“Hi, Tom. I was expecting to meet you. How are you?”, shouted Christian as he saw Tom approaching him. Tall, lean and dressed smartly in business casuals, Tom walked towards him. He was carrying his office bag and another bag containing Christian’s favorite sweets.
“I am so sorry. It has been so long since we’ve met. I have been working twice as harder than you thought I would. No time for anything”, said Tom raising his hands up in the air and giving them a slight twist. The bag in his hand turning a full 360 degrees and then going in the reverse direction. Christian’s head moving laterally along with the bag.
“Here. I got these for you”, he said as he handed over the sweets box to Christian, his eyes glowing seeing the box. He gulped down a few of them before asking Tom, “Do you like them too?” The puppy-eyed look Christian gave him automatically made him answer in negative.
“So, how is it all going?”, he asked.
“Not much. Too much homework nowadays. I am not getting enough time to play. People might say that school is easy to get through but probably they never studied in my school”, he cribbed. Tom smiled. He realized that a broken nib of the pencil stuck in a sharpener isn’t the biggest worry in his life anymore. Times had changed.
“Yeah. You know, I feel the same about my office work”, he replied mimicking Christian. It is rightly said that every age has its own problems.
“People in school keep asking me what I wanted to become in the future. I don’t think I have a differentiating factor. Did you become what you wanted to?”, asked the ever-inquisitive Christian.
“I don’t know, dude. Goals, plans, everything changes with time. Remember you once told me that you wished to become a teacher? Don’t give up on it easily. You might regret it later. As of now, I am still chasing myself in my dreams. On some days when I get tired of chasing myself, I remember you”, replied Tom.
“So, how is it working out with Susie?”, he enquired. Christian gave a dejected look. “Not very good”, he replied.
“Don’t worry. You will meet someone great in the future”. Christian gave an asymmetric smile. His heart believing what Tom said but not his mind. “Trust me”, he reassured him. Symmetry visible at a glance now.
“What happened to the newspaper?”, queried Christian.
“It was a hit for a while but I couldn’t keep it going. I still blog, though”, Tom answered.
“What do you write about? I love writing editorials too”, his questions never ended.
“I know”, Tom smiled. “Almost anything. Maybe, I’ll blog about our talk today under the moonlight. I did find some of your articles a few days back. They were good.” Christian gave a wide smile. “I think I should value your opinion more than everyone else’s.”
“I think I should value your opinion more than everyone else’s”. “Yeah, you wouldn’t have called yourself ‘Christian’, otherwise”, laughed Tom. Christian simply rolled his eyes.
It was time for Tom to leave. He got up and picked up his briefcase. His eyes trying to see if any sweets were still left in the box he gave Christian. “Here”, Christian held his hand out. “I knew you liked them.”
“Hey, Tom. Remember the vice principal of the school once told us, never give up on what you set your eyes on. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.”
“Not forgetting this anytime soon. If I do, I’ll come back to meet you. Also, you know, whatever differentiating factor you have, you need to keep upgrading it. If it becomes constant, it might become zero”. Tom laughing at his own pun. Christian gave a surprised look. “Don’t worry. You’ll learn soon”, he took off.
“Tom… Tom.. wake up!”, his mom shaking him with all her strength. Tom woke up with a big wide smile.
“What?”, she asked. “Again dreamt meeting yourself 10 years in the future?”
“This time I went in the past!”
Title Courtesy – Aditi Srivastava ( Who else! ).