It’s not what you think it is. His wife did ask him to take another woman to dinner, but that woman was his own mother. But this doesn’t make it any less interesting, considering how it ends.
They had been married 21 years, and the very mention of another woman, who loved him, surprised him. But as it turned out, it was his mother. He never could manage enough time with work and his children to see her as often as he should have.
When he called her and asked her to a dinner and a movie, she was taken aback. She eventually agreed to see him.
He went to pick her up on the following Friday night. It was evident that she had been looking forward to this meet. She was in the dress that she wore at her last wedding anniversary (she was widowed 19 years back), and had curled her hair. All this, for her son. She went on to tell him, how she had boasted to her friends about seeing him and how they were dying to hear about it.
The restaurant they want too wasn’t anything special but they had each other’s company which made it special. She was exceptionally happy to see him and be there with him. Owing to his mother’s deteriorating vision, he had to read out the menu to her. When he looked up at her from the menu, he found her staring at him with a distant look in her eyes and a smile on her face. As she met his gaze, she told him how it took her back to the time when he was little, and she was the one reading the menu to him.
The dinner went by with a usual conversation about what had been going on with the both of them. However, they were both so caught up in it, that they had missed the movie. When he dropped her off at her place later, she wished to see him again, but on a condition; that this time round he’d be the guest.
Upon his return, and his wife’s inquiry, he admitted the dinner to be much better than he’d expected it to be.
Not too long after, his mother died of a heart attack. He was shocked by the news, just like anyone else would be when told something out of the blue. What troubled him most was the fact that he never got the chance to do anything for her, and now he’d never get that chance.
After some time, he received an envelope with a copy of the receipt from the restaurant where he’d taken his mother. He also found a note attached to the receipt, which was from his mother. It said that she’d paid for the two plates in advance, not knowing whether she could’ve made it or not. But she’d paid for him and his wife. And instead of his wife, he’d taken his mother along with him, and that night was priceless to her. She ended the note with ‘I love you, son’.
It was then he realized how unpredictable time is, and how you never know who’d be taken away from you. How you should tell the people around you, you love them as often as possible. You never know which ILY could be the last one. And how it is important to make time for your family. Family above all.
‘Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’, is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’. –Lao Tzu
So make time for your family and loved ones, to save yourself a lifetime of ‘what ifs’ and regrets.