February 26, 2015

The Hunt

Marco is ambitious and hardworking. He believes he can achieve anything if he works hard enough. So, with the money he saved from his regular job, he put up a small business. He believes it is better to start from the bottom and work his way up. After a couple of years, his business became stable. However, he wasn’t satisfied. He still wanted more. So, he applied for work abroad so he could save more capital for a bigger business. He talked with his best friend, Tomas, and left the business under his care.
After two years, Marco was able to save money. But he wasn’t sure it was enough for the business he had in mind. So, instead of coming home, he signed another contract. He worked for two more years and while he was at it, he started to visualize the business he was going to put up. He had everything planned. He even got in touch with an architect who would design his building.
A week before he came home, he received an email. It seems that Tomas had ran off and with him was the entire content of the vault. When Marco arrived, he stared at the empty vault. Beside it was an old bank book with zero balance. Tomas has robbed him of everything.
Marco was furious. The amount of money he earned from working abroad would bring him no satisfaction until he had his revenge. He had to hunt Tomas down. With his heart poisoned by hatred for his traitorous friend, Marco searched far and wide. He spent his hard-earned money looking for the snake that was his friend.
He searched every town, he bribed every person, he paid for every piece of information to find that one loathsome person on the run. He spent his money lavishly if it would help him hasten things up. But a person who didn’t want to be found would not likely to be.
For years, Marco hunted Tomas. He paid no thought for anything else but to exact revenge. He ate, he slept, he breathed thinking that the next day might be the day he’d been waiting for, the end of his quest, the payback time.
Years passed and Marco driven by his hatred, continued with his search for Tomas. His bright eyes were already blurred by old age, his gait unsteady with rheumatism and his voice hoarse by drinking liquor in his attempt to drown his frustration of not finding Tomas. He spent all the money he had but he didn’t find even the shadow of his enemy.
Forty years after he came home from abroad, he got the first substantial piece of information about Tomas, an address. So, without further ado, he searched for the house expecting to find a grand mansion on which his traitorous friend spent his money on. He was not ready for an old and dilapidated home for the aged. He inquired inside and found Tomas.
Marco stared at the bag of bones and flesh crumpled on an ancient wheelchair. He has one  sightless eye and a stump for a right foot.  He raised his face to look at Marco. He opened his mouth and mumbled unintelligible sound, drool flowed freely as he spoke. Marco looked around hoping to hear an explanation. One of the senior social workers spoke.
Tatay Tomas had been with us for thirty years. We know very little about him. No one claimed to be his family and he wouldn’t tell us where he lived. We just found him wandering the streets and begging for food. Inside his jacket pocket was a ten-year old newspaper clipping. It was about a man who was attacked by muggers on his way to the bus terminal. According to the newspaper, the victim was carrying a heavy duffel bag. He was dragged by the muggers and tried to get the bag from him. It said that he fought them back but since there were more of them, they were able to beat him. They smashed his right foot and cut his tongue and left him to die on the street. Luckily, someone came along and found him and took him to the hospital.
“We assumed that he was the man in the newspaper so we called him Tatay Tomas. Are you his relative?”
Marco looked at his friend. Then, he looked at his heart searching for the anger and hatred that drove him to look for Tomas all these years, but found nothing..
I was… I am his friend” Marco answered.
Marco left Tomas with a light heart. It was time for him to go home, wherever that is, and start to think about his life, where it had gone and where it would go, finally.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

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