A Surprising Piece Of News

Image by Автошкола ТЕХНИКА from Pixabay

It’s a beautiful day today. When I was taking a break and driving past Mahul Auto, I thought I just drop by to get my windshield wiper replaced. Last weekend, in the misty rain, I realized that my wipers were not working–the wiper blades almost fell off. How did that happen?

“Mahul is not here. He left at noon.” His assistant B told me.

“Why? That’s unlike him. Is he OK? I mean I hope he’s not sick or anything.” I said.

“No. He’s healthy, but he only works part time now.” B says.

“Are you sure? Is everything OK?” I had never heard of a small business owner taking a break like that.

“Well, he sold the business to me.” B claimed, not without pride and I was so shocked. I couldn’t speak for half a minute. When I recovered from my surprise, I remembered to congratulate B on his ascendancy and his new ownership. I’ve known B for more than ten years and he has always looked like a boyish high school student. He told me he’s over thirty now and I couldn’t believe it. Some people is blessed with boyish looks and young energy that they never age at all.

The news has made me feel a big void in my heart as if Mahul abandoned me and his other regular clients. When a person leaves, he or she never thinks about the people he or she leaves behind. It’s painful to see people leave–I hate people leaving. I’ve been coming here for fifteen years and now this is happening.

It’s all due to the pandemic. For the past two years, Mahul’s once thriving business plummeted. People stay home so much more and the need for car repair is minimized. The problem is that even if he suffers great business loss, he still has to pay mortgage, property tax and everything else that keeps the place running. That must have weighed heavily on Mahul. I can understand his decision to sell. Now the wave of omicron is receding and he can finally sells it and gets out.

I’ve seen my favorite restaurants being closed down or reduced to takeout; an entire strip mall deserted; I’ve seen people losing their office space; I’ve seen people who work from home, scared of going out; I’ve seen the price of lychee jumping to $10 a pound… How much I hate this pandemic. It wants to wreak as much havoc as possible to our life before disappearing for good.

Now I am wondering if I can find another Mahul, but it is hard. He is a born engineer who loves mechanics, who would insist on explaining my car’s problem to me even if I didn’t have any interest in machinery, who is so good-natured and so kind, who is so energetic. It would be difficult to find another Mahul. I don’t think it is even possible, but I will try…

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