‘It is too much snowing this year.’ The old man said to the young man who came to visit him.
‘Yes. It was not snowing this much this time last year. It is cold inside the home too. I think some of your windows need repair.’ the young man said looking around.
‘You don't have to worry. I asked Murty to get a carpenter. He will do it.’
‘Did Murty come to see you? Here?’
‘Oh, You know Murty? He is my helper for very long now. Many years! He was my manager before we bankrupted.’ The old man looked around for Murty. Called him, ‘Murty… make some coffee no?’
‘Murty joined my company.’ young man shocked the old man.
‘Oh, is it true Murty? You have joined this gentleman’s company? After all these years?’ the old man shouted towards the kitchen with complete despair. His voice cracked.
‘No, Murty joined my company a year back. He is not here right now.’
‘Of course, I know. It was me who fired him.’ The old man gave a firm smile. ‘What would you like to have? We get too hungry too soon being alone here in the woods. Our mind starts thinking oh we are alone and we may not get food forever.’ the old man mocked his mind.
‘Are you hungry?’
‘What? No. I’m full. I had a heavy lunch. I’m thinking of skipping supper too.’
‘What did you have?’
‘Food. Good food. Like… something I made. I’m forgetting these days. Need to work on my memory. I used to be…’
‘Shall we go out for coffee or a quick snack?’ the young man asked.
‘Yea. I’m glad you asked. I was thinking of a good reason to take my car somewhere.’ The old man stood up and went near the window. ‘If we did not start the engine for too long, it will cease and they will tow your beloved vehicle away.’ The old man frowned looking out of the window. The vehicle was not there.
‘We will go in my vehicle.’
‘Okay. the nearest town is 5 miles away. I think Murti is sleeping. Let's not disturb him. We will get something for him.’
They both got into the young man’s car.
‘I used to own this exact model when I was young. And you know what, that was my first car. It was my lucky charm. It's hard to see this one on the roads nowadays.’
‘This car is lucky for me too.’ The young man noticed that the old did not wear one of his gloves. ‘You forgot to wear your left glove. Should we go back?’
‘No no. It is fine. I can keep my left hand under my coat. It's cozy this way.’ The old man smiled confidently. ‘I’m worried about my place being messy when you showed up. I will tell Murty.’
‘Murty is not with you anymore. He joined my company a year before.’
‘Yes. I know. You don't have to repeat yourself. I know where Murty is.’
‘Where is Murty?’
‘He went on vacation with his family. He will be back this Saturday.’
They both entered a small restaurant. The old man kept his left hand under his coat. He took a place near the fire and made himself comfortable.
‘Light food, please. You said it is for a quick snack.’ The old man reminded the young. The young ordered more than sufficient and the old ate more than he can.
‘Should we order something for Murty?’ The young man asked.
‘Yes. We should.’ the old man said emptying the plate clean.
The two went to pay the bill. It was quite high. The young took the bill and reached for his wallet in his coat. The old insisted that he will pay. He reached into his coat and looked for money. The young waited. The old did not have any in his coat.
‘I think I forgot to bring any money.’
Both were on their way home. The 70’s style vehicle was calmly moving on the lonely road.
‘You are me.’ The young said.
‘…’ The old kept silent.
‘I noticed your gloves. That was her first gift. You are a reflection of my future.’ The young said. The old sat in the back seat silently looking outside having his left hand inside his coat. ‘So, you stayed arrogant all your life? And here you are, living alone with your ego and probably in the charity of others.’
‘I’m not in anyone’s charity here.’
‘What happened to Leila? What happened to the children? Why are you alone?’ The young man’s eyes blurred with tears.
‘I lost them.’
‘How? Did she leave you?’
‘You don’t have to know.’
‘I do have to know this. Tell me what happens???’
‘Look. All you have to know is, even though she is arrogant, selfish, and outright unfair at times, you need her every day.’
The young man stopped the car in the middle of nowhere. ‘I have seen enough.’ he said as his eyes blurred with tears collected.
‘Is this a dream?’ old man wondered.
‘No, This is a wake-up call. I need to wake up now!’ The young man lifted his face in hope.
‘What do you want sir?’ a pretty lady in the small shop asked.
The old man stood there lost in his thoughts.
‘Sir.’ The lady called again.
‘I need a glove for my left hand’ the old man showed his left hand from his coat.
‘We don't sell gloves separately sir. It comes with a pair.’
‘Oh yes, Of course. So, my right glove is useless now I guess?’
The pretty shop keeper had nothing to say.
‘I don't want a new pair.’ — ‘You know what? I think I need to search in my house once again.’ — ‘I have been searching for 16 years now. Maybe I kept it in the wardrobe or something.’ — ‘Yes, it should be in the wardrobe.’ — ‘My bad memory’
The old man smiled at the shop keeper and walked back towards his messy and lonely house in the cold.
The daydream kept him awake. He realized he did not eat that night. He felt very hungry. He checked the kitchen and could not find any food or water. He took some money and dressed up to shop. He had to walk ten minutes from his cabin in the woods to the nearest small town. Upon reach, he found the town to be eerily deserted. He did not have his watch and could not say what time it was. He walked back to his cabin and could not find the watch. The wallclock did not have batteries replaced for so long. He sat by the window watching at the horizon anticipating the sunrise. It seemed like early morning but stayed that way for way too long to be true.
The time was 10 past 12.