Would you want to change it in any way? I am sitting in my office during my lunch break thinking about a day that had gone by exactly a year ago. My sandwich remains untouched as I relive that day in my head. I had woken up late that day and in order to reach work on time I had skipped breakfast. With hunger pangs gnawing at my insides, I ignored the friendly wave from Farhan who’s cubicle was near mine. Instead I focused on the computer screen in front of me and worked robotically.
In my mind I would wake up early that day and make myself an omelette and tea for breakfast. I wouldn’t stress about whether my work was good enough to get me a promotion or not. I would take a moment to realize that regardless of my perpetual worries my life was heading in the right direction. With that cheerful thought in mind I would return the friendly wave from Farhan with a big smile.
As per our usual routine since the last two years, Farhan accompanied me to a nearby cafe for lunch. For a man with a wife and a 1-year-old son to support, he seemed to be in high spirits. In fact, I silently begrudged him his happiness as he showed me pictures of his son on his mobile phone. During his incessant chatter, my mind reverted to work assignments that were due to be completed soon.
After work, Farhan stopped by my desk wondering if I wanted to have coffee with him. Observing the number of files stacked on my desk, he even offered to wait a while for me but I brushed him off. I had wanted to get a headstart on the next day’s work so that there’d be no stone left unturned for my promotion. Looking back at that day, I should’ve had a proper conversation with Farhan during lunch instead of just nodding and smiling at his anecdotes.
Most importantly, I should’ve made him wait for several minutes while I finished work. Farhan left the office that evening and got hit by a car as he was crossing the road. He didn’t survive. If I had made him wait that night, then he probably would’ve returned home safe and sound to his family. It is a never-ending recording that keeps going on in my head: “Farhan just give me ten minutes and then we’ll go for coffee.”