The old man woke up early just as the first rays of light hit his city. These days sleep wasn’t a good friend to him at all despite his advanced years. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling for a good 5 minutes. For a while he thought about going back to sleep but he knew that it would be in vain. Slowly he pulled himself from his bed and headed to the bathroom. He took his time and washed his face and brushed his teeth. He would then walk slowly past the sleeping form of his wife on their bed and go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. While the water boiled he stared at the outside world through the kitchen window. A baby cried and was quickly pacified by it’s mother. Instinctively the old man thought back to the years he spent as a young child with his own mother. His mother who passed away a few decades ago and all that remained of her was an old photo.
He took his cup of tea and made his way to the living room where he laid the cup down on the dining table and then went to get the newspaper. Not that he would later recollect much of what he read in the news but it was a sheer force of habit of reading the newspaper along with the day’s first cup of tea – a habit formed when he was in his 20s and 50 years later he was unable to change it. So he sipped his tea; strong, no milk and with very little sugar and he read the papers. He spent a good hour going through the various articles. A war here, an accident there, someone calling out for a ruling head of state to resign – pretty much an normal day of news. He closely watched the obituaries for any news on people he knew and of his age passing away. There were none but he always thought when his day would come and how it would be to read his own obituary. As always, the mere thought of it made his chuckle.
He then put the paper aside, pushed his now empty tea cup to the middle of the table and stared at the outside world from his living room window. He thought of the years when he was full of youth, vigour and worked hard to make his way up the ladder. He thought of all the success he had. He wished in his mind if only he could relive those days. He remember better days, the birth of his children, the achievements and the accolades. He thought of a time when he had it all and now he felt that he had very little. He once had money to spare and now he found it tough to get by. And that’s why at his age he still worked. He knew what some people thought but he pushed the thoughts away from his mind. Isn’t it hard to keep at it after all these years? It didn’t matter. He still had to fight on. There were bills to pay. He wouldn’t give up now.
Just before it was time for him to wash his cup of tea and then take his bath, the old man let his mind drift back to those glory days of his and smiled. He could almost grab onto it. He wished for it again. If he could only stay back and day dream. However his wife would be waking up any minute now. And so the old man picked up his cup and went to wash it. Another day is just beginning.