Crossing Over (a short Fiction Story) Part 1
Truth Is Stranger Than FictionWMD aka William Marcus D’Souza- Bill for short was having a bad day. It had been a very hectic day at work with meeting after meeting and his table was full of uncleared files that needed his immediate attention. The Company was in the middle of a merger deal and he had been asked to clear all pending projects by delegating all the workload to appropriate Department heads so that they could be finished in record time before The company merged losing its identity and resurfacing in another morphed Avatar. Bill had been promoted as General Manager recently and this came to pass due to his hard work, innovative skills and thinking outside the box mentality.
WMD- Bill was an only son having lost his dad in the war, a squadron Leader
in the Indian Air force. His mom Maggie d’souza was a woman of substance and
her personality had equal measure of charm, diffidence and courage. Maggie did
not breakdown when her beloved husband Marcus Jose D’Souza lost his life in
service of his country at the age of thirty leaving behind a four year son who had
just begun binding with his Dad.
Maggie gathered her wits about her and weighing all the pros and cons decided
To sell their small house in Goa and move to Bombay where she had found a good
School where little Billy could study and Maggie could teach in primary school as well.
The nuns who ran this convent had also given Maggie a two room apartment as part of her employment package considering her circumstances and also maybe it was the will of god -that element was very much in the mix as this was the only time they had made an exception and provided accommodation to a member of their staff.
Maggie was a good teacher who brought out the best in her students and also captured their attention by her innovative method of teaching. Billy too was in her class and flourished in body and mind. The nuns however to be fair, always had Billy’s test papers checked out by another staff member to avoid any controversy and the test papers for each class were set by the teacher of another section which eliminated any cheating or partiality. Billy’s dad when alive was an accomplished well respected pianist and Billy had inherited his musical prowess from him and this skill Maggie honed to perfection by having Billy take special piano lessons. They had also brought their prized possession, a baby grand piano with them to Bombay.
Time went by swiftly and Billy turned 21 and being an outstanding student, he got recruited right from the college campus at a substantial compensation package. Both mother and son finally felt all their hard work and determination had paid off. They remembered Marcus very much and said special Prayers for him at the local church where they attended mass every Sunday without fail. Now they moved into the company three bedroom apartment that was part of the package deal. Luckily it was not too far from the school. Few years passed by.
Maggie had been having dizzying spells and had been feeling weak for some time but had ignored these signs. Finally her colleague and best friend Nisha persuaded her to consult her physician. The test results had finally come in and Maggie felt as though someone had punched her in the stomach. She had blood cancer and it was in the advanced stages and she did not have too much time to live. Maggie was happy and then sad. She was happy because now she would be joining her beloved Marcus
and then she was sad as her Billy would be left alone. But Maggie was aware that Billy was in love with a lovely girl named Sonia who also loved Billy equally in return. So, she consoled herself that Billy would have someone to hold him when she called it quits. But she did not let Billy know about her illness- she said that she had some infection which was lingering and was problematic. Billy made sure Maggie took her meds and dinner on time and paid extra heed to her needs. They truly cared for each other and were more like pals than mother and son.
Since Maggie had little time left, she wanted to pay a last visit to Goa and bid farewell to her numerous relatives who had been calling her all these years and also pay her respects at the graves of both her parents and Marcus’s parents. After great persuasion, Billy let her go with the promise that she will call frequently and let him know about her well being.
Billy was feeling a lot of strain due to the deadlines and also the merger was only two days away. He had caught a chill yesterday whilst being caught in the rain without
proper attire and now he was coming down with high fever and chills. Even his teeth
had begun to chatter. Their family doctor was Doctor Khanna who had his office
in the nearby shopping market and he also lived about couple of miles from their place. As luck would have it, even though he tried calling Dr. Khanna on his cell, he could not reach him. After calling the office, Lisa, doctor Khanna’s secretary informed him that Doctor was on leave for a month and had left a substitute doctor in charge and she promised to have Dr. Kher the sub doc make a house call. Billy said thanks, and fell in the bed almost in a comatose state babbling incoherently with tremors shaking his body due to chills felt all over.
Dr. Kher was returning from another house call and was on his way back to the office
when he saw someone standing in the middle of the road. He had to hit the brakes and slow down abruptly. He saw a well dressed bespectacled lady standing there. He rolled down the car window and asked if he could help her. She said yes doctor I need you to come with me for another housecall as there is another person who needs your help urgently. They rushed to Billy’s house and immediately doctor Kher attended to Billy and realized that he had a bad case of the flu and would need hospitaliztaion so that he could be under proper care and observation. with appropriateIV fluids etc administered as treatment protocol.
The lady thanked him profusely and then saw him off. The next day, Dr. Kher went
to the hospital to check up on Billy and he found Sonia his fiancé in attendance and his color looked much better and he seemed to be responding to the treatment Then Billy thanked the doctor and also asked him to convey his gratitude to Lisa who had dispatched him with alacrity. Dr. Kher was mystified and said that he did not spoken to Lisa since yesterday morning. Then Billy asked how did he know to come to house to see him. Dr. Kher said that a middle aged lady had stopped his car and requested and pleaded with him to hurry and see her son. Billy was mystified and said Doc you must be mistaken as my mom is in Goa. Then when the doc insisted,
he showed the picture of his mom that he carried in his wallet and Doc Kher confirmed That indeed Maggie had asked him to visit their house and checkout Billy.
Billy did not disbelieve the doc but was still puzzled. He immediately called his mom on her cell phone but there was no answer. Then he called his cousin Mary who was very dear to them and Maggie would most probably be with them. Mary answered the phone on the first bell and whilst weeping profusely informed Billy that aunty Maggie had passed away last evening around 7.30pm and ever since they had been calling Billy to let him know but there was no answer..
Doctor Kher had seen Maggie at 7.30pm In Bombay on his way back to the office…….
to be contd…… in part 2
The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not: this is forever very literally a miracle; a thing to strike us dumb, for we have no word to speak about it.
Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author
Spiritual energy flows in and produces effects in the phenomenal world.
William James, 1842-1910, American Psychologist, Professor, Author
Sages speak of the immutable Tree of Life, with its tape root above and its branches below.- Bhagavad Gita
c. BC 400-, Sanskrit Poem Incorporated Into the Mahabharata