Friday, 23 March 2012

A Lifetime of Regrets

tony was walking down the street when he saw this old man sitting on the sidewalk looking down at his feet, normally tony wouldnt've stopped and chatted but there was something so essentialy sad about the old man that it touched his heart and he went and sat beside him on the sidewalk.

"Hey what's the matter, is everything all right" he asked him

the old man looked at tony and he realized that the old man was crying , the man wiped his eyes " it's nothing son, just one of those days " and started to get up, stumbled and tony held him by the shoulders and helped him get up.

"i dont know about that old man, you look really down, let me know if you need anything ok" he said dusting off the man's jacket.

"i was going to get a cup of coffee, would you mind joining me, i would like someone to talk to right now " said the man with a deep sadness in his eyes.

"sure , in fact the coffee's on me, my name's tony" shaking the man's hand

"thank you tony, my name is jeremiah , lets walk to the park on the corner there's a coffee shop on the way we can get coffee from there" said jeremiah as he started walking down the street.

they walked at a very slow pace, when they reached the coffee shop tony went in and got them both coffee and they proceeded to the park and sat down on a bench overlooking a small artifical pond, smelling the fresh october morning air sipping coffee.

after a long while of comfortable silence jerimiah started to speak

" you were very kind to me back there, and i think you deserve an explanation as to why i was sitting on the street and crying my eyes out "

" today i turn 83 years of age, and i was looking back at my past through the windows of memory, it was an unpleasant journey full of many regrets, would you like to know a few of them ??"

"Sure i guess " tony replied uncertainly

jeremiah cleared his throat and looked off into the distance and started to speak.

" when i was young my father used to tell me he lived a really hard life, and that i should not follow in his footsteps, i should make it a priority to study hard and make a name for myself, i did not listen to him back then, i was too high spirited, i used to run around with boys older than me chasing after girls, smoking, drinking, never giving a damn about my education. my father used to be very disappointed but i never gave a damn about that. " Jerimiah gave a little laugh and went on. " we used to have these huge fights when my report came and my dad used to go on and on about how i would be wiping windows and washing floors or working at gas stations or end up in jail if i dont study". " i never used to take him seriously "

"then one day i came back home after hanging with my friends and my father was lying on the livingroom floor, a bottle of beer broken on the floor beside him, he had just had a heart attack, i took him to the hospital but he passed away. my mom had died giving birth to me, and i never knew any other family than my father"

tony put his hands on the man's shoulder " i'm sorry bout your father " " dont be " said jeremiah " i never listened to him, although i regret that now "

" after he died, i lost the home, i didnt know anything, and i didnt know where the money was, social services took me to an orphanage, and i still dont know where all my stuff went. "

"i went from having a home and a life to having nothing, i lived off the orphanage for a few years till i got my first job as a gas jockey at a pump, slaved there for a few years, then went to work at a bar, met a nice girl there, got married, had a son, it was a really tough life, with all the bills and everything, i had 2 jobs and she had 2 jobs and still we werent able to make ends meet"

" i used to be away from home so much that i never got to be with my son, used to come home late get drunk and go to sleep, i never know he hated me for that, i loved the kid but i had to work, how else could i have fed him and clothed him, and she never told me he was so mad at me, i really cant blame carol."

"when jimmy , My son, was 10 years old, he got into a fight at school and hurt the other boy pretty badly. and we were called to school, he was suspended, he'd broken the boy's arm. we tried to talk to jim but he shut us out."

" few years later carol passed away, she was coming home from work through a bad part of town and got mugged, she'd gotten her pay that day, she tried to resist, they stabbed her." jeremiah wiped his eyes " i felt like a part of me had died " he took a deep sigh and went on " jimmy started staying out of the home , staying at his friends house more often, he'd made a name for himself for being a thug by the time he was 18 , we used to fight a lot, he started flunking every subject after his mother died, and i worried he'd end up like me, but i didnt know how to stop it"

"i kept remembering what my father said, about how i'd be good for nothing just like him, and he was right, i had become my father"

" jimmy got a job at a gas station when he was 21 it was the same one as mine , and i died a little inside seeing how his future was going to be "

" he married a sweet young thing he met at a bar, he had a beautiful boy a year after the marriage , he named his son jake."

" last year there was a robbery some thugs came to loot the gas station, jimmy tried to stop them and they shot him "

Jerimiah buried his face in his hands and started sobbing uncontrollably, tony was also in tears, he hugged him and comforted him, but he wouldnt calm down, while tony was holding him suddenly jerimiah's whole body shook and he grabbed his heart and grimaced, and started jerking and fell off the seat , tony leaped up and started screaming for help but by the time help came, but jerimiah was no more....


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