“The thing that I valued the most was your time, Leonardo.”

Leonardo was a determined man with a lot of ambition. He wanted to be wealthy. Have plenty of money. To be able to give his wife and child everything that their hearts desired. He worked at the Stock Exchange. He bought and sold stocks. While studying, Leonardo lived at home with his mother. He had a neighbor by the name of Anthony who taught him the most important things a child needed to know. He taught him to tie his shoe laces, to count, to write his name…. Leonardo lost his father at the tender age of one… and the only male figure that he had was his neighbor. When he completed his degree, he decided to leave home and moved away to another part of the city. He wanted to try his own luck and it was there that he met his dear Margaret whom he married shortly after. He had not seen Anthony since his University days. Leonardo was a very busy man … he had no time to think about the past, and sometimes he forgot about his family. He was engaged enough with his work. He worked for his future and the future of those he loved. One day he received a phone call from his mother saying that “Anthony had died the night before, and that the funeral would be in two days.” He was astonished to think of his past. He only stopped when he heard his mother tell him that there was not a day that passed without Anthony not asking for his son. And talked about how many times he would go to his house when he was a kid.
Leonardo, let some tears slip away as he reminisced about his past. Leonardo knew he had a lot of work pending but promised to be at the funeral and kept his promise. He took a train and off he went. On the eve of returning home, Leonardo wanted to go to Anthony’s house with his mother one last time. As he entered the house, he paused for a moment. It felt like he was crossing over into another dimension. Thoughts of all the memories, the good times, the laughter suddenly immersed. The house was exactly as he remembered all those years ago. The same paintings were hung on the wall. The furniture lies exactly at the same spot. With every step he took, more memories came. He could still hear Anthony’s voice in the background telling him stories,  He looked around the corner for a blue box he remembered seeing. “It was a small box that had a lock on top that he kept on a table. I must have asked him a thousand times what was  inside the box, and every time he said it was something that had a lot of value for him.”

It was nowhere to be found. Everything in that house was exactly as he remembered, except for the blue box. He thought maybe some family member had taken it. He thought now I’ll never know what the blue box had. Leonardo said his final goodbyes to Anthony and kissed his mother on the cheek as he returned home. Upon arriving home he found a note to go to the Post Office and pick up a parcel that was sent. Leonardo went to the post office to get his box and as he opened it, he saw the blue box that he was looking for. It was the blue box that belonged to Anthony. There was a note with it… “Leonardo, thank you for your time.” Along with the note was a very small key that opened the box … and inside the box was a very old watch … the kind you keep in your pocket. Behind the clock was a phrase that said … “The thing that I valued the most was your time, Leonardo.”

 

That night Leonardo held his family so tight and did not work for the rest of the day!

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