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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cars and Books and Bicycles

So, a friend of mine had nothing to hide. He spilled the beans about his extremely humble beginnings. He was a son of a farmer; they all had lived in a godforsaken village far away from civilization. His father was making a living by working on his own land, working hard, with very limited resources and machinery.

They did not have a lot of books in the house. Maybe only one or two. Therefore, a few people could ever have predicted that my friend will be teaching in a university some day and become a citizen of an academic status.

The first hints about such a turn of events happened when my friend went to high school in a far away town. His father was not blind about his son's success so although a man without any knowledge and interest about books he did everything in his power, come hell or high water - to send his son to university.

Of course, during his university days my friend showed an exceptional gift and his results proved to assure him a ticket to the high, academic position.

Even so, during the second year of his study something unexpected took place. A professor of the extremely difficult and complex subject of medieval history requested for every student to be in the possession of a history book, written by a less known French medievalist, and the book was very hard to find. My friend was frustrated. His extremely limited resources very going down rapidly, and he was ready to borrow the money from somebody or to do whatever it took, just to get that history book somehow. The book was extremely rare and expensive and not available in libraries.

My friend's father heard somehow about his son's trouble. He phoned his brother who was working abroad:

- He needs books. I have some books. – The man said.

- I will send him books right now. They should be over in a few days or more.

Therefore, my friend's father was content. His brother said that he is going to send the books. As a result, his son's problem was solved.

After a while my friend's father called him and said that the books had arrived. His uncle sent them from Austria.

My friend was impatient and upon hearing the good news he immediately grabbed the keys of his antique car that his father gave him and headed toward the far away village he was born. The books were there and waiting. His uncle not only did send them for him, but he also forwarded his sincere wishes and encouragement for him to finish with studies. Only one thing was strange – my friend did not recall anything about saying which particular book he needed to his father. "Maybe he found out somehow" – he reckoned.

Father was there in their house, sitting by the stove, smiling. My friend saw a package on the sofa beside him. He grabbed it immediately and started unpacking.

There were two books inside the package, both in hard cover. The first one entitled: "The return of Ninja – the Golden edition", and the second one: "The last days of Bruce Lee".

However, let's make something clear. This was not a joke. These books were given from the heart.

My friend thanked his father and said that he needed to get back to town immediately, as he had classes the next day. He also asked his father to send his thanks to his uncle in Austria the next time they spoke on the phone.

He was back in the car, not feeling disappointed but rather touched. When he reached something like a half of the way to the city suddenly he heard the crash. It was getting dark and out of nowhere something bumped against his car, and he heard the scream.

An old man on bicycle appeared out of nowhere, and now he was on the ground, screaming in pain. "There is no words I could describe my horror at that precise moment" – my friend said.

The old men popped out of nowhere and crashed against my vehicle. One thousand thoughts hit me at once at that precise moment: I killed or maybe badly hurt a man; am I going to end up in prison for years now? Why did this happen to me and so forth?

Upon stepping out of his ancient car my friend saw the man on the ground, screaming and calling him with the most unspeakable insults. The man was very old, maybe in his eighties.

In addition, he stood up suddenly. My friend was relieved. If the man could stand up that means that he is not hurt so badly.

The grandpa was now on his feet and headed toward my friend with an expression of ultimate anger on his face. He slapped my friend on the face with all the strength he had left.

- You idiots, you all have cars nowadays. You are the second person who's hit me today, the grandfather said. Then he lifted his bicycle and went his way, cursing.


Jim Murdochsaid...

I can relate the the story of the books. It's very poignant and a little sad too.

J. C.said...

Hi Jim, thanks, I am glad you found something to relate to.


Hi J.C.

Indeed a heartwarming story, and humorous too. I donated most of my older books to different charities so that people who cannot afford them have a chance to read them too - 20 large boxes full. It made me feel better to not have them collecting dust in my home:)

J. C.said...

Hi Bobby. I am glad that you liked the story, and that you've seen something humorous in it too. Thanks and Cheers!

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