On the nights he slept over at his grandmother’s, Seth was always tucked into bed with the goodnight wish that “the brightest things would come to him when he least expected them.” His grandmother explained that that is when he would appreciate them the most. Seth never did understand what she meant. Until he grew up and turned 34.
Seth had become close friends with Murphy. This guy had a global law named after him, which was the embodiment of the phrase “when it rains, it pours”. Seth knew it well. Despite wanting to believe what his grandmother had insisted on instilling in him – that all the proper things come and find you at the right time – he refused to believe that nothing good ever stayed with him.
At 27, he was still living with his parents, scraping by, working as a waiter at a nearby café because he could not find any paying work in his university-degree sector of engineering.
At 29, he broke up with his long-term girlfriend because she could no longer take his uncertainty, his pessimism and his lack of ambition. She was the type who believed there was nothing wrong with trying to reach further than you could see. Seth was the type who needed glasses to see the end of his fingertips.
At 32, a major crisis struck. Seth was going through what most people experience at some point in their lives – reminiscing of how everything used to be simpler when we were younger, of how nothing turned out the way you expected, and of how the future looks so bleak, you don’t see anything worth fighting for anymore.
But that is when things began to change.
When he thought that everything would simply continue downhill.
An executive officer of a multinational corporation walked into the aforementioned café one day. Seth was the one to serve him, but having seen him numerous times there, he suggested exactly what the businessman wanted to order. Frequent customers usually have fixed preferences. The businessman was having a rough day, and was encouraged by the smile on Seth’s face and the kindness with which he was approached. The small talk while the coffee was being prepared turned into an invite to an interview, which two days later became a work offer.
Two years later, it was Seth who was in charge of his own department, drinking coffee with the businessman, instead of serving him.
And that was when he remembered his grandmother’s words. Because he had settled the career issue, but what about the relationships phase? He had met all sorts of women during the years: the crazy ones who checked your phone when you went to the bathroom; the really crazy ones who also checked your pockets and bags; the insane ones who would freak out if they saw you with another woman; the ones who didn’t really care because they were already cheating on you; and, of course, the right ones at the wrong time, who were already in other relationships. He would return home and feel alone. Even Heather, his Siamese cat had befriended the Tomcat from next door. His mind ran back to Esther. She was for him “the one that got away”. He believed everyone had one such person. But come night, he would remember a story his grandmother used to tell him, that when souls were created, they split in half when they fell to Earth, and ever since people spend their entire lives trying to find their other half. Seth was overcome by grief and longing for Esther, but could not sum up the courage to call her. So many years had passed, she would certainly have moved on.
There are times when in life, nothing happens, and then when you finally find the door to open, events come pouring onto you like an avalanche.
That is what happened with Seth. When one night the phone rang, and the answer to his curious “hello?” was a soft trembling voice he knew too well, stating “it’s me”.