Every day the old man would take the coins out of his bottle and count how much he had and every day it would still only be coins – and a few less.
His bottle was nearing empty. He did not know what he would eat in a week and still he counted each penny. For the last sixty years, since his first pay cheque he knew where every single cent had been spent. A filing cabinet in the corner of his room burst with pages and pages of accounting. But how had this helped him. He had worked hard all his life, saved, saved and saved until retirement and then lived off a measly pension that had run out.
He never gambled, or played the lotto, or risked any of it. His son, who had ignored his father’s repeated teachings in this vein, lived an opulent life with fancy cars, a large home, annual international holidays for their family of four.
These were all courtesy of calculated risks. He never bet the whole farm, but he also never only stayed in the harbour. His father had scoffed at what he believed to be careless behaviour and worried and waited for the day his son would be starving from one of his ridiculous endeavours. It was that same reckless man who walked through his door later that day carrying groceries and even a slab of his favourite chocolate, which had become too expensive for him to buy a long time ago.
by Debbie Gravett © 2021.01.12
FFFC: Flash Fiction Challenge #99
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