I woke up that morning stumbled out of bed stretched and yawned, went in to the bathroom, and took a shower. As I made breakfast, I turned on the news and sat down. It was Saturday, and I didn’t have to go to work, at least I thought that before I heard the Nokia tune that came from my pocket. After talking to my boss, I dressed up and told my wife I had to go to work.
As I drove to work, I wondered why he needed me on a Saturday. I parked my car outside, and went in. I’m an architect at a firm called Watson Inc. I went in to my boss’s office, he was a short and with a stout body, his think black hair had started to become a bit grey, but his bright blue eyes had a youthful spark, and it felt like being x-rayed when he looked at you. “Sit down” he said in a raspy voice. He started talking about opportunities, and that I had lots of potential in this firm. He asked if I was able to design a hotel for some new, and rich customers he had, and how long it would take. I said than I was planning on taking a vacation with my wife and daughter, he interrupted me and said that if I could do this as fast as possible, he would make me partner in the company and I would get rich. I stared at him for long time before I said “I will do it”. I asked what the hurry of this was seeing he had called me on a Saturday, he replied me fast with phrases like “very rich clients”, and “in a hurry”, he kept on mumbling until I asked what the deadline was. “6 days!” I shouted indignant, ‘you want me to design a hotel in 6 days?!”. “I suggest you get started” he said.
I sat down in my office at home, turned on my laptop to have a look at the mail my boss had sent me; it contained info on the hotel. It was going to have six floors, and many rooms in each floor. I moaned, and started looking for ideas at the same time as my wife came in the room. She asked me why I was working on a Saturday. I explained her about the job, and that I would get partner in the firm for it. She said “what about the holiday? What about our Daughter?”, “it will have to be another time”. She looked at me with a disappointed look on her face before she left. I sat up all night working with my idea, and fell asleep in my chair early in the morning.
When I woke up, I at first didn’t remember why I was in my office, but then it all came back to me. The job, the hotel, and the vacation, I let out a big yawn as I went to get myself a slice of bread. I went down to continue working, and after a while my daughter came home from school. She looked at me with a very disappointed look on her face when she saw me working. I had started making the model for the hotel now. I was getting very frustrated over this hotel, because it keeping me away from my family, but on the other hand I would earn a lot of money on it.
The following morning my wife came down to my office and said good morning, and I just grunted a reply, and for some strange reason this made her expression go from annoying, to a mix of that and anger. I tried to understand it, but I couldn’t realize why. After a little while my cell phone made a high beep that signaled that I received a text message, it was from my wife, she said that today was our anniversary but seeing I was too busy working she had decided to take our daughter and leave. I dropped the phone to the floor when I realized what that just had happened, and the world fell apart in front of my eyes. I was devastated, I took up the phone and called my boss and said that I resigned and did not want to work for him again. After that, I called my wife, she did not pick up her phone so I left her a message that I had quit my job, and asked her to come back and to call me as soon as possible. Even though it was midday I fell asleep in the couch.
I felt miserable next morning; I had sacrificed everything that really mattered just to get money. Too late had I realized that I already had something that mattered more. My phone started to ring, it was my wife and I answered it. I tried to explain that I had been blinded of all the money that my boss offered me, and that I didn’t know what I had until I lost it. I said I wanted to take her and my daughter to the vacation we had planned before. She said that it was good I had realized my mistake; she said that I should meet her at a café in town to talk more. I grabbed my coat, and drove to the place where we were going to meet, but I couldn’t see her. I tried to call her nevertheless, she didn’t answer. I drove to the friend she had stayed at, but she said that she had left already. As I drove down the highway I met a big traffic jam, and I turned on the car radio to check if the news said why. They said that it had been a car crash, a woman had died, and her daughter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, I didn’t think more about it until my phone rang. It was a man sounding worried. I asked how he could call from my wife’s cell phone, he replied by telling me that he was a doctor, and that my wife and daughter had been in an accident, my wife had not survived, but my daughter was injured. He told me to come straight to the hospital. I jumped out of the car, while tears started bursting out. I could not stand in this queue. When I reached the hospital the doctor tried to calm me down, and took me to my daughter.
Many years later I still think of that day when I lost all because of my greed, and hunger for money. I had really learned it the hard way, money is not the road to happiness. Too many people spend money they don’t earn, to buy stuff they don’t like, to impress people they hate. If only I knew what I know today... Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills.