Short Story: In Vain Have I Lived
I grew up to understand life as a hustle. Everything usually had to be paid for. The transition from nursery, primary, secondary through to my Masters, was a hustle. After all the time and conscious efforts I had invested, I just had to be wealthy. I lectured briefly in a College of Education, then I worked as a consultant in a firm, I had a supermarket of my own, I had three houses to my name. I had three cars, a lovely wife and three lovely children.
However, with each passing day, it was almost impossible to spend quality time with my family. I hardly had time to even mumble a few words of prayer.
Each time this disturbing thought dropped in my heart, I usually shoved it aside with the justification that ‘’family’’ was the very reason I was working so hard.
I could still recall my wife occasionally drawing my attention to this truth, but I never caught the meaning.
I worked myself out until I had begun to literarily wear out physically and spiritually. I noticed some oddities in my body system and only then did I run to my doctor for a check-up, and of course he queried me for neglecting my monthly check-ups due to my acclaimed ‘’busy schedule’’.
I ran all the tests he asked of me, and I sat impatiently in his dull coloured office for the results.
While I sat there, a million thoughts ran through my mind. I couldn’t remember the last time I had prayed, so I decided to use that spare time to pray. I had only started to pray when the doctor came back looking sombrely. What could be wrong with me? I asked myself, but I was soon going to find out, so I waited.
The doctor drew a chair close to me and sat down, then he drew out his glasses from his sunken eyes, wiped the lenses, replaced them gently, coughed briefly and then finally blurting out, he said, ‘’you have cancer’’. Those three words froze me. I sat still and momentarily died.
How could that be? What do I do now? Is there a remedy?
All these, I asked in a split second. The doctor only shook his head and said, ‘’sadly the disease has rapidly spread through your body, and in four weeks, it would have infected every area, so nothing could be done.’’
What do I do now? I screamed.
Looking away from me, his eyes fixed on the wall, he responded, ‘’Enjoy your last days’’.
I had driven into the hospital compound, but now on my way out, I could not clearly place where I had parked my car. My eyes were now blurry, my head felt heavy and my feet ached like they had just journeyed through the Sahara. As I eventually found my car where I parked it, I fumbled with the key and the lock. I sat in my seat, and placed my head on my steering wheel.
How did I get to this point? I asked myself.
Just then, a call came in from the office. I picked up my phone and stared at my secretary’s name blinking on my screen. I had fixed an appointment with a client, and he was now waiting. I flung the phone to the back seat, after all, I would be completely lifeless in a few weeks. Work was now the least of my worries.
Two little girls just passed by with their mother, panting and laughing. Behind them was a man, most likely to be their father, with two ice- cream cones in his hands. He wore a look that read ‘’Fulfilled’’. I don’t think they had a car, but they seemed content. The children turned back and ran towards him, and he handed the cones to them. They both held his hands on the two sides and I watched in dismay as they walked away .That would never be me, I thought to myself.
It then dawned on me what the Holy Book meant when it said ‘Life is Vanity’.
I had pursued important things, but I had also left out more important things.
So my conclusion;
Riches are good,
Wealth is healthy,
But in reality, life is worth much more than these pursuits.
And you are not indispensable!
Even after you have made an impact, you’d leave, you’d be missed, but you’d be replaced!
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