Frayed

“I’d like some rope please.”

“I’ll fetch it for you, beta, just a moment.”

“Won’t you hurry, sir? I’m in a bit of a rush.”

“I’m getting them, just wait.”

“Yes, that’s perfect.”

“That’d be 500 rupees.”

“500?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

“I’d like some sheets of paper please.”

“Ruled or Un-ruled, beta?”

“Un-ruled.”

“How many?”

“Five. I’d also like five envelopes, and a blue pen.”

“That’d be 100 rupees.”

“100?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

“I’d like to purchase that stool, please.”

“This one, beta?”

“Yes, that very one.”

“We have different colours also, and dif-“

“No, I want this very one.”

“That’ll be 600 rupees.”

“600?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

He trodded

down the narrow gravel path

his

head spinning

slightly

his hands burnt

around the edges

practising

knots

His empty

apartment

said hello

he nodded back and

said goodbye

went to the room

wrote the letters

tied the rope

and hung

himself

all the while thinking

that the cost

of his

life

had been 1200 rupees.