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iklan

A missed opportunity



Assalamualaikum and salam blog to you all. This story fasya took from magazine. After fasya read this story, fasya felt sad. 



It was a Sunday afternoon and I was lazing around at home savouring every bit of weekend holiday. My growling stomach indicated that it was way past lunch time but I could not seem to get myself off the couch. I usually eat out as I was staying on my own. To me, cooking is not only a hassle but it is not economical too, especially for one person.
I became ravenous with each passing minute and was forced out of my cocoon. Though the weather was scorching hot, I gathered my courage to set out search of food. I decided to go to a nearby restaurant. The blazing  hot sun tempted me to drive but I aborted the idea as finding a parking space would be a nightmare. So, I grabbed an umbrella and started walking.
The air was thick with humidity, causing me to sweet profusely and my flimsy tissue shredded into pieces. When I passing by a bus stop, I noticed an elderly man looking my way longingly. I nodded a smiled at him out of courtesy an moved on. All of sudden, he put out a hand and stopped me. I turned to him in astonishment and he asked: “are you staying somewhere around here?”
I was tempted to mutter a “yes” and walk away but my mind overruled it as impolite. “my house is across the road and I am on my way to lunch,” I told him “what is the time now? My watch  has stopped, he said pointing to his wristwatch. Although I was  getting impatient, I managed a smile and told him it was three in the afternoon.
“ I came here on an errand and am returning home. I have been waiting for the bus for more than an hour but none showed up,” he said exasperatedly. I really felt sorry for him because  I had come across such situations before. The buses plying the route did not stick to the schedule much to the annoyance of the public. Until a year ago, I depended on  public transport too and was very much relieved when I could afford a car. I asked him not worry as the bus would come eventually. “But I am in rush. I am staying very far away and I have to take a couple of buses and the light rail transit (LRT) train before I could reach home.” He rambled on. The awful weather and hunger took its toll on me and I butted in, “yes, sir. I understand your predicament but I can’t do much.” I regretted for making my irritation visible but it was too late.
Surprisingly, the man did not seem to take offence, instead he said, “I want to ask you a favour and hope that you do not mind.” To make amends for my terrible behaviour earlier, i asked him what he wanted. "can you give me RM50 please? i am not feeling well and can't wait for the bus anymore. i plan to take a cab and guess that much. You know how unscrupulous the cabbies can be refusing to use the matter . I have spent all my money and am left with RM10,” he said in a measured tone.
I took a quick scan of him from head to toe. He looked like he was in his 50s. his curly black hair was combed neatly . in terms of dressing , he looked decent in a short sleeved shirt and a pair of matching slacks. The sheen on his black shoes he was wearing proved that they were new. In short he did not look like a needy or disadvantages person.
He waited for my reply patiently as I was getting alarmed. Is he pulling a fast one and trying to fleece me? I have heard stories about how unsuspecting people were conned when they acted on impulse. I am prudent when it comes to spending , especially in the current scenario where the world is threatened by the looming recession
Finally, I decided not to part with my money and told him that I did not have enough cash. But he did not seem to give up “believe me, I am not cheating you. I am in dire need, “ he pleaded. “How would I know if you are telling me the truth? You could be taking me for a ride to make a quick buck,” I told him unceremoniously and turned on my heels, ignoring his repeated  calls. Upon reaching the restaurant, I ordered a plate of fried rice and iced lemon tea. I could barely finish half the food  as my appetite was lost.
The thought of the man haunted me and I had no choice but to ponder if I had done the right thing. Was I insensitive to his dilemma?   As guilt consumed me, I ordered another glass of iced lemon tea and drank it in a gulp. I made up my mind to give him to money on my way back if he was still around. I wanted my conscience to be clear so that I could spend the remaining day in a peace.
When I reached the bus stop, I was utterly shocked. There was a commotion and crowd had gathered. At closer inspection, noticed the man in distress being carried into a car which sped off. I asked an onlooker what had happened and he told me that the man fainted while waitingfor the bus and that he could not be revived. A good Samaritan had offered to take him to the hospital and alert his family.
I froze in despair and headed home with heavy heart. My eyes were moist with tears and I kept blinking them away. I could have prevented his pain and misery. I was judgmental and refused to see that there was more to it than met the eye. Whoever he was, I prayed for quick recovery.
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