With You Even After

Naresh woke up early in the morning feeling stiff. Of late, he had been waking up to a nagging pain in his back and knees. It took him a few minutes to get out of bed and to stretch himself and get going. Age had caught up with him faster after his wife’s untimely death. Once dubbed the ‘18-year-old senior’, he had now started to look a lot more his age.  Since he lost his wife, his health deteriorated, physically and mentally. Though officially he had retired, his company retained him as a consultant because of his expertise. But things were different now. He could no longer focus on his job and slip-ups had become commonplace. His boss requested him to take some time off and then take a call. At his age, he assumed his boss was asking him to quit. He struggled out of bed, took a wash and got ready. After breakfast, he went to his old cupboard for a paper and pen to draft his resignation letter. He wasn’t just resigning from his job, but also from life in a way because he had also filled out a form for admission to an old age home. He opened the cupboard and looked for a blank paper. While searching, he accidentally dropped a pile of books. ‘Oh God!’ he muttered because bending down was a task for him now.  As he picked up the books, an envelope slipped out from one of them. He picked it up, dusted it and saw: ‘To Naresh, read when you feel depressed’ written on it. He remembered his wife had written it, but couldn’t recollect the content. So, he made himself comfortable in a chair and started reading the letter. ‘Dear Naresh, I am writing this to tell you how proud I am of you. We have been through a rough patch recently but you have conducted yourself with courage, honour and dignity. Now, as I see the light at the end of the tunnel so near, I congratulate you for not giving up. You are a fighter and fighters never give up.  If life ever knocks you down again, which it will, read this letter. Know that I am always with you. You are a winner, don’t give up, get up and continue on your journey. I am, have been and will always be proud of you. Lots of love, Radhika.’ Tears welled up in his eyes. He stood up and walked to the mirror. He stared at himself as his wife’s words resonated in his mind. Tears trickled down his cheeks. Adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic. He felt a surge of positive energy, his lost courage was back. He tore the old age home admission form. Then, instead of drafting a resignation letter, he drafted an apology letter, expressing his desire to continue to work. He picked up the car keys and after months, drove himself to the office once again. Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!