A Well-Lived Life

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living? ~ Bob Marley

“What is a well-lived life?” I asked my older friend.

“I’ve already had one,” he replied.

“How do you know that? What makes you say that?”

He smiled, looking at me as if he held the secret to the universe. I waited.

“I got what I came for,” he answered. “I won the lottery when I married Joan.”

“How sweet,” I said. “All wives would love to hear that.”

He looked at me again, bemused, holding his lips in a smile reminiscent of a cheshire cat.

“Yes,” he continued, “I married the bank. It was my ticket out of hell, out of poverty, out of a failed marriage. She dropped in my lap. Everything does, you know.”

Shocked to my core, I had to ask, “But did you love her?”

“How could I not?” he replied. He had a smug look on his face. “She was my free ride. Well, not so free, really. She wasn’t that easy to live with.”

“But … did you love her for who she was?”

“Look,” he said, growing tired of my questions, “I took care of her until the end. I wasn’t going to let her take what was rightfully mine. She owed me.”

“And now what do you have?” I asked.

“I have everything,” he chuckled. “Everyone wants what I have.” He tapped his fingers rhythmically on the arm of his wheelchair.

He stared out of the window, looking down on the street below. He waved his hand slightly, dismissing me for the day.

I left him to contemplate his good fortune and rich life.

As I opened the door, I heard him shout, “I’m the luckiest man on earth! I won the lottery, you know!”

The door closed behind me, and as I pulled out of the driveway, I could see a fragile hand waving back and forth through the curtains.

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