Practice. Practice. Practice.
The Ambassador’s Son
He was young, rich and handsome. He had a big ready smile and a glint in his eye. The ladies stopped him on the street to ask for a strand of his hair. They had never seen anything like him in all their life, not even the adults. He gladly obliged and pulled a strand to present to them.
The ladies were fascinated; and he got more than his fair share of dates and sex. Then one day he fell in love. She was the daughter of one of the local ‘royalty’. She was smart, pretty and the heiress to a fortune. And she was in love with someone the wrong race. Her dad threatened to have her committed. Her mother had to go for a restorative spa to recover from the shock.
They were going to get married. He wrote to his father telling him of his love and his plans. His father, the Old Ambassador, had been recalled home recently; it took 6 weeks for a letter to get ‘home’ and another 6 weeks for the reply to come back. Meanwhile two young lovers feverishly planned their happily ever after.
The New Ambassador and his deputy filled the little love nest with their presence. They faced the young lovers clinging together with stern faces.
“You must go home immediately” the New Ambassador said to Him.
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“It’s your father”
A shock ran through the young man. His father was dead and they wouldn’t tell Him. His father was dead and he hadn’t met the love of His life. Tears started to roll down His cheeks.
“You must be strong now” the New Ambassador told Him.
That night the young lovers grieved, consoled each other and promised to be together as soon as possible.
In the morning they went to the Embassy. He was handed an envelope with a first class ticket and some cash in it. A chauffeur drove him to the airport. Dazed he boarded the flight home. He didn’t eat, watch in flight movies or flirt with the female attendants.
He moved desolately through immigration and customs when he landed and walked outside. Suddenly his heart jumped with joy. There was his father at arrivals! He was alive! But just as quickly his heart sank. It must be his mother then. In need of parental reassurance he rushed to embrace his father and walked into a resounding slap that spun him round.
“Give me my passport!” His father, the Old Ambassador bellowed.
“Your passport?” He asked bewildered.
The Old Ambassador snatched away the passport He had just come through arrivals with.
“I sent you abroad to get an education not a wife.”
It dawned on Him why He had been summoned home. His heart sank as he watched his father turn away with His passport in hand. Without His passport He was a ‘nobody’.
The Young Lovers wrote each other regularly for two years, till it dawned on them that they could never see each other again. He couldn’t go back to Her without his passport and the New Ambassador made sure She could never get a visa to come to Him. Even the protests Her friends held in front of the Embassy couldn’t make the New Ambassador change his mind.
They met at a class reunion twenty years later. He was married with children. She was still single. She didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Some of their mutual friends told Him how she had had a couple of unsuccessful relationships after she realized they wouldn’t be together and never had much time for men after that. Even her father had tried to get Him back when he saw how She languished.
He was left with a slight but persistent feeling of discomfort after hearing her story; guilt, remorse, compassion, disappointment, regret? He wasn’t sure. He shrugged it off as best he could, and broke into a wide relieved smile as soon as He saw his wife walking towards him across the room.