Twinkling bulbs,glowing stars,streets lightened over the limits,flash lights marking effects upto several hundred meters,a huge blowout n congregation.Everything set at their place marking the entry of Christmas.
There was a massive gathering at the downtown of Olivia.Among that Agora,something was very unusual.Yes!Among those hundreds i didn’t notice the Stranger.
Now my mind generated waves of bewilderment and I was in a tragic state and turmoil.My mind could not answer my quests!How can a person skip a church gathering especially at Christmas?I could not control finding out the reason and ran with a great pace towards his house.
A very dim light.God!Is he insane?I mean who in the world lights up his house in such a dark and monotonous way at the eve.I ran towards the glass pane and tried very hard to look inside.Trust me my eyeballs almost popped out!There was a complete unrest between my eyes and my mind.What my eyes saw was not accepted by the mind.
A 60 year old man walking so swiftly and carrying a wooden table almost a size of little dining.He almost turned his head towards the window bt only god knows how I managed to skip his eagle view.He turned towards the mirror and what he did gave me a shock.It was like a movie being recreated.He abstracted his beared out and took off his shirt.Cursing those window pane my eyes caught sight of some marks on his body near the spines.With anxiety and dismay I decided to show some heroics.
I almost waited for 10 minutes before he appeared at the door.
“Yes lil’ boy?”
“You don’t celebrare christmas,right?”
“Ha!Ha!Chill boy.I was not well.Hope Christ still loves me”he spoke winking at me.
“You are a bad host”I said
“O oh!Sorry Come inside”
He walked in a lathargic n elderly way.Hope he was trying to fool me and that infuriated me from inside.Yet I kept silent.
“Ya Sure,thankyou”I gestured
“So u live all alone.I mean wife,children none”
“My wife left me 3 years after marriage.And children you know busy in their work.No time for old dad”he said in a deeply sad tone
It realy feels great from inside when you know that the person is fooling you but you already know the truth.Oh!Heavenly happy feeling.
“Oh it’s sad.You don’t like lights,right?”
“No no dear.Actually I don’t earn enough to pay for bills as well as my daily livelihood”He said while looking at the ground
“Common this is crazy.Anyways I have a present for you.Take it!” I said offering him a gift
“Thankyou.I dont have anything to give you.I am realy sorry.Being a elder I should have”He said while trying to unwrap
“Unwrap it when I go.But you can give me one thing”I said
“And that is?”he asked
“Sounds funny yet difficult.Go for it”He said with a broad smile
“Who are you?”
His face almost turned pale and an air of idiocy could be probably seen.
“I am Henry Lodger.Retired Banker”
“Can you harm me?”I asked in a terrible tone
“What are you speaking?Why will I?Are you crazy?U are like my grandson.”He spoke in a tone that assured me
Gathering all the strength that I could,my lips moved and hand gripped on the arms of chair,I asked”Why are you hiding your identity?I know you are not that old.And the marks on your back and your false facial hairs,all speak a different story”Finally I spoke
Their was an extreme silence for almost half a minute.I prayed Jesus to keep me safe.For now I was ready to bear his anguish.He gave me a stern look and then to my surprise he smiled at me,taking off his beard and moustache.I heaved a sigh of relief.
“Fadhil Samer,High School teacher,Syria”He said in one breath
“Then why did…”.He interrupted.
“After the civil war broke out,i decided to leave away with my wife,two daughters and a son.Bt nature had decided some other fate.something more worse,something more tragic.I was barred to leave the place as I only had nominal syrian pounds left for three of us to go.I begged them to take us but they declined.My elder daughter asked me to let the other three go n we both shall arrange some money and can leave later.I insisted my wife to leave.Sometimes nature is very barbarous.The ship sank to the base of the bloodthirsty sea.How can nature devour my 8 year old boy and 5 year old lil’ angel.I know my wife would have tried to save them.She could not swim.Little fingers of my babies would have fumbled over to catch her hand but…”He wiped his tears but I couldn’t.For the first time I saw a man of his age crying in such a tragic way.I couldn’t dare to speak.My lips were sealed listening to the penalty he paid to nature.How can nature be so harsh?I wiped my tears and offered him glass of water.He sipped up.
“You should not cry.My son always looked at me as his superhero.But his father could not even save him”he said
“But that was not your mistake”
“Your daughter?”I asked
“Nature was not yet satisfied.She was killed in bombing led by U.S and allied forces.They killed her.I could not even find a piece of her body.She said me one day that”Father,don’t wory mom,brother and sis would have reached safely.we too will go one day vry soon n hug them tightly”.i din’t had the dare to tell her the truth”
“I am really sorry”and I almost bursted in tears
“No no no you don’t cry.”He held my hand and pulled me closer and wiped my tears.But I could not stop.He offered me water and asked me to wash my face.I did as instructed.
“Then why are you here now?”I asked
He paused for a moment.And asked me to leave the place as it was late already.
To Be Continued…