He was contemplating suicide.
This has been a recurring theme in recent times.
He was displaying all the classic signs of depression he knows.
First came desolation, then a numbing spiralling sense of dread, desperation and at times a frantic gnawing fear.
There is that much a man can take.
His divorce from his wife of 17 years started the tailspin. It was a bitter, salacious tale of betrayal and adulterous misdeeds which started it all.
She took him to the cleaners and spun such a vicious tale suggesting he was violent towards the children that the courts granted a restraining order against him.
This tore him apart as he deeply loved the children. The loveless marriage has ended a long time ago but he lived for his kids.
Then he hit the bottle.
By all accounts, he became a recalcitrant alcoholic. Blurry nights turned into day and there were days when he stopped going into the office where he ran his one man law office.
Not that long ago, he was senior partner in a 200 man law firm. A reputable practice, he had a stellar reputation as a formidable litigator who took no prisoners.
His opposing lawyers feared and respected him. He was walking on cloud 9 most days with young lawyers in the firm emulating him and wanting to be just like him when their time comes.
Then the negligence suit hit.
A vicious client accusing him of gross negligence and misconduct when he lost a multi-million dollar suit. The firm was hit with a mammoth negligence claim and the senior partners suggested he leave the firm and put him on notice that they would seek an indemnity from him for the suit.
He started a one man practice with his long suffering secretary Gertrude who had worked for him since she was the tender age of 22.
She never married. And at 43 years of age now, she was destined to be a spinster.
Plain and drab and increasingly cantankerous with advanced menopausal tendencies, she endured his feisty outbursts and his temperamental and increasingly unhinged behaviour.
Truth be told, he suspects that she has been in love with him since her youth and that is why she never looked at another.
Only Gertrude stood by him. All the other staff had left when he missed the Payments on their salaries. Gertrude has not been paid now for 6 months.
He contemplated suicide several months ago when the doctor diagnosed him with a rare malignant tumour in his liver. Treatment was horrendously expensive and drained his meagre resources.
He missed his alimony payments and his ex wife filed several alimony claims in court which were pending.
He sat there in the dark in his office drinking from the bottle of cheap whiskey.
He has missed the rental payments on his small office space and the landlord has made threatening noises of eviction if he did not make good.
Someone walked in. It was Gertrude. He could just about make it out as his eyes adjusted.
He thought she had long left for the day.
She stood there silently staring at him. It was as if she felt the deepest recesses of his soul which has hit rock bottom.
Then she started to undress and offered herself to him. And although he felt sick to the core as he smelt her stale breath and her sharp acrid and sour body odour, he felt a rising unleashing of passion building up into an unholy crescendo and took her.
Long and hard until she let out a feverish and spine chilling howl as she succumbed to her own orgasmic crescendo.
They never spoke of the night of passion.
He contemplated suicide again.
His ex had executed the alimony orders she obtained against him and seized his bank accounts.
He had stopped his liver treatments as he could no longer afford even the consultations. He was wracked with sudden stabs in his lower abdomen and he knew his Liver was failing.
Most days he felt weak and nauseous.
The negligence suit was coming up and it was inevitable that his partners will bury him, as is clear from the papers they were filling.
Nothing could possibly get worse.
This was what the depths of hades felt like.
Gertrude walked in.
She looked more pale than ever and the disagreeable odour wafted in with her.
She now looked repulsive to him.
She smiled almost wistfully.
“We are with child “