With a new week at hand I woke up and headed for work. The walkman that kept me company for all these days remained in my pocket. I went by the metro station where the old man played his violin. I waited at the platform for my train while I heard his words play out on musical cords all over the station. My train arrived and I boarded for work without looking back. I started to spend long hours and worked more than I would normally would. I would return back at around 10pm in the night and then, just go straight to bed out of exhaustion. The next day would start and I would go through this cycle again and again. I did this for 2 weeks. I could tell I was moving as fast as I could. I had a purpose which was not for my own for a change and I wanted to see if I could fulfill it.
It was a Sunday and I think I had what I needed. I wore my clothes and headed to the station by 7am. It was still a cold day however, it was warmer than usual. I waited by the station for the old man to come by. He was more or less on the dot and I went straight to him before he took out his violin to do his daily task. “Sir, do you remember me?”, I asked. He nodded his head with a smile. “I have something for you”, I said while I opened his palm and placed two tickets. “I remember you had told me where your wife and daughter might be staying at. Well these are the tickets for your to go and meet them”. You could see a bit of hesitance in his eyes as he looked at the tickets. “I know money was never a problem for your yet you never went to visit them. That is fine. I will be joining you. You don’t have to do this alone if you are worried on how it would turn out to be.” He tried to smile yet one could tell the roller coaster of emotions which was going through him. I grabbed his violin as we both waited for our train to arrive. He remained silent through out our journey. I knew what I did could turn out to be really horrible however, a closure would be a better answer than an indefinite wait. We reached our station and took a cab to reach the house. At last, we are here. The moment of truth. His footsteps were heavier than before as we walked up the porch and up to the front door.
He took a long breathe and then, paused before he could knock at the door. He tried to turn back but I held his arm. Before he could utter a work the front door opened. “How can I help you mister? Are you here to meet mommy?”, said a small girl barely 5 or 6 years old. Neither of us knew who this kid was. We heard footsteps reach the main door. “Samantha, how many times do I tell u….”, a voice flew by as the door opened further. There stood a lady may be in her thirties look at both of us while holding the child by her arms. There was a sudden silence around the place as the lady and the old man looked at each other. “Who is this mommy? Do you known him?”, said the little girl. Tears flew down her eyes as she said, “Yes, this your grandpa sweety. Go say hi to him.” There were tear rolling down all our eyes now. The old man crouched as he hugged the little girl and then, he hugged his daughter. “We didn’t reply to your letter cause we were mad at you. But it doesn’t mean you could never come home”. “I’m so sorry”, he said as he hugged her tight. We entered the house as the door behind us closed. Now I knew that his music would never fall on stranger’s ears rather, only the ones he would want it to.
With a new week at hand I woke up and headed for work. The walkman that kept me company for all these days remained in my pocket. I went by the metro station where the old man played his violin. However, he was not there today. It was odd of him to not be there but I waited at the station for my train. My train arrived yet he was still not there. It was a very cold day and I had to wear multiple layers to keep me warm. May be he didn’t want to or couldn’t do it in such a bad weather, I told myself. The train left the platform and I was off to work. I did long hours of work and headed for home late at night. I dragged my body till I hit my bed. The exhaustion of working long hours had its toll on me and I fell asleep in the same clothes I wore. I woke up the next and got ready. I went to the station a bit early today and he still wasn’t there. “Two days in a row, something is not right”. I quickly rush towards the old home to see him. I reached there and I found him on his bed. He had slipped and fell yesterday while leaving for the station. To make it worse he fell off the stairs outside the home and hit his head pretty bad. I tried to speak to him but all he did was smile and node his head a little. A doctor did come by yesterday however, he said much could not done. “If he doesn’t get back on his feet in 3 days then, there is not much we can do”, apparently were the words of the doctor when he left yesterday. I sat next to him the entire day to see if he would recover however, he didn’t. Every single breathe of his were heavy and quite painful, painful to watch as well. I left for home in the evening while I worried for him. This ‘concern’ was new to me and I did not know from where this came from.
Next day I went to the station and booked a ticket for myself. I decided to go the address to which the letters were sent to. Upon reaching there I was greeted with only more disappointment. The house was empty and put for sale. I checked with neighbors to see if they had any information however, no one has been there at this house for years apparently nor did they know where they went. I asked a couple of neighbors for any contact address or number however, non had any. I went to a public phone and started flip thought the yellow pages to look for any name that matched the wife’s middle or last name. There was 1 name that kind of matched however, I was not sure. I took out my phone and made a call to it. It rang and rang however, no one picked it up. I told the neighbors about the old man and if anyone did come by to ask them to come to the old home to see him. I had to leave the place as I could do nothing else at this stage.
I skipped work again and went over to the old home to see him. He was definitely not improving. I wanted to take him to the park nearby but he was too weak to move. All I could do is sit next to him and watch him fade away slowly. I flipped open my phone and made calls to the number few times however, it was never picked up. I stepped away from the room so I could vent my frustration out on something. I made one last call and then, went back in. I tried to talk my story with him to give him the very little comfort that I could offer and all he did was smile. I didn’t know if my words did reach him but I hope it did. I continued with my story and I heard fast paced footsteps nearing by. “Dad, are you here?”, a voice was heard from near the door. A women, probably in her mid thirties walked in and sat next to him holding his hand. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” , she said. The old man had tears rolling by eyes as he looked at the women, “I’m so sorry for the things I put you through” he said with all the energy he had. They sat there in silence for few minutes looking at each other till he slowly he faded away with a smile on his face.
“Benjamin do you think this was right? Tricking him like this?”. “Honestly Lorien, I don’t think being right or wrong matters anymore”. “I don’t know if he could tell if you where his daughter or not. Even if he did, I don’t think there is a point to it.” He has been though a lot and I don’t want it to end it such a way. My conscious is fine with what I did and that is all that I care for. People make mistakes but does it mean it should haunt us for the rest of our life. I heard my phone ring and I flipped it open, it was my Dad calling.