Everyday as the milkman’s cycle went past the lone house on Miller street, a young man opened the door, looked up and smiled at the sky. He adjusted his tie and locked the door behind him. Walking past the newspapers that were piled up he looked ahead at the road that led to his factory. At 24 years, life was supposed to be an exciting ride ahead but in his deepest nerve cells, he knew he was a wreck as bad as the Titanic.
Everyday as he walked past the huge iron gates of his factory he would remember how he had promised his wife to work hard and be positive even in the darkest of times. He picked up his registers and counted all the bottles of jam being manufactured in the plant. He supervised all the operations at the plant until the cartons were dispatched to the distributors. All through the day he would never take off his tie despite the heat and humidity. By the time he could see the sun sinking slowly behind the hills where he got married; he would call it a day. He sent off the workers and kept back the registers, adjusted his tie once again and walked out of the huge iron gates.
A couple of years ago he was a young graduate who was an expert in jam making. Just by tasting he could tell you about the freshness and the quality of fruits and ingredients used in the make. Now, he had completely stopped tasting it. His life had sucked out all the sweetness and happiness out of him. His evenings had a set routine just like his entire day. He used to buy a cigarette from the shop near his factory, light it up and calmly walk towards the church. It was his time of the day where he did not have to rush for work.
Behind the church he used to stub his Cigarette, and enter the cemetery where his wife was buried. They were high school sweethearts who had never fought even for a second with each other. In her was his entire world devoid of worldly ego, hatred, taxes, corruption and frustrating government policies. In him was her entire source of life and the will to live it. It was a perfect story until she passed away in her sleep mysteriously.
He sat next to her tombstone and started talking to her as he did everyday.
“I am wearing the tie you gave me. I did not take it off even for a moment as you said. I keep my promises.” He wiped his cheeks with his hand. They were used to the wetness by now.
“I have not touched wine also. I am becoming a better man everyday thanks to you. I did not even smoke.”
He looked around the cemetery and drank up the silence that prevailed.
“Fine, I am sorry. I just had one cigarette. I swear I will try to quit it slowly. It is just that I miss you too much. It is getting late so I will head back home now. I need to wash my clothes also. Remember, I love you Sara.” He walked away not even turning back to look at her once. He believed she was still alive inside her grave and that she could listen to everything he said.
A few meters away, his father stood and watched the proceedings. His son was not aware of the truth. She had not died so there was never any mystery around it. One fine day, she woke up and she just left leaving behind a letter that stated there was more to life than just being in love. She wanted a better life.
His father was visiting him that unfortunate day and had seen the letter before he could. He thought perhaps he would move on from her death and lead a better life, so he arranged for a body from the morgue and set up a tombstone in the cemetery, organised a fake funeral and so on. His son had been on therapy for three years and he did not want to enrage his weak nervous system.
As soon as the 24 year old reached back, he took off his tie and washed it so that it could be used again the next day.
A man not ready to give up on his love come what may. I don’t know what else can be more beautiful.
Oh! wait, I think I do know. A father’s relentless effort to see his son happy in his life.