A man on his way to work wishes it was a different day. Along the highway his tyre bursts and he is forced to pull over and change the wheel. At the same time, the clock is ticking, it is only five minutes before the meeting commences. While changing the tyre, his boss calls and John answers the phone hesitantly.

“Hello sir.”

“John where are you? All of the clients are here,” his boss asked.

“I’m sorry sir but—”

“My friend, this is no time for apologies, you have to get your stout figure over here right now or you are history on my pay role.”

“But sir, can you—”

John was cut off with the click of his boss hanging up on him. Out of confusion and desperation to consolidate his job, John dumps his Ranger by the roadside and decides to walk the rest of the way to the office. When he arrives at the office, he rushes straight through to the boardroom where he is met by all of the stakeholders at the door…on their way out. His heart is pounding very hard when he sees his boss still sitting in the boardroom, looking very agitated. John slowly enters the boardroom.

“Good morning, sir,” John says in a low tone. But he’s met with only silence. “I’m sorry sir. I had a pro—”

John is interrupted before he could finish his sentence. “There is no need for an explanation,” his boss says.

“Please sir, I beg you to hear me out,” he pleads.

“Because you cannot be punctual, I have lost my most important stakeholder. You leave me with no choice but to demote you. Please pack your stuff and clear out your office for the next occupant.”

With nothing left to say to John his boss waves him out of the room. John walks to his (now) old office and starts packing. After a few moments he receives a call from the family doctor.

“Hello doctor,” he says.

“Hello Mr John. How are you doing?” the doctor asks.

“I’m fine sir, thank you.”

“I’m sorry sir, but would you get to the hospital as soon as possible.”

“Why? Is something the matter?” John asks, sounding concerned.

“Uhmm…,” the doctor begins, but the connection is suddenly lost.

John’s thoughts immediately go to his sick son he left in an unpleasant state this morning. Tears stream down his cheeks as he races down to the car park, but when he gets there he suddenly remembers that he left his car on the side of the highway, out of order.

As he runs to the hospital, horrible thoughts bewilder his mind. Has it gotten serious? Is something wrong with my son? Where will I do if they propose an operation? Oh Lord, please have mercy on my young boy!

When John arrives at the hospital, he meets the doctor. He is informed that his son has been admitted and there is need for an operation. John is puzzled, but his mother and wife begin to comfort him.

“Take heart my son, he will be fine,” he mother says.

“Mother, what have I done to deserve this?” John cries.

“It is not your fault, my dear. We need to be strong, to find our way through this,” whispers his wife.

“Let me go. I must find money for the operation then. I’ll be back,” John says.

“Okay, my son. Please be safe,” his mother concedes.

John rushes off to the bank where he finds a very long queue. After a long wait and only a few people remaining ahead of him, John receives a phone call from his wife. However, due to bank regulations he could not pick up the call.

After finally being served by the teller, he remembers to return his wife’s call, but to his surprise his brother answers the phone.

“Hello John.’

“Hello. Where is my wife? Please tell her I have gotten the money for our son’s operation,” John tells him.

“I’m sorry John, but—”

“But what?” John cuts him off.

“Your son has passed on.”

John goes silent.

“Hello? John?”

John still can’t find the words to say. He drops his phone and bursts into a loud cry, falling to the pavement. Everyone walking by turns to check on him. Suddenly he feels someone shake him.

“John…John, wake up. What is wrong?”

It was his wife, trying to wake him as he lay there crying in his sleep.

“John, wake up,” his wife tried again.

“Not now please,” John says between tears.

“What is wrong John?” she asks, shaking him heavily now.

“My brother just told me that my son is dead,” he sobs. “My son is dead!”

His wife shakes her head, looking down at him. She starts bringing him back to reality as she comforts him on the sidewalk, explaining to him that he was just dreaming.

“Please take it easy. Our son is ok, John.”

“Where is he?” he says, still teary-eyed and groggy.


“Let us check on him then.”

“Okay, come on.”

She finally gets her husband up off the pavement and leads him to the hospital. When they get to their son’s room, John sees him tucked peacefully in bed. Turning to his wife and smiling, he whispers, “It was just a dream.”


Tell us what you think: Have you ever had such a scary experience as John, the fear of losing someone you love?