"Please. Let me explain. I know what you might be thinking, however, you need to believe me. It's just not what you think it is. The truth is... "
"The truth is that you don't love me anymore! You never cared for me at all. Do you still believe I would invest my valuable time to heed to your crap story? I tried to console myself, but it was too late for explanations. There is nothing left for me, nor for you in this relationship. I think it's about time. You know what I mean, don't you?"
"What!... You can't be serious, right? Tell me that you are simply joking. Ha-ha! This is simply another of your silly pranks, isn't it? Stupid, stupid me. How did I not see that coming? Alright. I fail. You win. Let's finish this already now. Will you?"
"Yeah. You are right! Let's finish this... now!".
And he walked away, without saying another word. Maybe, it was all for the better. Perhaps, it was a wise decision. Two days later, a team of City Police found her body near a lake. The death was investigated and it turned out to be a suicide. A week later, he got to know about the incident that took place at the lake. He was shocked. Tears are pretty funny. They arrive without a legal notice and at times, out of the blue, totally unexpected. I don't know why he cried, neither his love nor his promises were alive. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, he wished it were all but a silly prank. Maybe, humans are vulnerable to pain more than they know. From that moment, he was never the same. His life was completely changed. Twenty years had passed since then, he was now married and had two children. Was he happily married? I am not so sure about that part of it. The only source of happiness in the house, if there was any, were the two children, a son, and a daughter. In his early days as a father and a husband, this new life brought in happiness and joy. However, as the future unfolded itself, he never imagined that he would have to face his past again. At 17, his daughter asks-
"Dad, I have a boyfriend. I don't want to hide anything from you. Will you agree to see him, maybe tomorrow?"
I am not certain if the daughter understood the meaning of the long silence that followed her question. However, I do think of one question that might have crossed her mind.
My dad is my hero. I hope he approves our relationship. Fingers crossed. The daughter was certainly hoping for a positive answer. She was proud of her father.
He told her that he will need some time before he arrives at any reasonable answer. He must have had a hard time, trying to convince himself that, what he needed was, Time. Time never solves any problems, it sure tells us, though, how long have we been wasting the same. Anyhow, he had a bad night that day. He couldn't sleep all night. Every time he thought about his daughter and she having a boyfriend, he had these flashback memories from the past. What if he leaves her alone? What if he fails to keep my daughter happy? And what if... There was this one thing he was always scared to let anyone know. The biggest mistake of his life!
Next morning, he said nothing. How will I be able to face my daughter? I believe this question must have blocked almost all of his actions. Lie to her?. Well, there are other voices inside of us too. I know he must have tried hard, not to be distracted. He is now a father after all, not some college boy in his 20's with loads of self-esteem and ego. Anyway.
He ignored. He repelled. He ran. He never really spoke to his daughter after she told him, they were getting married. The memories from the past were haunting him. What would happen if I tell them the truth? How will my wife and my children react? He was full of questions and not one person to approach. They say he was always running away from his family, his children and the society. Little did they know, about me. No one but I was aware of his fear. He was running away from a few questions, buried long ago in the dust of the past. Something made them reappear again. He had had ensured nothing like so happens, however.
No one can survive alone. He understood that some ten years down the line. He was a little delayed in his flight of realization. However, the delay cost him his daughter. The other day he visited his daughter's place. The sign outside read, "Mr. And Mrs... ". Should he be proud? I don't know. He knocked at the door. No answer. He waited a few moments and knocked again. A woman in her 30's appeared from behind the door. A moment of reunion, or so he thought. He was able to recognize her perfectly. I guess he expected a little talk, a chance to apologize and maybe a little confession. He wasn't ready, though. She stood there silent, waiting for him to say the words he should have said a long time ago. However, it was too late. Before he gathered enough courage and opened up to say anything, the door was closed. I don't know what was going on in his mind then, but one thing for sure should have troubled him. The doors were closed for him, forever.
He spent the rest of his life, wandering through the footprints left by the people he loved the most. He would visit places loved by his daughter. He would admire her belongings at home. He would think about her and pray for her well-being. His son flew abroad for higher studies. He would call him but seldom did he answered the call. He had a house but was unable to transform it into a home. He had his beloved wife, though, someone who will stay by his side forever. I understand that he must have felt all alone, without his children and with little to no happiness around. Still, if you are with a person you love the most, it's the best feeling. He decided to finally tell her everything that took place that day at the lake and about the girl whom he rejected. Finally, he was trying to do something right!
It was the evening time, at around 9 after the dinner. His wife was sitting on a chair, watching TV. The show was a family series. She must be missing her children badly, now that they had not seen her for a long time. He noticed certain stillness in her body. She was sitting there for a long time, staring at the TV constantly. Is she sad? Is this a good time to talk about this? The heart, that a moment ago was prepared for anything, was suddenly pushed back into the state of confusion. He approached her moving one step at a time from behind the chair. "I have to tell you something dear. Back in my college days, I loved a girl. She was my girlfriend. But I treated her very badly and in a harsh way. I was immature and had no idea how it will affect her. We had an argument and I left her all by herself. Two days later, the police found her body. She committed suicide." He was crying as he spoke the next few sentences. He was about to tell her the biggest mistake of his life. He was in no condition going to back off, have come so far in his efforts. He said, "She was with child... I had no idea. I never... ever... " he was crying buckets, and his voice was getting all wet. He took a few steps ahead and sat near her knees. He was holding her hands and placed his head on her lap to let out his pain and sorrow. However, the moment he saw her, he was silent. I didn't see that coming, honestly. I know things were bad, but the way they are now, hardly anything good will happen ever again. He was taken aback by the sight in front of his eyes. For a second his face looked shocked and surprised. But then he burst into laughter. Tears were flowing unstoppable and yet he somehow managed to laugh. "I know what this is. I know very well. A silly little prank. Right?" She lay on the chair, dead. "Please tell me you are acting, that you are not!... Please wake up! Please tell me you heard what I just said... Please! Please! Please! " He couldn't hold onto his nerves for long and the entire room echoed his pain and tears.
It was all happening so fast. I hardly had any time to help him. He was a broken man. He had his share of past, which he never let out. However, when he did, there were no ears to listen to him. He felt as if nothing is left for him. He had no home, no children, no wife and somehow he felt he was losing himself too. He used to walk down the street, across the road at a coffee shop every day. It was this coffee shop which made something meaningful out of his meaningless life. It was here where he used to relax and where he met many young students and people from different places. It was here, in this coffee shop where he met me, Mark. Sometimes, the people who will understand you are the ones who were never understood by anyone. I was back then, just a beginner. I used to write poems, phrases, articles, stories based on what I saw and felt. No one paid any attention towards me. I was a loner, sort of. I lived alone, I worked alone, I cried alone, I laughed alone, and pretty much every other thing that you are supposed to be doing with your friends, I did all that alone. It was in this coffee shop when I first met him. I won't name him, not now, not ever. He is a general figure, the main character of this story. Similar to the fact that you are the main character of your story. When I met him, he was a good looking, happy person. Yet, the last time I met him, he looked dull and with no enthusiasm whatsoever. I remember him sitting right next to my table. For hours and hours, we used to talk. He told me all about his past and how he screwed up everything. I listened patiently. However, that day when we came to the coffee shop, he said something I just knew what he meant. "I have done so much trouble all my life. Yet I have been unable to do any good in return for the same. I have affected many lives, all in a bad way. Everything is ending so soon. I feel my life is getting weaker. I feel I am dying, somehow." Those were the last words I heard from him.
He was admitted to the Sebastian Hospital. Not many people would come to visit him, or so I thought. However, it was my responsibility to contact his family, so I did. The doctors gave some final ultimatum, maybe an hour before it all ends for him. I hope it ends well. There was not much time left now, another 15 minutes and he might not be available ever again for anyone. "They won't come. I know. I don't deserve to see them. Not now. Not ever." All his life, this man, who was now in his last minutes, pleaded for mercy and forgiveness deep within but was never able to do anything. A moment later, I saw two faces coming straight towards the room where he was kept. So, the children did come at last.
"Is he okay? Are we late? Where is he?"
"He is right in there. They (doctors) say that he may have less than ten minutes now. You can talk to him."
The son and the daughter rushed to the room where he was lying on the bed. "Also, if possible, let him speak as much as he wants while to try to stay patient as long as you can". They both entered the room, it was a horrible sight to digest. There were so many equipment and monitors around him that it was easy to tell how painful this might be. "Sara! Peter!" he whispered.
He was smiling. "I am happy to see you. You have grown; both of you. How is your life? Did you have any children? What are their names? Do they know me? I am their grandpa!" he continued... "I always loved your mom. I always loved you all. I know this is late, very late for any exchange of words. I know I can't be forgiven. I am a terrible person." Sara and Peter were crying. They were finally talking to the person they once called DAD. They were finally listening to him.
"Sara, I ignored you because I was scared. I was scared of myself. I was scared of the person, that I have become! The truth is... " Before he could say anything, the ECG started fluctuating fast. His heartbeat was pacing up. It was a horrifying moment for all who were present in the room. He knew this was his last chance. In the past, he ignored the truth and never listened to his loved one. He knew he must do something quick. "Sara! Peter! Come here." He called his children. He took their hands and held them tightly together. " I am not going anywhere, child. I will always stay with you. I will always love you. I will keep watching over you and my grandchildren. I am going nowhere, because just like before... this is just a silly prank!... "
The monitor stopped. There was a long silence. He was still holding their hands. Every single person in the room was crying. Tears of sorrow accompanied the tears of realizations and a tear of memory was generated. Sara couldn't control her emotions either. Peter let it out as well. I was outside the room, watching from the small transparent window as he spent his final moments with people he loved the most. I got out my journal and switched to the last page. It was still half empty, though. On the last page, I wrote, "... This was just another silly prank! I'll always be around. Love. Mark".