Christopher and Laura were on the raised platform, sharing the moment with Jennifer. Just a year ago, all three of them hadn’t even imagined that they would be doing this. It was the inaugural of their new NGO called “A Life for All.” The three of them had struggled through thousands of ups and downs for opening this NGO.
“A Life For All” was an NGO which had the objective of helping the drunk drivers reach home safely, for the three of them knew that when a person was drunk, it was not just his/her life at stake but also the life of others. As everyone settled down and the media-persons fixed their cameras, Laura stood up and reached towards the dais. She rested her hand on the dais and tilted a bit to reach the mic transfixed on it. She cleared her throat and everyone’s eyes gripped on her. Before speaking, she sought the support of Christopher and Jennifer and when they passed a feeble smile, Laura moved ahead in approval.
“Thomas is alive… if only in our memories. He was a wonderful boy, you know? The night I received the call is clearly visible in my memory. I was winding up the chores and switched off the light. It was 11 p.m. I entered the bedroom and rested my head on Christopher’s shoulder, as it was customary after a long and tiring day. We were rejoicing the solace of our silence when the phone rang. Christopher picked it up and after a few seconds gave a grave look towards me. I was terrified because the gut feeling said that it had something to do with Thomas, my young little boy who had just started his life. All that Christopher told me was that we needed to rush towards the hospital. The next thing I knew was that we were speeding towards the hospital.
As we both entered there and enquired about the accident case, they immediately rushed us towards the operation theater. We both saw Thomas lying there, in the pool of blood. My heart sank and I don’t remember how long I cried. After a few hours, the door of OT unlocked and a team of specialists emerged. One of the senior surgeons told us- Pray to Lord! The chances are rare.
I couldn’t believe his words. I knew he would be back. He was just 18, starting up with his new life. He had just met Jennifer, the girl you all see sitting there next to Christopher. He loved her with all his heart and was ready to experience the bliss of his new life. I was very happy for him because I knew Jennifer was the right kind of girl for him. He was a young, talented and full of life person. He had so many dreams, so much to aspire and had immense love to deliver. He was really glad when he was with Jennifer and it reflected in his eyes. Christopher and I were relieved to see them together because Thomas and Jennifer reminded us of our dating days.
So when the surgeon told me that, I just folded my hands, closed my eyes and sat down. Thomas’ face came across my eyes. There was so much I wanted to tell him, so much I wanted to hear from him. After a few minutes, a nurse tapped my shoulder and explained that his chance was almost zero. My heart shrunk and pained. I didn’t want to believe a word of it. He was my only child and he was a beautiful soul. But everything was already destined. After a few minutes, Christopher and I were informed that Thomas had left us all. We both were shattered. His full-of-life face came before our eyes. It was the same morning that we were laughing together and the same night, we were lamenting the death of our only child. Life changes with a brink of a second, my friends. Live it and mean it. The next moment is unpredictable.”
Laura cleared her throat once again and people sitting in the hall wiped their tears. The air had suddenly become heavy with the collective emotions of all. Christopher wiped his tears as well. Jennifer looked through this and smiled feebly because she knew that Thomas was looking all this from “somewhere” and that he was glad that people loved him so much. Few seconds passed and Laura continued.
“That day he was going to his friend’s party and I still remember how very happy he was that day, as usual. He kissed me goodbye and told that he would be back the next day. No one knew that was his last kiss. No one knew he wouldn’t come back, ever! He was gone, forever! Only after his funeral we knew that his car was hit by another. The other driver was utterly drunk. It wasn’t Thomas’ fault, the Police told us. And it broke our heart to think how alcohol did disasters, not just to the ones doing it, but also to the ones who had absolutely nothing to do with it. What was Thomas’ fault? What was Jennifer’s fault? They were both young, on the brink of their new life and new commitment. What was our fault? Nothing at all! None of us had the fault.”
Silence prevailed as Laura’s words sank in. People hushed completely, their eyes glued on Laura and their ears wanting to hear more of Thomas.
“It was after a few months that the three of us decided that we’ll take up the responsibility of saving people and taking up the cause. No, we are not here to tell anyone to stop drinking, until and unless it is controlled. Or even if you are out of control and puking, please do not drive! There is others’ life at stake on the road. Someone on the road is a little baby who has just started his/her life, someone out there is still in his/her mother’s womb, someone is out there on their first-ever date, someone is just married and someone is the only child of their parents. Do not drive when you are drunk! Our NGO “A Life For All” will try taking up the cause of awareness and we’ll ensure that we take up the responsibility of dropping the drunk back to their home safely, in case he/she doesn’t have the sober driver to do so.”
“And finally, all I want to say is that life is too short. You may have big plans for tomorrow, but may be tomorrow will never come. Say what you want, love with all your heart; express because you may not get a chance again. Perhaps you’ll never get a chance to say “I love you” again. Say it today; and mean it. Do not leave it for tomorrow. Let the goodness of people prevail and let the worse part go because you may not get to show your anger on the person again. May be he/she is gone forever. May be he/she will never come back to listen to your anger. Live it and mean it. Let life flow- one moment, one second, one minute, one hour and one day at a time.”