It was a sunny morning and as I was driving to office, my eyes stuck on a lanky old guy. Our eyes met, nothing noticeable happened but I felt a little weird. The moment stayed with me for the rest of the day. On the way back, I stopped at the crossing and came to know from locals that the guy hangs out there sometimes, plays guitar and collects whatever people offer him. His name is Stefan.

As I reached home, I glanced at my guitar in the store room which was eating dust. I took the guitar, tuned it after a long time, and played a chord.

Next day I started a bit early in a bid to see him. He arrived, sat down on a bench and started playing. I sat down next to him and asked him who he was.

“I am Stefan “he said.

“Do I know you”, I asked.

“I don’t think so sir”, he said and started to leave.

I got back in my car. I narrated the whole thing to my friend Russel. Russel promised help and I trusted him. In the evening Russel called. “Stefan has been staying in the vicinity for about thirty odd years. He had a wife and a kid. His wife died of illness, he was an addict. Since he couldn’t look after his son, he decided to give it to an orphanage. Now he stays in the slums and plays guitar for his living.”

Since childhood I was told that I was adopted. Is he the one? Why does he strike that resemblance?

All these question needed an answer. I reached his home in the slums.

“Who are you and what connect do I have with you?”, I asked.

“I don’t know you sir. We have no connection.” He said.

I held him firmly, looked into his eyes.

He started crying. Yes he was my father. He had seen me growing. But why was this guilt in his eyes now and why was he crying. My eyes became wet, but I did not succumb. I closed the door and came back.

My dad, who adopted me, was my idol. So why has this old guy come back in my life now? Why do I relate to him wherein I should just despise him for him being an irresponsible procreator and nothing else. But he needs me now. His eyes say that loud and clear. He is an old sick man, begging in front of his son, to accept his existence. If he has been irresponsible, can I also become one irresponsible son?

Sometimes there is no happy choice, only one less grievous than others. I held my face in my hands, shut my eyes tight and cried out loud. I decided to get him home, look after him. Next day I reached his home, knocked on the door, nobody answered. Then a passerby told that the old man left with all his belongings yesterday night.


The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00-6 entry.
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Photo by Liane Metzler

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