Anthony drove through the heart of the city to reach John’s office. The commons were not allowed into the office unless they had an appointment. He was denied entry by the receptionist at the main entrance. Anthony was desperate. He was annoyed at this and could not hold himself back any longer. Hearing the commotion, John himself had to come out of his office. Seeing Anthony, he was surprised.
“I have already told you about how I cannot help you in this case, Anthony. I need to stay impartial.”
“There is something you need to know. Maybe that’ll change your mind. And you might want to help? ” There was something strange in Anthony’s voice that compelled John to relent. He took him to his office.
“I am dying, John. I do not much time left. But before I go, I want to give Amanda a life that she deserves. I will pay you with all I have. Just do this for me. Consider it a dying man’s last wish.” Anthony could speak no further as his throat choked.
John pondered over it. He was amazed at the extent to which Anthony loved Amanda that made him think of her even when he should have thought of himself. He was moved. He agreed to Anthony’s plea.
“I won’t be mentoring Amanda as a teacher but as a friend. I would be visiting your home daily to give her lessons. And I don’t need anything. Your family’s happiness will be the best earning for me. Stay blessed and that would be more than enough for me. So when do we start?”
“Whenever you feel like, Sir”, Anthony replied amidst a fit of tears.
“Okay. We start tomorrow.” John said. He stood up and hugged Anthony.
He hugged him back.
“Please do not tell Amanda about my condition. Not before she makes it to the best of her talent.”
“Okay, I won’t but make sure about that decision. You might need her in this condition of yours.”
“Yeah I will tell her in due time. If I tell her now, she would not practice at all. And that is the last thing I want.”
John smiled with a heart all mellow and hugged him again, tightly this time.
As promised, John showed up on their doorstep the very next day. Amanda and Anthony both looked surprised. John told Amanda that he had given it a thought and had decided to teach her in an informal fashion, as a friend. Amanda was thrilled. She was too happy to say anything. Anthony had to shake her back to reality. She ran through the rooms to find the best place for her rehearsals. Having appointed a room as her rehearsal room, she guided John to the room and they began. Meanwhile, Anthony freshened up and told them he would be away for a business project he had been dreaming of and would be busy in there.
It became a daily routine. John would reach their home at the prescribed time and Anthony would leave the house on the pretext of the business project and would go to the doctor instead, for the medical check-ups and treatment.
This continued for a month and a half.
This was until one day when Anthony fell over Amanda as she opened the gates for him. He looked far more than unwell. She took him to bed and made him lie down. She came back to the living room only to find a brown envelope Anthony had dropped while stammering. She opened it and pulled out a stapled bundle of papers addressed to ‘Mr. Anthony Johnson’.
“City of Hope Hospitals, The Cancer Treatment Center” it read…
To be continued…