Chapter 1 ( reading time app. 5 min)
It was a pleasant sunny day. It felt cold in the shade so Adam decided to pull a chair in the sunlight and read the newspaper.
It was his usual routine, to wake up in the morning, have some fruit and go out for a long walk. Followed by a cup of tea and reading the newspaper.
His best friend Steve did not agree to accompany him first thing in the morning. He enjoyed having a lazy start to a day. ‘I am not a youngster any more’, he told him every now and then. ‘I cannot go through a military or an athlete’s training, I am getting old, about to retire a few years down. It’s important to listen to my body at this time, high time you listen to yours too’.
‘ If I start listening to my body, I will have a lot of excuses to deal with. I will listen to it in old age until then I am good on my own’. Adam said.
‘If only friends had mutual interests’, he thought.
He put the newspaper aside, stretched his body and looked high at the sky. The Sun was coming out very slowly as if it was exchanging notes on the change of shift.
Watching the Sunrise, every day almost in the same fashion made him look into nature in a very disciplined way. The whole system looked so obedient, punctual, disciplined and organised. Discipline was a key, a balance, a determination that formed the very essence of the universe. Yet, there he was, in need of alignment, direction and harmony.
With passing years it was becoming very difficult for him to go against the time clock. Waking up at night on occasions left him drained and fatigued, something irreplaceable despite long hours of sleep in the day. So he decided to stick to nature, the very own nature clock. It made him feel so better.
Unlike his friends, he did not limit his socialising to parties and restaurants. Being a social animal urged him to stay outdoors, like animals. In fresh air, in close contact with all the weathers. Hibernation he thought was ok only for times one is unwell.
He had achieved a lot in life. He was highly qualified and well settled with a small family. His son and daughter had left for their higher education a month before. It was since then, he started to feel even more lonely.
For years he had been trying to progress in his business. He worked relentlessly. Mustering up all energy to flourish a business from nothing. It was not easy to make a mark, to confront people, take the charge and lead from the front.
Dealing with his clients and employees had made him a very observant, clever and wise person. It was not easy to make him a fool. His business had a reputation, an honour he had earned with his sweat and blood.
Yet befooled he felt when his wife ‘Sara’ passed away so suddenly. Without an alarm, with no notice, an uninformed leave. In such a busy schedule he almost forgot, not everything worked under him.
The first year passed in a state of shock, helplessness and loss. With great courage, he supported his children who were still somewhat dependent on their mother for emotional support.
Although they lived a luxurious life, yet the presence of a woman who makes a house a home is felt when she is no more around.
He finished his cup of tea and started to walk towards his room with heavy steps. He did not want to go to work, which was very unusual for him. After making a phone call to his secretary, he hung up. He was in no mood to give dictation and ensure alternate arrangements.
He called his friend Steve, ‘Sorry to disturb you so early, is it possible for me to speak to your friend’?
‘Which friend are you talking about the first thing in the morning, I have many who came across my mind straight away.’ Steve added with a laugh, ‘what is your point of interest my friend’?
‘You and your silly jokes are both getting worse with time. Almost unbearable.’ Adam remarked with a smile.
‘Tell me something to make my day, now that you have disturbed me.’ Steve yawned.
‘You are one fat, unruly, lazy and insane old man. On a positive note, you had been very persistent’. Adam grinned.
‘Made my day, just how I want it to start each time’. Steve continued. ‘Couldn’t have asked for more, actually, you know what, it feels the torture to talk to you first thing in the morning. Did no one tell you before’?
‘Not exactly, a lot of people said they wanted to see me first thing in the morning, you know my good looks and personality are…what do you call it?’
‘Toxic!’ Steve answered well in time to help.
‘I smell something burning. Someone is being jealous of me. Well well who could be it this time, oh Steve it’s only you’. Adam could not stop his laughter this time.
‘Listen, I don’t have a whole day for your irritating tongue syndrome. Cut it short or take an appointment from my secretary’. Steve yawned again.
You and your secretary, the old lady has so pointed eyebrows, they work as arrows too, trust me, I have seen them changing to right and left direction’. Adam was in an honest mood.
‘They are very smiling and welcoming for me, good enough to judge the character, honour and integrity, I am afraid, it’s something you are not familiar with’. Steve was fully awakened now by mind jolts of his friend.
‘Go to sleep, you need rest, send me a number of that wise friend you had been after me to speak too,’ Adam concluded sympathetically.
‘Finally, you agreed to listen to me, I know him for a few years, he is a nice guy. You can talk to him about your overall well being. Just let him know you are completely insane, I can give the reference for that anytime, anything you see for you, my friend’.
‘I don’t need to see him, this is just a favour for you, courtesy what you may call, I have a little free time at my hand. Thought should put an end to your intervention. Time to check out his so-called healing company’. Adam remarked abruptly.
‘Oh your highness, you are so kind to disturb me in the morning, bug me and ask for a number you never wanted anyway… You could have sent a text, why to bother my lord, but for now please get lost, I will think about it’.
Adam wished he had those old phones, it was almost a relief to bang them on the stand.
It was still fun annoying his friend in the morning.
Adam wanted to meet this man ‘Jan’ whom Steve often referred to as buddy. He was a librarian and well-liked by everyone for his advice.
Adam had been feeling somewhat sad lately. ‘It is only boredom, you have been over thinking, move on in life’, his friend suggested’. Yet deep inside he knew it was not boredom, it was something he could not explain. Perhaps Jan could help him figure it out.
Jan as he heard was a young man. Yet like a wise old man in many stories had the insight, depth and understanding of intricacies of life. Philosophy, economy, politics, sports or social issues. He had a firm grasp of them all. It was hard to get bored in his company. He was a fun type who could crack endless jokes at the same time do serious meaningful conversation.
He called him for the first time, ‘I am Adam, Steve’s friend.’
‘Hi Adam, How are you doing?’
Formal introductions had always been awkward for Adam. He somehow managed to push aside formality and continued: ‘ I have heard a lot about you from Steve. I was wondering if I could meet you sometime. I have a few questions to ask, perhaps you could guide me when you have some time to spare’.
‘That no problem, I am free this afternoon, you are welcome.’ Jan replied.
It was not long when he found himself knocking at his door. A small house in a compromised area. Not a great sight, with litter and peculiar aroma dispersed in the air.
Adam knocked at the wooden door three times. A young man with a french beard, pointed nose and smile opened the door and shook hands with him.
They passed through a small garden, with a few chairs and a plastic table outside. Plants and flowers looked beautiful and neat on all sides. ‘Your garden looks great’, Adam added while walking.
‘That’s my hobby, I look after my plants’. John glanced at his plants.
John asked him to sit in the living room. A small room with minimal furniture and very simple decor. The furniture was made of cane with small red cushions.
‘Please feel comfortable’, Jan poured a glass of apple juice and handed to him, ‘lunch will be served shortly’. He smiled.
‘Thank you, there is no need for it’. Adam hesitated.
‘I am free in the afternoon, waiting to have lunch, you are my guest will be a pleasure if you could join’. Jan answered.
Adam continued reluctantly, it had been always hard for him to open up about his personal matters. As a man, it was expected of him to stay strong, yet some advice was essential at this point to see things better.
Gathering up all his energies, he pushed aside his reluctance and tried to break the ice with a question…
to be continued