‘If I don’t come off as needy. I have a certain favour to ask for. You need to deliver this to the man who lives on the fifth avenue. The address is attached to the package,’ I spoke.
‘What is inside this?’ he questioned.
‘They’re some things for my son. He’s 5 now. He lives with his mother. Whenever I’m in New York, I make it a point to visit him. He’s always been my priority but now, after the divorce and everything, it seems as if we’re 2 distant people. I miss him, more than anything else in the world,’ a tear fell from my eye, shivers ran down my spine and my hands started quivering. Even the thought of Michael hurt me. He was the only person I looked forward to meeting. It’s petrifying how the person who painted your white into a mixture of hues is now prohibited from meeting his father because he was unfaithful to the marriage. Not unfaithful in terms of infidelity but, unfaithful with his presence.
Toby looked startled until I snapped my fingers in front of him. ‘Nothing, it’s just that, Jake, I’m speechless. I’m not someone who judges people in their first encounter but you, you give out such a great vibe, something that resonates with me, something that I forgot to pursue in the long run. It’s just that, this news is appalling. I’m really sorry. I will deliver this to him.’
‘Toby, can you also please meet Michael and see how he’s doing. It’s not easy to live without the only ray of hope. And please, talk to him, engage yourself in the little games and just, be a father to him, for a day, it’d mean the world to me.’
‘Jake, it’s alright. It’s difficult to fathom the thought of not being able to see your kid. Don’t worry, have faith in me, I’ll meet him and be a father to him.’
‘And please, don’t tell Karen that you’re a friend of mine. Tell her that you’re a friend of Brenda, my sister and you’ve come to see him and give him a little gift. Karen and Brenda are good with each other and my sister will understand.’
‘Yes, absolutely. Now, take a deep breath, eat a little food, the air hostess must be on her way with it and sleep. Your dark circles are growing more evident and you look horribly exhausted. You deserve a good night’s sleep.’
I smiled and closed my eyes, distorted images of Michael showed up and I threw my head right up. I sat upright and ran to the washroom. I splashed the chilling water on my face and sat there, on the toilet seat. I sobbed, cried my eyes out as his images and Karen’s face flashed through my eyes. I was emotionally distraught but I decided to listen to Toby. I went back there, and since I wasn’t yearning for food, I closed my eyes and slept.
Some time later, Toby woke me up.
‘Morning, we’re at JFK. We’re home. And now, we part ways. Isn’t it surreal how enlivening this flight was. Despite everything, I loved this, every bit of it. I guess we’ll be meeting soon,’ he smiled and embraced me as we stood there, quietly just running down the memory lane and realizing what a journey this was.
He walked out of the flight and my gut feeling told me that he’d execute my job extremely well. I took out my bag from the cabin luggage and scurried it through the rough carpet of the plane. I walked out and let myself get soaked in the sun.
Somethings are unforgettable and the resilience of every human being is what is even more inspiring.
Story by Avaneesh Mepani.
So, this was the end of the short story. Drop in your feedback. Your support was what got me through this emotionally draining story. It was worth it. Tell me how you found it and drop in a review and also tell me if I should do more short stories or no.