WHO WAS HE ?
Have you ever experienced thinking about someone's face all day but not being able to remember who they are? This happened to me, and I eventually remembered the person and the incident that had occurred. Whenever I recall this incident, I get goosebumps.
I had a meeting with a client at his home, which was located a bit far from the city and off the beaten path. After the meeting, I left the client's home at 11 pm, but I was unable to book a cab, as nobody was accepting my request from that location due to the distance from the city. I walked a bit using Google maps and realized that the highway was still 12 km away, and I was on an empty street. It was almost 12:30 am, and still no cab was accepting my request, and I was stuck in a village.
There were no people around, only some street lights, trees, and a few houses. I sat under a tree, feeling cold, scared, and hungry. After some time, I spotted an old man sitting under a tree. I approached him to ask if he knew of any transportation available. He was coughing, and his face was illuminated by the street light. I asked my question, but he didn't answer, and there was no one else nearby. Suddenly, he spoke and said, "This is a night child, and you should be going home. Transportation is hard to find here." He offered me water, but I was unsure if I could trust him, so I declined. Then, I sat under the tree near him and started talking about his family and home because I was bored. He remained silent, but then he said, "Everybody left me in their own way. My wife left me and went to God, and my son and daughter have a new family now, so they left me here months ago." I felt sorry for him and remained quiet. He drank water, and I trusted him, so I drank a little water too.
I asked him what his wishes were, but he said that he was an old man and had only one wish, to die in peace. I asked if he felt angry at his children, but he showed me an old photo album of himself, his wife, and his children. We looked at the pictures, and he told me funny stories about his children when they were young. I laughed and ate some peanuts that he offered me since I was hungry. He was happy, and we had a good time.
At around 2:40 am, a cab finally accepted my request and came to pick me up since he was nearby. I picked up my bag, put it in the car, and went back to thank the old man. He told me not to worry and work for my dreams, as I was a good person and would be successful in the future. I wanted to give him money, but I didn't have any cash since I only used an online payment app. I planned to come back later and give him some food or money.
It has been a week since I last saw him, and due to different meetings in various places, I was unable to visit him. One day, I had a meeting nearby, so I took my bike and left early. I went to the same spot where the old man used to sit, this time with some money and food. However, he was not there. There were some people around, so I inquired about him with a shopkeeper.
He informed me that the old man had passed away three days prior, and they had already performed his funeral. I asked him about the old man's bag and albums, thinking that I could keep them, but the shopkeeper said that they had burned them during the ceremony. I then asked about the old man's family, and the shopkeeper informed me that he had no family and had been alone in the area without a home. The old man had always been silent, and no one had ever seen him speaking. I was shocked by this news, as he had spoken with me and even laughed with me. Feeling saddened, I sat under the same tree for a while and then returned home.
It has been over a year now, and I am pursuing my masters. I had completely forgotten about the incident until recently when the old man's face started appearing in my mind. However, I couldn't remember him until I had a dream about him. In my dream, I was sitting under the same tree, and the old man was smiling at me with the same smile, which was covered with his wrinkles.