The Life Factor - Short Commuting Story

'Stay clear of the doors please', beeep, beeep beeep. The annoying noise of the closing doors warning was attacking his ears but he hasn't even noticed.

He was deeply focused on his board papers, going through the financial summary. He was pleased with the figures, looked like his corporation was doing even better than predicted. He founded it 5 years ago and it went through its ups and downs to the firm and healthy state it has been today. He was really proud of it, especially today when he was about to take part in sharing the yearly results with his directors. It was their 5th anniversary, a baby the company once was, grew into a mature adult.

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So why wasn't he fully enjoying this moment. He should be overwhelmed with joy but there was this tiny thing that made him feel anxious. 'Ok, I forgot about our anniversary, but she didn't remind me' he thought. 'She knows how busy I am, she should tell me few days earlier so I would make proper arrangements at the office and I would definitely attend the dinner she made because of our wedding anniversary' he argued in his mind recalling the conversation with his wife, Annie, in the morning.

Incidentally they've got married exactly a month before he registered the company but with all this preparation for the corporate ceremony he completely forgot about planned dinner. So he didn't attend an event when he was supposed to refresh his marital vows as he was in the middle of the very important meeting. 'It's not a big deal, is it' he reassured himself. He did love his wife and his daughter immensely so there was no real need to refresh their vows.

She was upset, which was easy to understand as she was always very sentimental but the flowers his assistant sent to her should solve the problem. He also suggested she could go to Italy for some shopping to cheer herself up but she said he is cruel and don't understand, then burst into tears.

True, he didn't understand women, he was much better with his financial figures - he understood markets perfectly and always knew what will be the next hot thing. That's why the company has become so big and wealthy.

'She wasn't serious that she will leave me, was she?' he asked himself. Annie was very upset this morning and told him that she plans to move out and take Lilly, their daughter, with her. She said that she loves him but that she wanted to live with him and not his money. She also reminded him that he promised her they will spend more time together. Which was kind of true, he did make some promises and he tried to spend time with them but his work was really demanding, surely she understood that!

'Next station is Canary Wharf, mind the gap between the train and the platform edge. Mind the gap.' It was his destination so he got off the train and followed the crowd up the escalator.

His thoughts were back on important financial figures and he was going through his speech in his mind when he spotted the red patch in front. It confused him and destroyed his train of thoughts. The red was moving somewhere in front of him and it was so out of place that it made him curious. He tried to get a proper look and finally succeeded.

It was a shirt, yes, a red shirt. The young woman in a vivid red shirt didn't belong to this world of professional black and grey suits but somewhat he couldn’t take eyes off her. There was something in her, she seemed to be flying over the stairs, she brought a feeling of freedom, energy and life.

Yes, he suddenly felt very alive and a memory of his wife came to him. It was their seventh date and she was wearing this wonderful tiny red dress, she looked stunning. At this point he felt like the luckiest man in the world and believed nothing else in life matters more than this moment he shared with Annie.

On a whim he took her into the jewellery shop, asked her to close her eyes and told the shop assistant to take out the best engagement rings he had. Then he asked his love to choose one using her touch only. She did so giggling and then he put it on her finger and asked her to marry him. She said yes and he couldn't be happier.

Then 18 months ago their daughter was born and once again he thought that he was the luckiest man on the planet having the most beautiful daughter a father could wish.

He was so lost in his thoughts that he hasn't even noticed that the crowd pushed him to the side of the platform; he was standing there going through his memories.

He also remembered another glimpse of red - his daughter had this red bow in her hair, her smile was so sweet on this photo. It was when the first tooth appeared but he was on the important business trip so his wife took the photo to show him. Then he remembered the video Annie recorded when their daughter sit up properly for the first time – he had a workshop with other directors; then when she started to crawl – he was on a conference in Chicago. There was also the one with Lilly’s first steps, he missed this one as he was in Germany finishing the deal with an important client. He just realised he did miss them all, all the important moments in his daughter life, and he had no idea what was going on in his wife’s life anymore either.

What he knew was that the house was always perfect, with this warm and soothing atmosphere that only his lovely Annie could create. It always felt good to be at home, so relaxing and calming.

Suddenly he felt a light push on his arm and heard a quick sorry from a person passing next to him. He looked around surprised by the surroundings, he was totally confused. Then he checked his watch and a horror appeared on his face. 'I've gotta run' he thought in panic. 'Maybe it's not too late yet, I can't let it happen' he thought desperately. 'I can’t miss my daughter saying daddy for the first time!' and he jumped on the return train just before the door closed.

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