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Muhammad Mustafa

The nihilist alive

Lahore, Pakistan

I am a 17 years old, A-Levels student, from Pakistan, who loves Literature and history. I am highly introverted (I order food online, so that I don't get to talk to the salesperson :/). In my free time, I tend to write poetry, prose, and short stories. And I am a huge Potterhead!

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The message

Jul 29, 2023 7 months ago

While rummaging through his op-ed notes, which he had barely jotted down, as he stood up to leave, Rufus sighed, as his mind or rather what was left of his sanity began to take a plunge into the abyss of what he called ‘the nihilist's cave'. It had been a rough day, as he had been staring at the blank Word document for hours, just waiting for the divine intervention after which he could start summoning his magical word prowess but all to no avail; the only highlight of the day remaining to be that of the scuffle he had with the Executive Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, about his previous article being provocative. Rufus had come out with blazing guns, all pointed towards the Editor, declaring him as a threat to the ‘real' journalism; yes, Rufus was extremely protective of his work, be it good or bad. Anyways, now he was reminiscing and thus, going down a rollercoaster of emotions, with clouds of emptiness and a grief unbeknown surging throughout his heart, making him feel nauseous. He clinched the edge of his desk as hard as he can, such that his hands were soon red as a freshly pluck cherry. His mind gradually filled with doubts: was his work really magical or did he even have a passion for journalism? Amidst the war raging through his mind, he felt like a loser, as simple and as basic as that. ‘Your work is losing its quality, Rufus.' ‘Your articles don't exude that energy anymore.' ‘Don't you think that this career may not be the right choice for the person like you?' Colleagues' rants, boss' remarks, and a part of his own soul were simply breaking him into shards of nothingness, at the moment. The cab that he had booked had left after waiting for half an hour. Yet, here he was, alone in the office, slowly succumbing to despair. He remembered the Sales Manager job, Dad had told him about, just a week ago, when he had asked him for some money to pay the rent, because his writing job at the local newspaper hadn't been paying him much, as he hadn't been able to feature for some weeks now. He thought that maybe he should apply for that job, with a dilapidated state of mind. The prospect of writing down the resignation letter for his current job, soon surfaced up. Putting his op-ed notes back, he switched on his old Dell laptop, which at least took ten minutes to light up. Navigating the cursor, through the tiny alleys, surrounded by app icons, he finally reached his destination: the same blank Word document which he had stared at, the entire day. As he was going to complete the first sentence of his resignation letter, his phone beeped; it was an Instagram notification. A woman named Philly had direct messaged Rufus, while sharing one of his written pieces, which he had uploaded on his blog page. ‘OMG, I am in awe of how beautifully you write!!! TBH, I think you have made my day!' As he read the message, tears swelled up, his mind cleared and remembered his Literature teacher's words, ‘Rufus, People won't necessarily read what you write, let alone like it. So just remember that you just have to write on and on. That's what makes out the best of the writers.' The divine intervention that he'd sought the entire day for writing had finally come; it was simply a two-liner message on Instagram. He couldn't thank Philly more. Whenever he rethinks about resignation, Rufus remembers that day and Philly. It is the smallest of messages which may mean the whole world to anyone.

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