Locked Away

He ran as fast as he could, as far as his legs could take him. At 5 in the morning, the streets of Amsterdam were scattered with few people far in between. But Amsterdam was not new to the out-of-ordinary. Every now and then something didn’t fit in the routine, something stood out. The people were so used to these irregularities that it almost became regular. So a man running at this hour didn’t attract a lot of attention. But he wasn’t running for pleasure or for fitness, he was running away from something.

To the world he was running away from something, someone… but for him, he was running towards something. He saw the sun rising in the sky ahead of him and he chased it. Maybe it was some stupid philosophical pseudo-intellectual journey he had in his mind, but he turned to get a peek over his back and he saw the dark behind him slowly being illuminated. But it still was chasing him and he wasn’t going to be caught. He wanted the light, more than life itself. And he reached down to the very core of his soul to find the strength to run after it.

Out of breath, he finally stops at a bridge over a canal. The large over-coat he was wearing started to slip away but he holds it at his waist almost as if he was holding on to his last shred of faith. He saw the canal water reflect the light and he looked up to see the sun shine above him. The light he was chasing was all around him. He didn’t have to run anymore. For the first time he noticed the beauty of the place; the glittering water, the piercing sun, the chattering birds, the architecture. All of it made him question himself – why didn’t he see this before? He relaxed for the first time in years and his eyes fell on the locks on the bridge. Tradition, urban legends or just a trend, those locks housed within them secrets, desires, prayers, love and hopes. Those locks locked within them humanity. He looked at one tiny lock that touched the road, it was open. Maybe someone didn’t do it right. Maybe someone left it open. He looked over at the other end of the bridge from where he entered. The dark of his life was still chasing him, even in the bright light. And in that moment he realized, no matter how much he chases the light, he can’t have it. He’s too far in on the wrong side.

He takes the lock in his hand and stares at a smile face sketched on it. The over coat slips away and falls to his feet and reveals his hands, tightly bound by handcuffs. An escaped convict, the law would never believe he regretted the crimes and he wanted to start over. Looking at the locks on the bridge made him smile. He ran away searching for a key… a key to a new life, a better future, a key to the light. Alas, locked in a world of bad choices and mistakes, he can’t have it. The police siren sounds off closer; he can hear them running towards him. But he doesn’t look back now… with the light ahead of him, he doesn’t want a look at the dark side. He holds the lock in his hand, snaps it shut and jumps into a canal, hoping it’s deep enough to drown his body and his soul.

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6 thoughts on “Locked Away

  1. Is there no liberation in the end? is there no escape from things you have done? we all have an opportunity to do what’s right for us, there is always that second chance if you believe in it. Its a nice thought provoking story, points out the fears and hopes we hang on to. Great writing, and do keep writing more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just like in the story, there are all these locks, but there are no keys; many times we find ourselves in a situation where there are too many questions but no answers. Yes, there is liberation and there could always be second chances, but many don’t wait that long enough for a second chance. Nor do they strive for liberation. I’m glad you believe in chasing the light. That’s exactly what we all need. Thank you for reading and appreciating the story. I shall keep writing as long as you continue reading! 🙂

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      1. Haha! Yes, I read it too! Well, I have to admit I’m a little sad to see those locks go. They were so pretty! I had pictures with them too! But yeah, I’d rather have those beautiful bridges over the Seine. Paris is all about the walks by the water and these bridges make it so picturesque. 🙂

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