A Day Ago
It was a bright Tuesday morning. The 8:30 AM alarm was ringing. Mr. Homes asked his housekeeper as she helped him out of his bed, “How many days to go?” With a tone little low-spirited than the previous day, she replied, “One.” “Hurry up! There are preparations to be made. He is finally coming home again!” he exclaimed.
With great difficulty, he managed to walk across the passage to reach to an old wooden door. “Knock before entering” read the sign on the door. Mr. Homes knocked faintly with his shaking hands, not expecting any response, but just for old times’ sake. The room was too dark for his old eyes.
He called out to the housekeeper and asked her to draw the curtains. The room was tiny, with a bed at the centre. Mr. Homes positioned himself at one corner of the bed and started feeling nostalgic. This is where he sat every night, when his son was just a small, innocent kid, reading out bed time stories to him. That was a long time ago, but the memories felt fresh. After all, he was his only child.
“Make sure this room is cleaned. He will want to spend some time here when he comes over tomorrow,” he shouted at the housekeeper. However, she was already present there with a bucket and an old rag, as if she had somehow anticipated his demand.
Hurrying away, he made his way to the kitchen. There lay some jars on the table; most of them empty, but one contained some cookies. Mr. Homes opened the jar after a few attempts. The cookies seemed fresh. However, he did not want to take any chances. His son would crave for them everyday after school. Being a single parent had forced him to learn many new skills, some of which he still retained at this age. He was all set to bake a new batch of cookies.
In the evening, Mr. Homes felt tired after having baked cookies for almost a quarter of the day, but he was too excited to rest. He asked his housekeeper to take him for a walk. The backyard was full of small plants and trees. But he was attached to one apple tree in particular. It was the one his son had sown on the day he was moving out of the house to work on his education and career.
Mr. Homes wanted to have one of the apples, but before he could say anything, the housekeeper had pointed to a basket full of apples placed on a small wooden stool nearby. “I’ll be back before this tree bears apples,” his son had promised him. He didn’t live up to his promise, but it didn’t matter anymore. He was coming home again, and Mr. Homes was ready to forgive him.
Later at night, while the housekeeper was preparing the bed for Mr. Homes, he was busy fidgeting with the alarm clock. “Hand it over, I’ll set the alarm,” said the housekeeper. “Precisely 8:30 AM,” Mr. Homes said. “Precisely 8:30 AM,” she replied.
It was a bright Wednesday morning. The 8:30 AM alarm was ringing. Mr. Homes asked his housekeeper as she helped him out of her bed, “How many days to go?” With a tone little low-spirited than the previous day, she replied, “One.”
His son was living a life of excitement, away from home. Mr. Homes however, was living a life of excitement at home. Old age had gotten the better of Mr. Homes.
By Jas Haria
(Edited by Soumya Chakraborty)
Image Source: pixabay.com