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C6 As Fate Would Have It

**Sometime before**

I’m late! This can’t be happening to me! The supermarket promotional sale starts in ten minutes, and I am going to be late for it. I looked down at the grocery shopping list that my granny had carefully prepared and sighed. If I miss the sale and they run out of stuff, we’re not going to be able to get everything within our budget.

I have to hurry. I ran at full speed along the sidewalk leading to the supermarket. I dodged around people, couples holding hands, children on their tricycles, an uncle walking his dog and so many more. However, I had to come to a sudden halt when I almost ran into a slightly plump old man. He must be in his fifties and was dressed in fine clothes like he was from the big city. I mean, no one at his age dresses this well around here.

“I’m so sorry, Sir. Did I run into you? Are you hurt?” I apologized and fired off my questions at him rapidly.

I think I stopped in time before running into him, but I had to ask to make sure. He seemed shocked to see me apologizing profusely to him. However, in the next instant, he started smiling at me.

“I’m fine, young miss. There’s no need for you to worry. I may look old and a little on the fat side, but I assure you that I am strong and very fit!” the old man replied in a booming voice before laughing loudly.

“Oh…I’m so glad to hear it. Well, then…” I replied happily as I smiled back at him. However, I was very aware of the fact that I was running late. I couldn’t stand here and chat with him forever even if I wanted to.

“Wait miss!” the old man called out to me as I turned to leave.

“What is it? Do you need help with something?” I asked.

“Do you…happen to know someone called Jack Witman?” the old man asked, his eyes narrowing at me.

Umm…I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone with that name before.

“Sorry, sir. I haven’t heard of that name before. Sorry, I couldn’t be of help here,” I replied truthfully as I smiled sadly at him.

“Hmm…I see,” the old man replied softly.

“Are you looking for that man? Does he live in this town?” I asked in case I could help.

“Yes. He’s…an old friend of mine. We had a couple of fights when we were younger and I haven’t seen him for many years but now that I’m getting old, you know…I kinda want to see him…” he said a little sadly.

“This is a small town but…I’ve never heard of him. I’m so sorry…” I replied regretfully.

“Oh…nevermind. That’s ok,” the man said with a small smile.

“Well then, I have a place I have to be. So…have a good day, Sir! I hope you find your friend!” I said as cheerfully as I could.

I said before bowing respectfully to him and running off towards the supermarket. I definitely won’t make it on time but if I hurried, I was sure that I could still get some promotional items that granny wanted.

“See you again soon, little miss,” the old man muttered to himself as he watched the young woman run further and further away from him until she disappeared in the crowd.

I trudged along the sidewalk with bags full of groceries in both hands. These are the result of my effort in grabbing items on sale. Although I arrived a little late, luckily, I was able to buy most of the items on grandma’s grocery shopping list. She should be please with my achievement.

However, I did not imagine that it would be so heavy. I guess if I set some money aside and start saving up, I could purchase a bicycle or a small trolley of some kind that I could use to transport these heavy bags of groceries. It’s just a thought for now though, we didn’t have that kind of money to spare, unfortunately.

I wasn’t born into a poor family. I lived the first sixteen years of my life as part of an average-income family with an average standard of living. We had a house; a car and I went to a private school where I had many good friends. My parents owned their own company, and everything was normal and fine until that fateful day.

Around six years ago, my parents died in a car accident when a transport truck crashed into their car. The investigations later revealed that the truck driver was drunk from a party he had attended the previous night and had a hangover when he came to work in the morning. Regardless of the reason, I lost both my parents on that day.

The accident was featured in the news with clear photographs of their whole car burning up in flames before it exploded. A few other people who were at the scene were hurt. The truck driver was seriously injured but survived the crash.

My parents always drove me to school in the morning before they went to work. It was just wild luck that I wasn’t in the car with them on the day of the accident. Since I had a sleepover party at one of my girl friend’s house the night before, I was on my way to school with her when the accident occurred. I always thought back to that twist of fate. If I didn’t join the sleepover back then, I would have probably died along with my parents in the crash.

Who knows…perhaps that would have been the better option?

My life changed drastically after the passing of my parents. For one, I learnt that not everyone who seemed to mean well actually meant well. Right after the funeral for my parents, I found out that their so-called business partner had taken over the company and that there was nothing left of it to be passed down to me. Basically, I was somehow scammed out of my stake in my parent’s business. Everything that they have built all went to waste over a night.

Matters went from bad to worse when I was told that my parents had debts with the banks, and they demanded to take away the collateral: our house. After settling the debt and all was said and done, I had lost the house, the car and almost all of my parent’s life savings. I walked away from the whole thing with less than three hundred dollars to my name.

--To be continued…

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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