“Hello? How are you?” I ask.
“Fine, Dad,” he replies.
“We are fine, too. How are things at home? The network here is really poor. The roof was leaking last night. But I have managed to find a solution for it. Your mother misses you. When will you come?” I ask him.
“One question at a time, Dad. I even forgot what you’d asked earlier. We will come the next time I avail a holiday. This time we are going to Singapore,” he says.
“Okay. Have fun. Let me know in case I can help with anything,” I say to him like I have been saying all along.
“Yeah, yeah. Like you could,” he says and scoffs.
“Did you say anything, son?” I ask. I pretend not to be able to hear his words.
“Nothing, Dad. Goodnight,” he says and disconnects the call.
I hobble back to the room where my wife is adjusting her hearing-aid. She asks if I had a chat with my son. I nod. She asks about his well-being. I tell her that he is fine.
I read her eyes which wait for me to tell her when he’d be coming. I know that she reads in my eyes that it wouldn’t be anytime soon.
And somehow like this, we have shared twenty years together.
The next afternoon, a postman with an envelope appears on my doorstep. I adjust my spectacles as I read the address it is from. It’s from my son.
I tear it open and find money. I don’t even bother to count it.
‘For the leaking roof,’ a note reads.
The roof in my house is just fine. Little did my son realise that I needed no envelope. All I needed was his presence.