Down the hallway, James heard voices and the ping of an elevator. The soft hush of rain enveloped the early evening when he glanced outside through the blinds. He saw the limo that waited for him and he couldn’t wait to escape the clutches of his tormentor for the final time.
“I am a wealthy man, and I am Russian, so I know everything. I know about your men. That too is my fault. I should’ve loved you more and you wouldn’t look for tokens from others.”
James took his left hand and closed the blinds, leaving the room in virtual darkness except for the glow of the machines that kept his father alive. He noticed the shallow breaths from across the room.
“But you are my son, and I promise you that one day you will meet a girl and she will make you believe in magic.” His wizened eyes peered at James in the darkness, and he said, “I want you to be very careful.” He paused before continuing, “The thing you desire and love most is what will kill you.” He took four deep gulps of air, holding the oxygen tube to his nostrils. “I believe I have taught you that lesson. You have watched me chase money. Now I die alone. Hated by my own blood.”
How long is he going to go on like this? “Is this all you need to say? I must go.” James’s voice shook as he said this and his rage surprised him. He kept his hands in his jeans in order to stop himself from hurting the old man.
A frail hand reached for him in the darkness. “Please forgive me. I was never taught to love. I love you.” He wheezed the rattle of death and said, “You are a rich man at a young age. You have made me proud.” With that, his hand dropped to the bed and one of the machines began to flash rapidly. Zoe and another nurse bolted into the room.
“He’s coded,” Zoe said, looking up at James.
He looked at the ceiling as if searching for a clue, ran his hand through his hair, and said, “Do what you have to do.” With that, he walked away without looking back.
On the way down the corridor and into the elevator, his brain raced as quickly as the monitor had a few moments ago. Why did he wait until now to tell me these secrets?