Yes Santo, I will read it later
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It was six in the morning and I was sitting there, watching the first ray of light pierce the clouds that ominously blanketed the sky and was praying to the Lord hoping he would give me a ray of hope and clear the clouds of despair and desolation that have clustered in my mind. I remember telling Santo, “Santo, you must know that there shall be times when things go wrong. It is the Lord who reminds you of what your strength is. Your faith in him will only make you stronger.”
I have trusted Him for many years. This time, things went awfully wrong. But I only get weaker with time. He must have given up on me too. That is no worry……
“But please Lord, don’t give up on Santo. He’s your child now, an orphan. I beg you to
look after him as I may not be around for long. My eyes carry bags in them and my
limbs can’t move. I am starting to wither and surrender to age. As you feed on my soul, please nourish Santo’s. I beg you from the bottom my heart.”
Alberdo came and sat by me as I knew there was something ominous he had to let out. But he put his arm around me and squeezed my shoulder hard. That pain cooked many fears inside me and let me gazing silently towards the distant skies. He then said, “Santo wants a word with you.”
“Is he conscious. Thank heavens. Thank you Alberdo. Take me there. NOW!”
I hurried to his room and almost broke through the transparent glass on my way. My heart was throbbing and as I went into his chamber and that was the only sound audible besides the beeps of the heart equipment. I sat by him and leaned closer, waiting for him to speak. “Father” he said with his voice fading. “Yes son!” Then he signaled to the desk by his bed on which there lay a letter and a bright red rose. I was about to reach for it when suddenly, Santo managed put his bandaged arm on mine. I stopped and moved closer. “Not now. Later” he said, his eyelids moving closer and voice growing weaker. Seeing he lay there, I could not speak a word. But there was something that had been pushing me hard to tell him about his mother. After all, this is the chance I have been praying for all night. So I decided to tell him but could not look into his eyes. So I turned away from him as his hand reached out to my back. That sent a chill down my spine, just as when he used to dribble and shoot when we were getting to know each other back at Goa. The strength I had saved for this moment helped me brush aside all other thoughts as I began to say “I’m sorry son. I thought I have been hiding this for a while. Your mo…” Before I could complete it, his arm slipped of my back and I froze for a moment. The beeps that have been echoing in the room for a while have now condensed into a single beep long beep. My heart stopped beating and my breath was held. I sat there in shock and did not want to accept was happened. I did not want to see what my eyes drew or hear what my ears played. So I sat there, frozen and dumbstruck at this vicissitude. I could feel the tears escaping my eyes and my head getting heavier. But I sat there, inert and insecure.
Danilo and Alberdo came rushing to the room and carried me away as I had no clue what was happening. My eyes remain dilated, tears continue to flow and limbs fail to work as Alberdo tried to slip something past by my deaf ears. I could feel it all. But nothing passed through to my senses. Then something shook me up and threw me out of the limbo as I slipped from oblivion into a nightmare. I looked at Alberdo and burst into tears before running towards Santo’s room. I saw him, resting in peace, for a long time, away from football, his dreams and me, but closer to his Mom. I wept and wept hard for some time. A cold breeze flew in from the door and touched my skin and reminded me of the paper that lies on the desk. I picked it along with the rose and slipped it into my coat.
Yes Santo, I will read it later.