As they waited for the last drop of rain to end, they held each other’s hands and walked down the lane under the umbrella. Mrs and Mr. Patterson were on their way back home after getting a loaf of bread from the local grocer. Tipple town was a small town in this part of the world and the Patterson’s were more than content living here and looked forward every Saturday for the arrival of their son, Richard.
Richard a night’s journey away used to visit them, every second Saturday and used to fill their dreary life with lot of activity and busy routine. Today was one more such a Friday when they were looking forward to Richard the next morning.
“Will he come tomorrow?” asked Mrs. Patterson as they hobbled down the cobblestoned path up to their small rickety house.
“I know not, Annie,” said Mr. Patterson “maybe he will. And you do not have to worry if he does not come this week. Do you have to make all those cookies and stuff that you make always. Let him come and you can prepare all that and more for him.”
Annie always used to make all that Richard liked whenever he came down. She used to stuff his bags with all the goodies she cooked and bid him a goodbye with a heavy heart each time he visited.
Richard was an engineer and lived in Yale town nearby around a night’s journey away. He was settled there with his roommate and was quite at peace with his life there. Young, handsome and a perfect gentleman, he had his own life and his own fantasies to run after.
Though he wished to get back home every weekend there were many things that used to press him down at Yale town. This weekend too as miles away his parents were waiting for him, Richard had a date with Natalie and he could not miss it.
Earlier down the years, Natalie had taken him out and expressed her desire to go steady with him, butt he had refused. Today as she offered him yet another date, he could not refuse, but it was at the expense of not meeting his parents. He did feel guilty but youth took over parents this time.
Last weekend he had gone on a night trail with his friends. His parents had waited for him even then. Richard was a little guilty he was not able to call them regularly as he used to get busy with his own work. His friend Rihanna often used to chide him for missing to call his parents. She used to tell him that he had to call them everyday.
Today as he rushed to be on time for the date with Natalie, the phone rang. Richard was out of the house and he had his other phone with him. He did not bother to pick it up as he was getting late for his date.
Natalie had booked a nice cozy corner for them in the best hotel in town. Natalie loved to dress up for eating and she expected Richard to be well dressed too. She was quite particular about the way you dress and present yourself.
Richard made sure he was well groomed for he was a little conscious when it came to Natalie. Rihanna used to tell him not to give Natalie so much attention. But Richard was grownup now and he did not like Rihanna dictating terms to him.
The evening went off very well and Richard came back home after dropping Natalie in her house. As he entered home, he switched on the answering machine…and went to have a shower. AS he was getting into the shower, he heard his mother’s frail voice…Richard, we are waiting for you. Today as we were coming back from the grocer’s shop, he fell down and has sprained his back”
Richard felt a wave of guilt and he replayed the events of the evening and wished he had not been so selfish. He realized that this was the phone call he chose not to answer some time back in the evening.
He took the next flight home.
- The Man, The Gas, The Story (talestoread.wordpress.com)