It has been sometimes since Jack has seen the old man. In the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future and nothing could stop him.
Over the phone his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”
“Jack, did you hear me?”
“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him.” Jack said.
“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent with him,” Mom told him. “
“He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important… Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.
Jack kept his word and attended Mr. Belser’s funeral.
The night before he returned home Jack and his Mom went to see Mr. Belser’s old house one more time.
Standing in the doorway Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly.
“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.
“The box is gone,” he said.
“What box?” Mom asked.
“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was, ‘The thing I value most.’ Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him.” Jack said.
One day Jack discovered a parcel list in his mailbox.
The return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser,” it read.
Jack tore it open. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.
“Upon my death please forward this box to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I value most in my life.” His heart raced as tears filled his eyes. Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.
He opened the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! — Harold Belser.”
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“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days…He needed some time to spend with his wife and son.
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