that room service would come at this hour, but didn’t
read too much into it. Mr. Thompson collected his thoughts and finished his sentence, thanking
Jennifer from accounting for all of the times she had asked him out for drinks after work and the fact
that she had been one of the only ones he felt truly respected him on more than just a human level.
She appreciated the work he did and she felt likewise.
                He wrote that he wished there were more people like her, more people that would make
the effort to reach out to another. There were a select few that could read through his depression, he
had become a master of concealing his true feelings at the age of 15 when it was recommended that he
seek professional help after the school counselor  saw how his grades had slipped so dramatically.
                His father wouldn’t stand for it and beat him to a bloody mess, screaming for him to, “be a
                While his dad had been dead for nearly 17 years, it was a wound that refused to close and
plagued him until this very night.  A tear drop hit the page as he thought about how is father had treated
him as a child. He swung the blanket off of him and pulled open the drawer on the far right of the bed
                The contents of the drawer consisted of a bible and his depression medication. He planned to
swallow the remaining doses tomorrow night. He twisted the cap off and poured them into his palm,
slowly counting them one by one. He tallied seventeen and felt that this would be sufficient enough to
get the job done.
                As he poured them back into the bottle he heard a scream from a near-by room and wondered
whether he should check out the situation at hand. Weighing the options, he deduced that he didn’t
much to lose. If nothing more he was presented the opportunity to go out as a hero.
                Racing into the bathroom, he grabbed his pants and shirt from earlier and threw them on
almost as fast as he raced into the room itself. The door opened slowly, and he stepped out
with the stealth of a cat stalking a bird, doing his best James Bond impression.
                The screams were getting more consistent and he realized that they were coming from
two doors down from his room. The screams began to become muffled, as if this woman was now being
strangled or restrained with a weapon of some kind. He knew it was in his best interest to have a game
plan before entering but adrenaline took over.
                Suddenly he found himself standing at the open door, watching a middle aged woman with a
pillow being forced over her face. Mr. Thompson sprinted towards the attacker, who had a mask on, and
dove on his back. The attacker was caught off guard and flung himself backwards, but Mr. Thompson
did not loosen his grip in the slightest. The attempted murderer began to roll around on the hotel floor
until he lost consciousness. Mr. Thompson finally let go and went to check on the victim, who told him
that he was ok.
                She began to  thank him profusely, telling him that he was a hero and had undoubtedly saved
her life. He accepted the praise and sat on the bed next to her.
                “Call the police. Now. God only know how long we have until he comes to.”
                She nodded in agreement, and walked out to the balcony to speak to them. He followed
shortly thereafter and overheard her say that this man approached her door claiming to be room
service. Mr. Thompson chuckled to himself and stood by until she hung up.
                “I honestly can’t thank you enough. If it wasn’t for you I’d be..”
                “Listen. It’s not a problem, really. I’m just doing something that anybody would have done.
Do you mind if I head back into my room for a minute? Tell the police I’d be more than willing to
tell them everything they want to know when they get here.”
                She agreed, and Mr. Thompson headed back into his room. He seen the pills on the end table
and his notepad on the bed. He walked over and grabbed the notepad. Staring at the bottle of pills, he
grabbed them next and walked into the bathroom.
                He opened the notepad and flipped to the page that contained his suicide letter. The tearing of
the page was heard throughout the room. Mr Thompson crumpled the sheet and tossed it into the
toilet. He turned the pill bottle upside down, and they suffered the same fate.
He watched as they were swallowed into the city sewage system and promptly walked away as
they were out of sight.