The Chocolate Cake

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Chocolate Cake is about a 12 year old boy Johnny who's had a bad day at school because of which he starts hating it and doesn't want to go back even after a lot of persuasion by his mom. It is then that his dad steps in and how he convinces him forms the rest of the story....

Submitted: April 17, 2013

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Submitted: April 17, 2013




‘No way! Mom!! I’m not going to school today and I’m not going to that school ever again!!’ said the 12 year old Johnny crying.

‘What happened my son?? You always used to love school!’ exclaimed Martha.

‘Nothing! It’s just that I don’t want to go to that school ever again....I hate it big time! I hate everything!’ he said, as he rushed into his room and slammed the door shut.

‘Johnny!!! Johnny!! Open the door!!!’ Martha shouted, getting irritated. She started banging the door hoping her son would open but all in vain.

‘Alright! Do as you please! Keep that damn door shut and stay in your room.’ She shouted losing her cool.

‘Hey what happened dear? Why are you fuming early in the morning? And do you remember seeing my spectacles anywhere?’ asked Ricky coming out of his room after hearing all the commotion outside.

‘Well as usual you had forgotten your specks beside the TV last night and as usual I have kept them on the dining table with your breakfast. And your son won’t listen to me, so I give up. Please deal with him in your own way as you always do.’ She said, her voice rising with each word.

‘Gosh! I forget my specks there every night. I guess I should stop watching the 10 o’clock news from tonight then.’ He laughed.

‘It’s not funny at all!! Your son won’t go to school and he’s locked himself in his room too. He’s turning into a stubborn and incorrigible child all because you keep pampering him all the time and....’ she stopped mid-way as Ricky suddenly held her from her waist.

‘Relax my darling! Don’t lose your cool early in the morning. Don’t worry, he’s just a kid. Something might be bothering him, does happen at this age. I’ll just talk to him and believe me he’ll be fine. What fun would it be if kids start behaving like adults!! You just prepare his breakfast while I have a word with him. Let him not go to school today. I promise, he’ll definitely not want to miss it from tomorrow.’ Kissing his wife, he went to his son’s room.

Ricky pampered his son a lot and treated Johnny more like a friend. Johnny thus found it quite easy to confide in his dad. Ricky was a patient listener and gave sound advice. Martha on the other hand used to get vexed too easily with Johnny’s tantrums and that was when her husband helped.

‘Hey John bud! Open the door. Good old Ricky is here. Come on bud!!!’ said Ricky in his usual sing-song voice as he always used to do with Johnny. He waited patiently for a few seconds when finally the door opened. Ricky entered to see his son crying.

‘Hey! What happened to you? What in the world made my brave friend cry like this huh?’

He cried even harder.

‘John! Stop it now. Tell me, did your teacher scold you? A fight with a friend?’

Johnny did not speak.

Ricky sighed, removing his specs. ‘A fight with your special friend?’

Johnny hugged his father with moist eyes. ‘Dad, she insulted me in front of the whole class. I just asked to sit with her and she started laughing and making faces. She called me a geeko in front of everybody and said that she’d prefer sitting with a skunk rather ‘coz my body stinks. Skunk dad! She called me a skunk! Dad, am I smelly?! It’s just that she doesn’t want to sit with me and she tries making all kinds of excuses. You know dad I apply soap twice everyday and I even use a deo but still…still…she…’ he broke off midway and started crying again.

Ricky couldn’t help but smile at his son’s innocence. ‘Hmmm, so this is the problem. I have a solution. You come out with me, I’ll tell u something.’ He held his hand and brought him to the dining table.

Johnny used to tell his dad everything about his school and his friends. He’d told him about a girl he fancied in class. But the girl had a crush on someone else and used to get quite irritated if Johnny interfered too much. Johnny used to help her in every little way possible. He used to give her an extra pen if she ever forgot one. He even shared his lunch with her once when she had forgotten her own and was crying.

‘Sit here and have your breakfast and I’ll tell you a story. Martha what have you prepared for our dear Johnny?’

Martha was relieved to see Johnny on the table thanks to her husband. ‘Well Johnny, I have prepared your favourite porridge for you. Here, have it dear!’

‘Dad, you were telling me a story, right?’

‘Yes son. I want to tell you something about life. I know you are at this tender age when even the slightest of problems can break you. I want to tell you a story about another child like you, a little older than you though. I’ll take you to your friend Ricky’s childhood.’

‘Your childhood dad?’ asked Johnny suddenly intrigued.

‘Yes my friend! I’ll tell you a story of the chocolate cake. I’ll take you twenty two years back.’

Johnny wiped his tears and looked at his dad. ‘I’m all ears, dad!’

Ricky began.

‘You know Johnny you should consider yourself lucky to be leading such a luxurious lifestyle. You sleep in an AC room; you go to an AC school in an AC bus. You have so many toys to play with. You have TV, videogames, a mobile, a laptop and what not. But when I was small I couldn’t enjoy so many privileges. I belonged to a family with modest means. It’s a pity you never met your grandparents because they expired long before you were born.......’



My dad was paralytic and was on complete bed rest so we were entirely dependent on our mother’s earnings which were not sufficient and most of it was spent on dad’s medical expenses but my parents did not let this affect my life and education. They sent me to the best school that they could afford. My mom, with the little that she could do, used to give me ten rupees everyday for rickshaw as my school was pretty far off and we couldn’t afford school transport.

‘This is for the rickshaw and other expenses.’ My mom used to tell me every day.

As I grew up, I realised the pains that my parents took to raise me and decided to do my bit to help them. Eventually, I stopped taking the rickshaw to school to save some money for my father. I became serious in life. I realised that my parents were sacrificing so much for me, so it was my duty to study well, become successful in life and make my parents proud.

‘Dad, Just a matter of a few years now. The day I start earning, I’m going to take you to the best available doctors, best hospitals and soon you will start walking again.’ I used to say to my father.

‘Sure my son! I’m waiting for that day to come.’ My dad always used to say.

I’m waiting for that day to come. My dad was waiting. He had hope that his son would do it for him one day and this is what used to drive me to work hard. I had to do it for my dad if nobody else!

‘How come you saved five rupees today huh?’ Mom asked one day, evidently surprised.

‘Mom! I’ve grown older now. Your son is in final year of school. He’s learned the art of negotiation.’ It used to be my excuse. I used to jog to school and back no matter how tired I was. Though she never used to take the money from me but still I used to save some everyday for dad in a small ‘piggy-bank’, just in case....

‘And you are quite late today! May I ask why?’

‘Dunno Mom! Maybe the rickshaw guy was a li’l slow today!’ I said laughing, as I went into my room. She just sighed.

When I woke up the next day, I was very excited. It was Lisa’s birthday. She was in my class and I loved her a lot. I had saved some money to buy her a present and that was the reason why I had come home late the previous day. Since I had never gifted anything to a girl, I didn’t know what exactly to give but I wanted to give something nevertheless. So I finally picked a small white teddy bear with a heart on it which read ‘To my dearest friend...on her birthday.’ Though it was a little expensive than I had anticipated and it cost much more than the amount I had saved for the gift but I bought it anyway taking out some money from my piggy-bank, compromising on the money saved for my dad. Not a problem Ricky! You can always skip a couple of meals at school to make up for the extra amount! I thought.

I got ready fifteen minutes before time.

‘Ricky my son, never seen you so early at the breakfast table. Is everything alright!’ my mom said sarcastically. Her ability to remain cheerful and jovial in spite of all the family pressures was what I admired in her the most.

‘Yeah mom everything’s fine. I just thought I’ll relieve you of your morning duties a little early today.’ I said as I hurriedly had my toast, not caring to even apply butter.

‘And from tomorrow you’re gonna take an extra two rupees to school! I’ve been given a raise at office.’ My mom said smiling.

‘Congrats Mom! That’s so cool! I always knew you could do it.’ I said as I rushed out with my bag on my shoulders and the teddy hidden safely on one of the sides. Lisa used to come early too and I wanted to give her the gift first thing in the morning. I even took a rickshaw to save time. Another couple of meals to be skipped. I thought, as I paid the rickshaw guy.

On entering the class, my eyes turned to the one and only place where she always used to sit and there she was, chatting with a group of girls. My heart sank because I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk to her in front of so many girls. So I patiently waited for a few minutes hoping that she would finally be alone. I pretended to search my bag for something non-existent simple because I didn’t want to appear like a fool staring at the wall and doing nothing. The girls didn’t leave her instead more students started entering the class then and finally I realised that the whole purpose of coming early to the class had been defeated. I had failed to even wish her leave aside giving her the gift.

‘Hey happy birthday Lisa!’ said Rocky. Rocky was a typical stud who could easily charm any girl. He was smart, he was intelligent and he had an appealing attitude which added to his charismatic personality. My mates used to say Lisa had a crush on him too but I never believed that crap. He gave her a big card as he wished her and she hugged him in return. See it’s so easy to give something to a girl Ricky. I thought.

As I started gathering the courage to get up, I noticed the class had fallen silent.

‘Good morning students! Please settle yourselves as we start with yet another class of Economics.’ said the teacher, as he entered the class.

I was walking back quite dejected after school. I had prepared for this day since a long time and yet I had failed. I had the teddy in my hand wrapped in golden gift paper. I couldn’t even give this and will have to skip five days of lunch too. You suck Ricky! I thought. I was feeling terribly hungry too. While walking back home, I saw this huge sweet shop I had never been to, on the roadside. Well I can at least go and check it out today. As it is I’m not having lunch for the next five days.

As I entered, the aroma of different delicacies filled my nostrils and famished for food as I was; it was too hard to resist. My eyes scanned the various items available and then I saw a chocolate brownie. Chocolate being my favourite, I settled for it.

‘Sir, how much for that brownie?’ I asked the vendor.

‘Chocolate cake my boy! Chocolate cake is what it’s called. And you should consider yourself lucky to be able to have it. It’s a hot selling item and this is the last piece. Just pay me three rupees and take it!’ he said grinning, surprisingly delighted of the fact that his hot selling item was out of stock now. 

Just as I paid him the money and took the cake, I heard a voice behind me.

‘Mr Jason, your best-selling chocolate cake please.’ Said the voice, extending her hand with three rupees in it.

‘Miss, I’m extremely sorry but you are a little late today. This gentleman over here just bought the last piece.’ He said pointing towards me.

I turned to look at the girl and my heart skipped a beat when I saw that it was Lisa standing inches away from me.

‘Hey Hi! You’re Ricky! Congrats for the last piece! Lucky you are!’ she said smiling.

I couldn’t say a word. I wasn’t expecting to see Lisa there. Two years at school, I had never had a decent chat with her apart from casual greetings. We just existed as batch-mates who never really interacted much. Though I used to keep track of her every move but she hardly knew about me. I couldn’t express how lucky I was feeling right then. 

‘Hi! Well, I don’t have any problem if you take...’

‘No way! Are u kidding? You bought it. It’s yours. It’s just that my friends keep talking about this chocolate cake so I thought I’ll try it since it’s my birthday today.’ She said.

‘Oh really? Is it your birthday? I didn’t know.’ I said. The reply seemed dumb and the surprise in my voice absolutely fake but that was the best I could do. Suddenly I felt like kicking myself. She had told me about her birthday on my face and still I didn’t wish her.

‘How would you know? You hardly ever talk to me in class. At least wish me now!’ She said smiling.

‘Oh yeah! Happy Birthday Lisa! And now that it’s your birthday, I can’t deprive you of the pleasures of this chocolate cake. You need to have it.’ I finally said. Phew. I thought.

‘No it’s okay. You...’

‘Please! Don’t make me feel guilty. I’ll share it with you if you want but you must have it now. Take it as a gift from my side.’ I said, looking at the teddy in my hand and smiling.

‘Well alright! For whom is that gift supposed to be by the way?’ she asked pointing at the one in my hand.

I was taken aback by the question. I had not anticipated it and didn’t know what to say.

‘Oh this!’ I said, as if the gift in my hand was a surprise for me too. ‘Ahhh...actually I....ahhh bought this for my mom. It’s her birthday today!’ I blurted out.

‘Oh really! What a coincidence! Do wish her from my side too!’ she said.

I felt like kicking myself so hard that I literally made a move to do it. I had missed the golden opportunity to gift the teddy and I knew it was gone now. It had become my mom’s birthday gift. I realised that I will have to take it back home. I was still cursing myself as we both sat at one of the tables. It was really hard to convince her to have the full cake. She insisted on cutting it into two halves. Finally, after ten minutes of argument and after inviting the stares of the restaurant staff, she relented.

‘You can at least have a bite!’ she said. I couldn’t afford to be too generous with the fear of making my feelings too obvious. So I settled for a bite.

‘It is actually very good. Now quickly taste it and tell me how it is.’ I said. She cut a piece out of it with her knife and had it.

‘You know what! This cake is awesome and you are a very nice guy.’ She said.

I couldn’t help but smile at the two incongruous statements.

‘Nice!? Why do you say that?’

‘Nice as in... you know....this is the hottest selling item over here and people would kill for it but still you gave me the whole cake just like that. Nobody would do it really. A couple of my friends fought with each other over the last piece of cake the other day and they didn’t talk to each other for a week after that. That’s why I said you are nice.’ She said looking straight into my eyes.

I turned a shade of crimson on hearing this. I started looking at the floor to hide the fact that I was blushing. ‘Thanks for that Lisa.’ I said, still looking down. I could compromise on everything when it came to her and this was just a freaking chocolate cake. I would get lots of opportunities to have chocolate cakes, I thought, but to sit and see Lisa having that piece right then and talking to me was an opportunity of a lifetime and I could have given anything for it. It was surreal.

‘What is so interesting in the floor huh?’ she said, since I had been looking at the floor and smiling, lost in my thoughts.

‘I ahh....nothing....ahh...just like that. I was staring at an ant. Ahh...Strange creatures, you know?’ I stuttered.

‘Ant? Huh!’ she said mockingly. ‘Yeah Strange indeed! And you are weird too!’

Ok, so I was a nice guy and I was weird. I thought.

‘Isn’t it amusing?’ she said, continuing with the cake.

‘What?’ I asked, unsure where the conversation was heading.

‘Well, we never really talked all these years in school and now that we’re about to pass out....’ she stopped as she caught me staring at her.

‘Huh?!’ She said, a curious look on her face.

So I lay my head back down

And I lift my hands and pray...To be only yours,

 I pray to be only yours...

Songs, violins, guitars, drums, all were playing inside my head.

‘Oh! Nothing really. I never knew it would be so easy talking to you.’ I said, looking at the empty plate of cake now. The sad realisation dawned that this meeting would soon be over and in a month we would all pass out from school and go our different ways and probably never meet again. I had to do something.

‘Ha ha! And why in the world would that be so difficult?’ She asked surprised.

‘Ahhh...’ I was blushing again. I just couldn’t explain why. I had met so many girls in my life, talked, flirted and toyed around with so many of them but with Lisa, it was different, it was inexplicable.  ‘Actually, I am a little shy when it comes to talking to girls and you are a very sweet girl so that makes it even more difficult for me.’ I couldn’t believe my ears as I said this. It was me, talking to Lisa in that manner.

‘Awww! That’s so sweet of you to say that. And now that you gave me such an unexpected treat, I would also like to give you something and you can’t refuse to take it.’ She said.

I just looked at her smiling. She started searching for something in her bag and finally came out with two Snickers chocolate bars.

‘Well! This is for you from my side. A return gift, though this is nothing in front of the chocolate cake but still.’ She said.

‘Honestly speaking Lisa, the chocolate cake is nothing compared to what you gave me.’ I said.

‘Oh come on! You mean these Snickers? They’re so easily available! You don’t have to be a millionaire to buy them.’ she said, giving that are-you-kidding-me kind of a look.  

‘No. I meant your company,’ I said, ‘and that can’t be bought no matter how rich I become.’

She stared at me silently for a few seconds and then spoke. ‘Well, for me, you were just a batch-mate earlier but now I guess I can call you my friend. Can I?’ she said extending her hand.

I sat motionless.

‘Come on! Not everybody gets to shake my hand!’ She laughed.

Just give me your hand once and I promise I’ll never let go. I thought.

‘Yeah! Friends forever!’ I said as I shook hands with her. One afternoon, one chocolate cake, had brought us closer than ever before. I could have skipped my school meals forever to buy a chocolate cake to have with her every day.

We both got up to leave and as we came out of the shop, she looked at me and said, ‘Ricky! It was a wonderful afternoon and thanks a lot for the cake and before this afternoon turns to evening, I guess I should be back home.’ She laughed, as she turned and went away.

I can never forget that late afternoon,

It lasted forever yet ended so soon;

It was then that I realised,

That forever was in your eyes.

I had been a jerk again. I hadn’t even asked when we could meet next. The last month was busy as expected and not many students came to school but I still kept saving money with the hope of having that cake with her once more. I had completely stopped having lunch at school to save money for that prospective date. The memory of her sitting and having the cake with that cute smile was still fresh in my mind and that drove me to stay hungry at school. Finally, we all had to come on the last day at school and I knew I would get to see her today probably for the last time if I didn’t do something. A lot of things were going through my mind. Dad’s deteriorating health had further added to my worries.

I finally found her outside the library. She was standing alone with a book in her hand, beautiful as ever. It seemed like a sight out of a dream to see Lisa again. She gave me a big smile as she saw me.

‘Hi!’ she said.

She talked about a lot of things but not once did she mention that afternoon. It somehow disappointed me. Had she forgotten everything in the past month?  I thought. I had planned on asking her something and I went ahead with it.

‘So...this is it then!’ I said.

‘Huh? What do you mean?’ she enquired, surprised.

‘Well! Last day at school and all! Who knows when we’ll meet again?!’ I said.

‘Hey! Why do you say that! We’ll keep meeting and I don’t live.....’

‘What about one more chocolate cake huh?’ I finally blurted out not waiting for her to finish.

‘Hmmm....’ she was pondering over it. ‘I guess yes, it’s been a month since I last had it.’ She smiled.

Job done!  I thought. ‘Awesome! What about tomorrow? Same time, same place? Afternoon, 1:30?’ I asked, expecting an affirmative answer.

‘Hmmm...’ again she gave it a thought. ‘Well! Afternoon it is then!’ she said.

‘Cool! I’ll wait for you then! Our farewell cake it would be!’ I said, jumping with joy from inside.

‘Well yeah I...’

‘Lisa!’ A teacher called her from behind. Lisa turned to leave.

‘Afternoon, then?’ I asked again to confirm.

She nodded as she left hurriedly.

I had been planning for this afternoon since the last one month. I had made up my mind. I had to tell her that she meant the world to me. I had to tell her how much I cared for her. I had to tell her how much I loved her. I had to tell how I felt when I saw her. I had to tell her that Ricky would not fight with her for the last piece of the chocolate cake like her other friends but would sacrifice all the chocolate cakes in the world for her. I had to tell her....I had to tell her everything...and now was the time.

Since it was my first time, and nervous as I was, I couldn’t think of any innovative way of expressing my feelings. Nothing seemed practical and plausible with the funds that I had. Music, flowers, cards, gifts! All this was too much and too mind-boggling for me. So I decided to keep it simple. It’s the feelings that matter, not the way of expression. I thought. I had bought a rose though. I would go down on one knee, look straight into her eyes and tell her everything that I felt. Marry me Lisa! I would then say with the rose in my hand. Having decided everything, I finally sat down to wait for her. It was almost time. What would she say? Yes? No? This was the only question in my mind. How would she respond? What would her answer be? Yes? No?

As I waited for her, these were the only two words ringing in my ears. Yes?  No?



Ricky suddenly fell silent.

Johnny was waiting. ‘What happened then dad? What did she say? Was it a yes or a no?’ he asked innocently.

Ricky looked at his son and smiled. ‘She never came, my son!’

Johnny was looking at his dad, a solemn expression on his face. Ricky was staring outside the window. Martha was staring at both of them from the sofa where she had been sitting all this time pretending to read a book. Though she knew all this but still the story intrigued her every time she heard it. There was an awkward silence. Then finally Ricky spoke.

‘It was a very abrupt end to a very brief friendship.’ Ricky said.

Johnny was listening intently.

‘I could never have that chocolate cake with her again but I still like them today and they are my favourite. Even in our lives we do not always get to have the chocolate cake with the person we want to but eventually we do find the perfect one to share it with and it is then that we realise why we were never meant to have it with someone else. See, even I found your mom.’ Ricky looked at Martha and smiled.

‘But dad, didn’t you get a chance to ask her later why she didn’t come?’ Johnny asked the obvious question.

‘I never got to see Lisa again son. I waited for her till evening that day. She didn’t come and I never got to know why. When I went back home that evening I came to know about my dad’s critical condition. He had to be admitted to the hospital the very next day. Doctors diagnosed bacterial meningitis and it proved fatal for him.’

I went hysterical seeing my dad on the hospital bed with all the life saving equipment. ‘Doctor! Please save him somehow. Please! You’ll try your best right? Don’t worry about money. I’ll arrange for it. Here’s some for now.’ I said keeping everything I had been saving all these months in front of the doctor.

‘They tried their best but couldn’t save him.’ Ricky’s eyes were wet now.

‘Dad I’ll take you to the best of hospitals, best of doctors.’

‘Dad just a matter of a few more years.’

Dad you’ll start walking again.

‘Sure my son, I’m waiting for that day to come.’

Ricky was saying all this to himself.


‘He died waiting for that day to come. That day actually never came. Today I have all the resources yet I can’t bring him back. How I wish I could just...If I could just...’ he paused, unable to complete. ‘Johnny, sometimes we do wish if we could go back and change a little something here and there. We wish if we could just go back and do a little something differently. If we could just go back and say something we ought to have said or do something we ought to have done at that time. But it just doesn’t happen. Life goes on and we have to move on with life. It doesn’t allow us to stop and ponder over anything even for a second. Yes, life is cruel sometimes but then it is the only thing that we have which completely belongs to us and that is why we call it our life.

Ricky continued.

‘After dad passed away, we had nothing left in the city so mom decided to sell off the house and move to a different city. We moved away that very month and I could not contact Lisa before leaving. A few years later I came to know through a common friend that she married a guy from our school she had a crush on and was settled in the US, a place where I couldn’t even dream of going back then. That was the last that I heard of her. I was really happy for her ‘coz she finally got to share her chocolate cake with the person who, for her, mattered the most in the world. To me, it didn’t matter even if I had no one to share my cake with.’ Ricky was staring at the floor and smiling as he said this.

‘And this is precisely what I want you to understand. You are young my child and you have your whole life ahead of you. Who knows what tomorrow holds and what you are crying for today might seem trivial to you a few years later. You’ll meet so many people in life, some good, some bad and some very bad and we won’t always be there to support you. So, you need to be strong.’ Johnny was looking at his dad with a blank expression on his face.

‘I agree there are times when we feel that all is lost and when we look ahead we just see hopelessness and despair but that’s because we all have myopic eyes. We all suffer from short-sightedness and no spectacles in the world can correct it.’ He said this removing his own.

‘But there is someone sitting right up there...’ he said pointing at the sky, ‘ who is more far-sighted than anyone on Earth is and can ever be and he doesn’t even need specks for that.’ Ricky said ruffling Johnny’s hair. For the first time in a while, Johnny was smiling. ‘He is someone who takes decisions for us that are not backed by sentiments and emotions but by wisdom and practicality. So Johnny! You are just twelve right now. You need not worry about these things got it? You just study hard and become an intelligent man. All good girls like intelligent boys I’m telling you! And now gimme a high five bud!’

Johnny stood to his feet as he gave his dad a big fist pound. ‘I’m sorry dad! I’ve been such a jerk but I guess what all you said is actually true. I’m not missing a day of school from tomorrow I promise.’

‘Yup that’s like my boy! And today I’ll buy you a very nice deo so that tomorrow you can go to her and say that listen girl, I am one of the best smelling skunk friend you’ll ever find!!’

Johnny was grinning now. He even went and hugged his mom. ‘I’m sorry for all the fuss I created early in the morning mom. Spoiling your mood was not my intention!’

‘It’s okay John as long as you realise.’ Martha said hugging him back. She left her book and joined the two of them at the dining table.

Johnny now turned his attention towards the porridge in front of him and realised that he had to finish it as well. He was preoccupied with some thoughts as he had his porridge.

‘Dad, tell me something. You really loved that girl didn’t you?’

Ricky smiled. ‘No son, I guess I didn’t love her enough. There was someone else who probably loved her more than me and that’s why he deserved her more than I did. I love you and your mom more than anything else now. You are my world and this is all that matters now.’

‘But dad, if God was really as far-sighted as you say, didn’t he realise then, that you two could have been perfect together?’

Ricky could not help but smile at his son.

‘Son, maybe God realised that she didn’t like chocolate cakes as much as I did and he wanted me to find someone who loved them even more than me. And when I found out about your mom’s affinity towards chocolate cakes, I made up my mind that this is the girl.’ Ricky said grinning.

‘Dad, it might sound funny but still I thought I’d ask. What did you do with the teddy?’ He asked with a straight face and seeing this Ricky burst out laughing.

‘Ha ha ha! My son, I actually gave it to your grandma on her birthday. To my dearest friend...on her birthday. You are my best friend mom. I had said hugging her tightly as I gave it. And you know even she was surprised. You’ve finally learnt the art of gifting the right things to ladies my son. She had said.’ Ricky was smiling to himself as he recollected it all.

Even Martha was smiling on this one. She didn’t know about this part of the story.

‘Dad I know I’ve acted stupid but then I’m sure even you would have done the same had you been my age. Did you actually follow the principles you told me about when you were young?’

‘You ask too many questions Johnny!’ Martha said though she knew the questions were quite intelligent and she herself wanted to hear Ricky’s answers.

‘No Martha, let him ask. There should be no uncertainty in his mind regarding this. Yes! You are right son, even I did not follow all the principles, but then, I thought if I tell you about them now, maybe you’ll adhere to a few and keep the rest in mind and one day with time, age and experience you’ll realise that there is some substance in what I told you and it is for that day that I told you all this today.’

‘Dad, what if you come across Lisa someday in future? Would you ask her why she didn’t come to have the chocolate cake that day?’ Johnny asked with as much innocence as a twelve year old could.

Ricky looked at Martha with a grin on his face. ‘Your son is really inquisitive.’

‘Well Johnny my son, of course I won’t ask her! It’s a thing of the past and even if I come across Lisa, I’ll meet her like any other long lost old friend of mine.’

Saying this Ricky picked up his coat and his spectacles. It was time for his office. Johnny was silently staring at his porridge and was thinking about something. Ricky kissed Martha goodbye and smiled at Johnny before walking towards the door.

‘Dad...’ said Johnny rather hesitantly. It seemed as if what he was about to say was going on in his mind since some time now.

‘Yes son....’ said Ricky as he checked around in his briefcase to ensure whether all the important documents for the day were there.

‘Dad, I just had one last question in mind.’ Johnny was treading very carefully.

‘Ask away then buddy!’ Said Ricky as he picked up his briefcase finally, wore his specks and walked towards the door.

‘This girl you....Don’t you still sometimes miss her?’ he asked finally.

Ricky stopped just at the door and turned to look at Johnny. He turned his gaze at Martha and then back at Johnny, finally deciding to answer his last question.

‘Have your porridge’s getting cold!’ he said smiling, as he turned and walked out of the door.



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