Vini’s mobile vibrated on the coffee table. She ran to pick it up. It was her friend Savita, who told her that she was sending her son, with the registration form for a summer camp for their daughters. Savita had picked it up earlier that day. Vini told her that she was at home and that Savita’s son could come to drop it off.
After waiting for nearly two hours, Vini had to step out. So she called Savita to ask when her son would drop off the form.
Savita sounded puzzled and said, “He dropped it off right after we spoke Vini. Wait let me ask him.”
Finally they discovered that instead of knocking on Door No :1600, her son had knocked on Door No: 1606, Vini’s neighbour’s house. Since nobody had opened the door, he had slid it under the door.
Vini laughed and hung up, but the real challenge was now. Next door to her, in 1606, there lived a disgruntled man in his late sixties.
He lived alone and had rebuffed Vini each time she had smiled or tried to strike up a conversation. He kept to himself mostly. He ticked off her kids if they talked loudly in the lobby.
She would have let the form go, but for the fact that Savita had paid $50 for it.
The old man lived by the clock and usually left home at 5 p.m. for his evening walk.
She hadn’t seen him in a while though and wondered what would happen.
At 4.45 p.m. she kept her door slightly open so she could hear him. She waited and waited, with no luck.
She could not meet him that whole week, and with just three days left to submit the form she was getting desperate.
Two evenings before the form was due, she heard his door opening. She dashed like a bolt of lightning, to claim the form, not caring if Mr.Grump would snub her again.
But coming out of his door was a little girl of about 6. Her cute pigtails bobbed up and down, as she smiled at Vini and called out, “Grampa are you coming? The lift’s here.”
Vini almost gasped when she saw the old man. His frowning face was smiling, he was humming a tune and there was a spring in his step.
He saw Vini and said, “Hello there. This is my granddaughter Tanya. My daughter’s visiting me after ten years.”
He shook his head in disbelief and smiled.
Vini smiled at this change. She asked him about the envelope.
“Oh that? Sorry..I thought it was one of those marketing mailers that keep showing up, so I trashed it. There was no name on the envelope, if I remember. Sorry, once again. Got to be off now. See you around,” said the man as he walked into the elevator with his granddaughter.
Vini stared at the closed door and didn’t know what to think.
Another $50 would have to go. She sighed but her heart felt good that the old man had found some happiness. Maybe that’s all he had wanted – some love and some family time. Maybe he had been terribly lonely.
The lost $50 was definitely worth it!