The car stopped outside the house at the end of the block. The house was small and had a small, neat garden and a path leading to the main door.
Raman got down assisted by a young man. Raman leaned heavily on a stick and was supported by the young fellow on the other side. Slowly they walked up to the door and knocked it.
Charles opened the door. Charles and Raman looked at each other for a long time without saying anything.
“What a delightful surprise! Raman! How nice to see you. Come in!” said Charles.
Raman limped across the threshold and stepped in.
“Hello, Charles. How are you? This is my assistant Shekhar.”
“I am fine Raman. What in the world brings you here of all the places?”
They sat down in the cane seats in a bright room. It was neat and cosy.
“I am dying Charles.”
“Oh! God! I am sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be! I deserve it. I have very little time left and I am trying to complete all the items in my bucketlist.”
“No, don’t say anything. Let me finish what I want to say. I am trying to make amends and say my sorrys and thank you’s to everyone in my life. I want to have no burden on my soul before I leave.
“Charles, I am sorry I betrayed you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you remember, on that day when we were frustrated in the lab? We were not getting any results with our experiments and we both went out and got seriously drunk?”
“Yes, I do remember”
“Well, yeah. After the drinks, you had a brainwave for a new approach for the experiment. I offered to write it down for you so that you won’t forget the next day.”
“Oh! Yeah!! But we lost the paper and we could not for the life of me remember what it was!”
“Well, no. We did not lose the paper. I hid it with me and after you were kicked out by the university for the failure of the project, I went back and successfully completed the project using your idea. I patented the process too. I have been hugely successful because of that. It was not meant for me. It was all yours. I robbed you of your work. I am sorry, truly sorry. Forgive me!” Raman started sobbing.
Charles sat shocked and motionless for sometime. Then he walked to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water.
“Take it my friend. Don’t be so harsh on yourself.
Getting out of the project was the best thing that happened to me. Sure, immediately after that, I was depressed and sad. I moped around all day. My family sent me off to Mangalore to stay with my uncle. That’s when my life took a turn.”
Raman sipped the water and listened with tear-filled eyes to Charles.
“I started helping my uncle in his fisheries business. It was back-breaking work. But it took my mind off the failure of the project. But slowly I kind of liked it more and more. I took over from him and made it big in fisheries. That was my calling, brother.
See the photo there, it was taken on the day I proposed to my wife on the beach. Best day of my life.
Life is like the sea my friend. Let it take you in its waves. Sometimes it is rough, sometimes it is gentle. But the wave always reaches the shore.
“Don’t burden your soul with the past. Live in the present. Life happens. The events are insignificant.”
Written as a part of the Festival of Words hosted by Write Tribe.
This is my take on the prompt for the day:
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.
and the photo prompt:
Read other awesome bloggers participating in this festival here.