/ Short story

The fisherman's will

Once upon a time, there lived an old man Larry. Larry was a poor fisherman who lived in a small house at the fishermen’s colony. Larry’s best friend Dave was a fisherman too, but lady luck always kept him in generous finances. Larry has loved Lisa, Dave’s wife, since he was a boy. Lisa was torn off between Dave and Larry, whom to marry. She did not know what it was like to fall in love and she did not know whom she loved. Dave was her father’s choice and Larry loved her beyond any choices. Confused, Lisa sat in her small room at night and flipped a coin, heads, it would be Larry and tails, Dave. Tails it was and she married Dave without second thoughts.

When they returned from their honeymoon, they felt that they were made for each other. But as soon as they resumed with their regular life, what they believed was love, faded. Thirty-five years had passed since Lisa and Dave were married. Now they were just another boring old couple. Lisa could not be a mother. This bothered Dave at times but eventually he made peace with the fact that it was going to be just them, childless. It was rather hard for Lisa since she was now sure of one thing, Dave was not the one.

Larry still loved Lisa like he did when he was fifteen. He never married as he could not love another woman. He has watched her every morning when she poured tea in her father’s cup while her father sat there reading newspaper in the gallery of their house. He watched her even now, every morning; the only difference was that instead of her father, there sat Dave, in the same house, which was their wedding gift from Lisa’s father. Larry’s cheeks felt the same warmth and blood rush, the way it had felt when he was a boy.
Sometimes at night, Lisa wondered, was Larry the one if not Dave? Could she ever find that out now, after spending thirty-five years of her life with Dave. And then she slept every night, ignoring those thoughts, while Dave snored on the other side of the bed.

Dave was not a bad husband; he was a generous man who provided well for his wife and himself. He just did not know how he could make Lisa love him, it bothered him in the initial years of their marriage but eventually he made peace with the fact that it was going to be just them, childless and loveless. It did not matter Dave much and his apathy disappointed Lisa.
One warm Sunday morning, when the sky was covered with bright clouds that made it look beautiful like never before, Dave died. Old Dave snored last night, like he did every other night. He slept well, rather too well, that he never woke up again. Lisa did not feel like crying when the neighbors came to help her with the funeral arrangements. But it would look rude, she thought and forced some tears. Larry stood there too, in his old grey suit, with threads hanging out from the pockets, holding a bouquet of white lilies, which Lisa loved. As the ceremony proceeded, a rather older man than the dead Dave himself stood up to announce Dave’s will. It read..

I hope I died when the waters were closed, did not want to lose some money eh! I also hope that my mother is still alive. Lisa, you need to throw away that stupid copper bracelet, for god’s sake it looks green! Anyway, I hope that everyone for whom I have left something in this will is alive. Consider it early Christmas you all.
The pearls inside the wooden box of the locker in our house, Lisa, give them to your mother-in-law, you will never use them, that I am sure.
The silver spoons in the third drawer of the kitchen table, my nephew, Johnny can have them. He loves silver that is pure.

The yellow lamp on my bedside, that I bought from the city when I went for my wedding shopping, my niece, Rose, you can use it as you are the only one in our family who wishes to study more.
The old gramophone that plays on its own, my brother, Danny can have it. I do not understand why he so much loves his antique store!
The pretty white shoes that I bought for Lisa on our second wedding anniversary, Lisa never wore them. Well, sister-in-law, I remember how you always loved my gifts, so the shoes I leave for you.
The newspaper stand, that I bought for myself is of no use as well, my mother can have it. She might use it for drying hand towels. Like it mother? I know you do.
That imported pair of scissors, which my dear friend Bob gifted me last Christmas, they never were of my use. My friend Ted can keep those. I do not know if you’d like them or not Ted, but just keep them.
The fishing rods set, ah! I loved this the most. Okay, My kid half-brother Benny, keep them. I hope you enjoy fishing and use them well. Alright, I’m not a poet, so, ‘damn!’
The house at last, that was never mine to leave. Lisa your house will always be yours, but you were mine. So I leave my beautiful wife Lisa, a choice to be with my best friend Larry.
In the hope that she finds eternal love,
for the sake of the love in Larry’s eyes
For, now that I am dead,
I shall bid goodbyes.

Photo from Flickr by Nikos Koutoulas under Creative Commons license