Readers Cast


Jason Goad - July 04, 2011

The man stood outside of the large building staring at his cell phone. On his phone was the picture of his son holding a big fish. The man had left home at 4:30 a.m. and he wouldn't be home until nearly 8. He left for work before the boy was awake, and if he was lucky he would return in time to kiss the boy good night and tuck him in bed. This time of year the pictures on his cell phone was treasured.

There were trucks driving in and out of the building. The trucks were being loaded with fertilizer. The trucks then hurried out of the building headed towards some unknown field. It was spring. The company had a little over 20 employees, and each one counting on the few months of spring to make their living. Dozens of farmers in the surrounding counties also busy putting in their crops, all dependent upon the man standing outside the building. He took their orders with care, and scheduled the trucks. Hundreds of tons of fertilizer left the building each day, at least during the busiest of days. All the employees and customers both depending on this man doing his job. A tremendous amount of responsibility rested upon his shoulders, but he took it all in stride. He faced each day with a little fear, lot of worry and trepidation. However, he went home each night with the satisfaction of a day well done. If all went well.

Funny thing about the trucks, they never broke down the 8 months they sat in their shed, and they never got stuck during those 8 months. Customers never got angry at during the other 8 months because the truck with their fertilizer was stuck or broke down. And of course, when they called the man was the one that answered the phone and listened, even though there was nothing he could do about it. He wasn't a mechanic or a truck driver; he just answered the phone and took their orders. Yet today he stood outside the building with a smile upon his face.

He had quietly marveled at the cell phone in his hand many times in the past. It was a marvel to the man how he could talk to a customer on his phone, and no one else around could not hear their conversation. For that matter he really didn't understand how a regular phone plugged into the wall worked either. How his cell phone could send a text or receive a text was something else he didn't understand. He had often commented that if anyone wanted to talk to him they could call; if they wanted to text him they could write him a letter. However, he had been forced to learn to text. His wife communicated to him that way. And though he hated to admit it, texting was handy. He could answer when he got a chance, and not miss her call. More importantly for the man were the pictures.

On his phone was the picture of his son, holding a fishing rod and a large bass. The smile upon the boy's face made him seem to light up the sky. The boy was holding the largest fish he had ever caught. He was holding it up so his mother could take a picture with her phone, just so his Daddy could see it. The pride on the boy's face was matched by the pride in the man's eyes as he stared at the picture. The pride the man felt for his son and his son's accomplishment filled the man to the point he felt he would burst. How he wished he could be there, to hug his son and tell him how proud he was. Not proud he caught the fish, though he was very proud of that, but how proud he was of his son. The grief he felt for not being there seemed unbearable. He closed his phone, and with a smile upon his face, and a tear in his eye, he turned back to the building. He didn't turn back to the building because of the other employees or the customers or even for himself. He turned back to the building because of the love he had for his wife and son. He turned back because it was spring time, and it was time to make his living for his wife and son. He turned back for them.

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