"Hey, buddy, wanna make a bet?"
"Who do you think is gonna win today? Manchester United or Real Madrid?"
"What type of question is that? Obviously, Manchester United."
"Why? Because Ronaldo is playing."
"You know what I think?"
"I think Real Madrid is going to win today."
"I don't know. I just feel like they are going to win."
"Whatever! You bet right?"
"Hey, hey can I bet too?"
"Of course, sweetheart, you can."
"Ummm. Barcel.... ona."
"You mean Barcelona. It's not even their game today."
"Oh. Come on!"
"Ok... Barcelona, right?"
"Then Barcelona it is."
"Hey dad, If I win, you are going to buy me the new PlayStation."
"Really? And what if I win?"
"I don't know."
"You will not play any video games for 1 month."
"What? Come on dad? One month."
"You wanna bet or not?"
"John, you drive the car, and Tim, you shut up. No one is betting on anything."
"Oh... Come on darling, we are just playing. Right Tim?"
"Yes... But I thought you really were going to buy me a PlayStation."
"Mom...mom...aau… mom...I am sorry, hahaha,"
"Dad, why are you laughing?"
"Because your brother is going to lose."
"No, I won't,"
"Listen Tim, when we reach there, don't let Jess's hand go. Okay,"
"And you will also keep holding my hand, right?"
"Come on, mom, I am not a kid, you know."
"Yes, you are."
"No, I am not."
"Tim, don't argue with your mother."
"But... I am almost fifteen."
"Son, no matter how old you become, you will still be our son and we will still be your..."
Tim's eyes shot wide open, seeing the very familiar ceiling above him. His eyes were teary, berthing was erratic, body was drenched in sweat. Nothing new. Nothing changed.
He slowly rose from his bed and calmed himself down, looking towards a certain picture hanging on the wall with a broken smile on his face.
It was the picture of his family, whom he lost 25 years ago in a tragic accident. Some random driver changing his song, without noticing the road hit them head-on.
But somehow miraculously, Tim survived, with serious injuries. Nobody knows how, but he survived.
The driver was charged with 3 counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
'Was it enough? Did it bring back his parents and sister?'
'No... It didn't.'
Once someone is gone, nobody can bring them back. They are gone forever. That's how this world works. It's the eternal law that could not be broken.
After getting up and doing some stretching, Tim picked his phone, which had some missed-call on it, reviewed the notifications before throwing it onto the bed, and went to the bathroom.
Looking at his reflection in the mirror, Tim smiled, fixing his shirt. With whitish-brown hair and blue ocean-like eyes, his face had rather attractive features, but it wasn't something otherworldly. And eyes aside, it was a pretty average face, one that you would forget after not seeing for a couple of days.
Especially for today, he chose formal clothing. A black blazer, white shirt, black pants and, yes, a black tie.
As he walked further down the road, he saw a young girl, probably seven-year-old, holding both of her parent's hands and walking in front of him.
It was a beautiful sight to behold, just like how he walked with his parents. Seeing that a soft yet broken smile appeared on his face, but that didn't last long as the young girl ran away towards the road chasing something or someone, leaving her parents' hands.
And within moments, she was in front of an oncoming truck waiting for her time to end, but someone from the crowd ran like no one else had ever seen.
The driver slammed his brake with every he had got, so did Tim. With every ounce of force his body could muster, he ran and jumped before the truck. He pushed the girl, and the truck skidded past where she was just standing.
"What the fuck you just did there?" yelled the driver, getting out of the truck as he walked towards the duo with many bystanders who came to help.
"I just saved her." Answered Tim calmly, checking the little one for any injuries. "You okay?"
"Ye…s!" shuttered the girl, holding onto Tim's blazer like a scared kitten.
"That's my girl." Tim smiled, patting the girl's head as he rose from the ground.
"Oh, really. Who let her get on the road in the first place? For God's sake, take care of your child, moron?"
"It is our fault." Said a man probably in his mid-thirties, appearing from the crowd with his wife.
"Take care of your kid, man. You shouldn't let go of their hand at any cost." Added Tim, dusting off his dress.
"I am sorry, Sir. It was a mistake on our part. If you are injured anywhere, please come with us. We will take you to the hospital," responded the man in a polite tone.
"Naa. I am fine. Just take care of your daughter and we are good."
The driver who now got the gist of the situation, then shifted his attention to the parents. Talked about their irresponsibility and what could have happened if Tim had not saved her. They again apologized to both Tim and the driver.
That could have been the end of it but then a patrolling car arrived which detained the driver for sometime but the crowd helped him get out of there. Nevertheless, a warning was given to the driver, and the parents followed by another heartfelt thanks to Tim, who just waved it off like nothing.
So, the day continued as usual and Tim walked on his merry way, with some minor bruises on his dress and cheek.
It was a chilly day with a chilly breeze gusting everywhere and Tim stood before three gravestones with a gentle smile on his face.
"You know, dad, I saved a little girl today. She was not hurt, but was really scared. I don't understand why parents are so irresponsible these days… Well, if all ends well, then who am I to say it? Also, we are making a commercial particle accelerator. I know it sounds too dangerous, but trust me, it is not. I could have shown you… but you are…"
Tim chuckled a little with a sorrowful face as he looked at the cloudy sky.
"And mom, I taught Rose how to make that curry you always made for us. It is not perfect but she will get there. I know it. Also, I now know how to cook literally everything you wrote in that book. How awesome is that…"
His words trailed off at the end as droplets of tears escaped his eyes. He sobbed for some moments before wiping his tears and continued.
"Jess… you remember that ice-cream we always ate? I bought that company. Now you can eat all you want… but… you are not here anymore… I am…"
"Sir!" called someone from behind.
"Ye… Yes." responded Tim, tilting his head, wiping the droplets of tears.
"We should go now. Meeting will begin shortly."
He nodded, slowly getting up from the ground, flashing a soft smile. "I will be back, guys."
"So, Tim, are you an idiot?" Asked a man, probably in his sixties, with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Then, why on earth you thought we could make a freaking budget particle accelerator for normal people? I know it is possible and you can do it but twenty billion dollars is nowhere near enough."
"It is a joint venture, isn't it?"
"Yes Sir." added the old dude mockingly. "It is a joint venture, but we are not making profits from it. We need at least five billion dollars in our pockets from the Govt before this thing reaches the market."
"Why? It is already complete. Trials are going smoothly and we have more than enough money to run it for the next couple of years. As for companies' profit, we will make it after it is in the market. That's how things work, right?"
"Right! You are absolutely right sir." added the man, leaning on his chair with a smile on his face, before slamming both of his fists on the glass table as he got up from his seat, yelling on top of his lungs. "No, it doesn't work like that, you piece of shit."
"Listen Charles, you don't have to show that pumpkin face to me. You look good as usual. And I am sorry to say, but I can't demand more money than the tender. It is against my policies." Replied Tim in a tranquil tone with a fake smile plastered on his face.
"Your policies are taking this company down. Am I wrong gentlemen?" said Charles in an irritated tone, looking at other board members present in the chamber for some sort of validation, and most of them nodded. "See, everyone agrees. So, for the love of God, bent those policies a little. We need money."
"Yeah, for your luxurious yacht. For your mansion, for your Rolls Royce, for you to cheat on your wife, for your mistress. There are a million things you all can do with that money, right?" retorted Tim and in return, most of them got fairly angry, but no one dared to utter anything. And he continued.
"I don't care what you say. I am the CEO, plus the biggest shareholder of this trillion-dollar company. If you don't want me, then sell your shares and get the fuck out of here. If not, then sit the hell down and follow my goddamn words."
"Yes." Everyone nodded, including Charles, who quietly sat down, but that disdain look never left his eyes. He was more than unsatisfied as he muttered some words under his breath, only heard by him. "You will regret this, Tim Walker."
Inside a spacious office room sat a man closing his eyes, leaning back on his office chair as he put his legs on the table. And opposite to him sat a beautiful lady in her thirties, writing something on a piece of paper.
"Sir!" said the girl, observing the man before her.
"Yes." replied the man, still eyes closed.
"I heard you saved a little girl today by heroically jumping on the road."
"Oh, that. It was just a minor accident. Nothing big." Responded Tim with a smile as he slowly opened his eyes.
"If you say so. But it could have been much more problematic."
"Who cares? She is saved. I am back in the office. That is all."
"Yes. Yes. That's what Tim Walker would say." Replied the lady, placing the paper on the table as she fell back in her chair. "By the way, what are your plans about those pigs, mainly that of Charles? You can't just let them get away from this. They disrespected you when they knew you literally are the biggest shareholder of this company."
"They said nothing wrong, Rose. They are thinking about their own profit and I am not that keen to do that. Greed is in our nature and they are following their instincts." Tim moved his legs away from the table as he focused on the lady before him, who was now touching her long, silky auburn hair out of her face.
Money always came before everything, and that was the harsh truth. But he was not someone who would agree on that.
"Also, it doesn't matter, even if they hate me. That project is finished and will soon go live. The masses will take it from here."
"So, what's your plan now?"
"Nothing really. After wrapping business here, I want to go somewhere peaceful, where nothing will disturb me. And that is why I am telling you to find someone you love."
"Where did that come from? We are talking about your peaceful life. Right?" asked Rose with a puzzled expression on her face.
"You know, I won't be here forever to take care of you. You can't just stick with me like you are right now. You have a life. Live it a little, when you are still young." Added Tim with a broken smile in his face, looking towards the setting sun, outside the building.
"So, what do you want me to do?"
"Find someone you love. There are like a hundred men here in this office who have a crush on you. Choose any of them. Go on a date. Talk a little. Figure out if you are compatible with him or not. If you are, then move forward. Go on more dates, get married, have a baby, make a family. Enjoy your life until it lasts. Simple."
Rose smiled, listening to Tim's words, as she spoke in a soft tone. "You remember when you found that girl Rosaline on a rainy day, lying outside your house?"
"Yes, I remember."
"You were young back then. Why didn't you live your life? Why did you take care of me, leaving every partner that wanted to marry you? Why?"
"Where are you going with all this?" Tim's face stiffened as he asked in a monotonous tone.
"You didn't live your life because of me. And I am doing the same."
"That's the most illogical argument I have ever seen. You have a life on your own. Stop intertwining it with mine. You can live however you want; don't waste it because of an old man like me."
"You said, when your family died, you wanted to die with them but lived because of me. I became a reason for you to live. You fed me, taught me, gave me everything I ever needed. You became everything for me. And after twenty years of walking beside you, it is impossible for me to just leave. No matter how you say it, I am not going to date or marry anyone. I will be here with you, doing the same thing until the day I die."
"You already know the reason."
"How many times do I have to say this? Your feelings are not of love, they are of gratitude and…"
"That's enough Sir. I am not a thirteen-year-old girl talking to her crush for the first time. I have passed that age long ago. I know what my feelings are and I have no doubts about it." responded Rose in a firm tone, making Tim blink a couple of times before exhaling a deep breath.
"Ok, let's stop here. We have better things…"
"Yeah, like always. You know it is the seventy-ninth time you have said this."
"You were counting?" asked Tim in a tone of disbelief.
"Yes, and it is getting too much now. So… decide. Either…" Before she could complete her words, Tim's phone rang, and he picked it up, avoiding her irritated gaze.
"Tim, can you come here?"
"Yes, can you come to site seven? Phoenix is acting strange."
"There is a slight issue here."
"What is it?"
"I can't explain it, dumbass. You need to see it for yourself."
"Ok… I am coming.”