I had endured yet another seizure, it reminded me about the careless life I had lived, and about the very modest time I had left. I had too little time and too much to do, I had to bid adieu to Rachel and Clara. Rachel held on to my arm, pleading me to stay on, deep down she hoped for a miraculous recovery by her aunt. But some how, Clara knew better beneath her almost vacant face, I could see that she was sure that I’d return back to her. She kissed me; it was one of the first times she’d done something impulsive in years. It reignited the passion in us; it took us back in time...It made us feel alive.
I had driven all the way to California. It gave me time to reflect about the long-ago, the present and what was to remain. I hadn’t seen him in years, nor had I spoken to him. My secretary did once tell me that he had tried to contact me, but I never paid much concern.
Down the aisle I walked, dry leaves fell at my feet. The wind pushed my hair back, there in the front porch sat a man, with steel grey hair, petting his dog. “Ted” I called out to him, through extremely large spectacles he gazed at me. His face was void for a minute, but then he rose to greet me. He still had that old bewildering smile, and he was still robust. We dint talk much, except about his new partner. It dint baffle me that he could still entice the ladies.
As the sun began to set, we headed out to the lake to indulge in some fishing. I told him about the dream I’d lived, about how fortunate I’d been. He listened to everything very intently. Then I told him about the ailment, about the lump that lived in my head. He turned to look at me; through his eyes I felt the compassion. We had dinner by the lake; he went to sleep listening to one of my famed songs. He told me how he was my biggest admirer, and how proud he was of me. I sang a song of heartbreak and hope under that moonlit sky, and the stars, they seemed brighter than ever.
The next morning we took a small road trip. We had no plan or agenda, we just went forward. We talked about Maggie, about the wonderful Lucy. About how they’d broken our hearts and how we’d learned to love them. We sang and shared jokes over some beers. We pulled up near a broken down airstrip. It housed some fascinating aircraft relics. It reminded me about the times when we would go to the airfields just to watch the planes fly, high into the sky. It was one of the most potent feelings ever. The burly bird made a thundering voice and shook everything in its path, before it disappeared beyond the horizon. It was something that fascinated us both, the power. I would emulate that a hundred times, gradually I would start my sprint down the runway, increasing pace along the way and spread my wings, and then I’d raise my head to look at the heavens. It gave me a sense of inconceivable freedom, peace and serenity. I stepped out on to runway, painfully realizing that I was too late and too old to fly now. Out from behind I heard a roaring voice; it was Ted, trying to lift off into the blue. I burst out laughing seeing the old man try to run, but I knew what he was trying, a tear rolled down my cheek. Some say that you have to be blessed to laugh and cry at the same moment. I hugged the ageing trooper, “Thanks dad, thanks”. It was the first and the only time I’d called him that.