The children stared at him from the photo frame on the shelf, from a time when he was a hero who knew everything, from a time when he was the funniest man in the world who loved more than he thought possible.
The half smoked cigarette burned the astray having just added a few more cancerous cells to his lungs but he didn't care- the future was the least of his worries. It was a future filled with the same day over and over again and all he could see was conference calls, emails, meetings and TV. No time spent drinking with friends down the pub talking about football and music and very rare outings with work colleagues which bored him to oblivion and only served to make him feel more lonely. Having a couple of drinks in between games of ten pin bowling was really not his cup of tea especially as he was crap at the game.
After an hour the LCD screen started to blur and his head lightly smacked the desk as sleep overcame him and took him to a place where he could not hurt anymore.
"Marc, please be careful. This weather's awful." The rain splashed against the windscreen and fragmented into small magnifying splodges of water which made the task of seeing the road ahead and other vehicles even more difficult. Marc still felt safe at his customary eighty miles per hour in the outside lane.
"I'm fine Ruth, stop worrying. I have done this trip a hundred times before and never had a problem." The 'tut' at the end of his sentence highlighting his annoyance. Billy and Meg were asleep in the back of the car and had no idea weather like this was dangerous and that their father felt invincible at the wheel of a car.
"I'm just saying that's all. How would you feel if something bad happened?"
"Nothing's going to happen- you want to get home before midnight don't you?" Ruth rolled her eyes.
"I just want to get home in one piece thanks." Silence took over for a few miles.
Marc was awoken by the sound of his PDA beeping. It was 7am and he was still at the desk but could feel a hard object pressing against his right ear- it was the mouse. The thirty seconds following sleep were his favourite part of the day- as his mind started to put together memories for a brief moment he was not the person with so much anger and bitterness inside. He was just an ordinary guy with ordinary worries.
He decided to take a look at his emails but lost interest fairly quickly and headed up to the bathroom. The November chill was especially apparent as he stepped into the shower and waited for the warm steamy water to bring his aching body back to life. He felt as though he had slept on a rock and could not dislodge the ache at the bottom of his spine. Despite the number of times he had decided never to fall asleep sitting at the desk again it still happened far too often.
The first four chapters are available at https://www.clieuk.co.uk/TinyTears1.html