In a peaceful Saturday night, I was sitting beside a bar table, tried to figure out the stories of my photos, which I was going to publish in my new photo album. The bar tender gave me a drink and asked what I was doing here. I told him about the album.
ÃÂA photographer, huh?ÃÂ he said, chewing his cigar. He pointed to a figure sitting in the seat with his back to us.ÃÂ You oughta check out that guy. Now thereÃÂs a story.ÃÂI hear this all the time.
ÃÂOh, yeah? WhyÃÂs that?ÃÂÃÂHe played basketball once.ÃÂÃÂMm-hmm.ÃÂÃÂI think he made a World Series.ÃÂÃÂMmm.ÃÂÃÂAnd he tried to kill himself.ÃÂÃÂWhat?ÃÂÃÂYeah.ÃÂ The man sniffed, dropped his cigar and stomped on it.ÃÂ Go on up and ask him if you donÃÂt believe me. His name, WilliamÃÂHe returned to the kitchen. I got off the bar table, approached the man with a drink, trying to found out some special for my album.
ÃÂHave you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation?ÃÂ he started to tell me his story.ÃÂ I wanted one more chance to make up for the time when I thought they would be here forever. But, what if you got it back?ÃÂI hesitated, still looking into his eyes, telling him to continue.
ÃÂI began to unravel the day when my mother died, around ten years ago. I wasnÃÂt there when it happened, and I should have been.ÃÂHis mother, according to what William said, was a mothering woman. She had been all over him as a kid advice, criticism etc. There were times he wished she could leave him alone. But when she did, no more visits, no more phone calls and no one stood up for him. And without realizing it, he began to drift, as if his roots had been pulled, floating down some side branch of a river.
ÃÂA year after my mother died, I did the dumbest thing IÃÂve ever done. I had a relationship with a woman, in the status that I had married and have two lovely girls.ÃÂCertainly, her wife and children left him when these come to them. Then, he started drinking, much more than during our conversation. What finished him, pushed him over the edge was his daughterÃÂs wedding. He havenÃÂt see her for 10 years, and was informed the news by a letter and some photos of the ceremony.
ÃÂThough my drinking, depression, and generally bad behavior, I had become too great an embarrassment to risk at a family function. ÃÂHe explained.ÃÂ But why? Why couldnÃÂt they tell me before the wedding? Were they afraid I might visit them? You got shut out of my only childÃÂs life, you feel like steel door has been locked; youÃÂre banging, but they just canÃÂt hear you.ÃÂHe felt liked all the things were over, including his life. Then he decided to commit suicide. He went to the top of his house and jumped down. All he recalled was twisting, snapping, brushing, flipping, scraping and a final thud.
In his coma, he saw his dead mother. She was standing by the bleachers of his old house, wearing lavender jacket, looking at him.
ÃÂLook. The trouble you get into.ÃÂ William repeated what his mother said to him.
ÃÂÃÂCan you spend a day with your mother? I said yes of course.ÃÂ He continued.
ÃÂYou wanted she back?ÃÂ I asked.
ÃÂYea. I wanted her badly. But I think myself as a burden instead of a wish granted to her. She told me, so do my children.ÃÂÃÂAH-HAH.ÃÂ I agreed.
ÃÂWhen I discovered that, I knew thereÃÂre still hopes. I spent the day with my mother, learning to be a good parent. In the next morning when I got up, she had gone.
ÃÂWhatÃÂs next?ÃÂÃÂI started writing letters to my family, apologizing and seeking their forgiveness. But there is no reply.ÃÂHere came the story end. William welcomed me to his house to stay overnight. I did so as I wanted to know more about him.
I couldnÃÂt say how long I slept. When I woke up, I saw William holding a letter, with wordsÃÂ To my Dear FatherÃÂThe sky began to lighten with the first stirring of dawn. The crickets grew louder. A tear went out of the manÃÂs eye, combined with hopes, happiness and touch. And this became the last picture I kept in my new photo album, with a special story behind.