The day was brisk and humid with a grey sky over Mount Rainier. A mountain biker forward on down the trail, dodging rocks and deep crevasses of dirt, sweat poured from his forehead and onto his goggles. He gained traction in the sand to reach a summit. On the peak he spotted an animal of some kind headed down the trail. Curious to know what it was, he rushed down to see if he could get a glimpse of it. The biker’s body tussled at every bump, and with all his might, he held desperately onto the handle bars, but the rear tire spokes caught a branch attached to a tree on the ground. He fell off the bike onto the dirt, and his right leg scraped a branch with sharp thorns. He screamed in pain and quickly called for help on his phone. Paramedics rushed to the scene to pick him up off the trail. They rushed to the hospital. As the biker was lying in the ambulance losing some blood, and he drifted in and out consciousness.
”What is your name?” The ambulance medic asked.
”Se-Sean, Sean Miller.” He said in a quiet whisper.
Hours later Sean woke in the hospital bed, his right leg bandaged up and swollen. He saw an opportunity to leave, and got up with a slight limp reaching for his clothes and shoes in his blue and white hospital gown. He was sitting mildly upset and a little confused, when the doctor walked in.
”Hey what are you doing? I am Dr. Keneski”
“I am leaving. I feel much better thank you.” Sean replied, limping toward the door.
”Now just a minute, I am still making sure your bloodwork comes back clean. You received a pretty deep gash from a potentially poisonous plant. Sit right back down.” The doctor smiled with a professional tone.
”Ok, fine.” Sean said. He sat and waited.
Minutes passed and Sean contemplated his decision to attempt to leave again. Just as he was going to leave. The room door swiftly opened and in Dr. Keneski walked.
“I have your results. How are you feeling Mr. Miller?” Dr. Keneski slowly approaching Sean
“Thanks, what do you have on me? I don’t like it here. I’ve got things to do, and head to work at Carter’s Diner.” He said in frustrated tone.
“Well the blood results came back clean. You were lucky not to get as big as gash as you did. The tendons are intact and you have just surface wounds. I would not do any running for the next week or so. It needs to heal.”
“Ok can I leave now?” Sean asked.
Dr. Keneski looked down at her clipboard with results and eyes the blood type that said “B Positive.”
“I will send you over to be discharged.” She looked at him with a smile.
“Great, thanks!” Sean replied in a mildly sarcastic tone.
On crutches and lightly limping his way to front outside of the hospital. Sean called for his girlfriend Jessica to pick him up. Arriving there with a concerned expression, she asked,
”Are you ok? What happened?” said Jessica
“I am fine. I fell off my bike. I have a minor gash. The doctor prescribed me some antibiotics for a few days. Can we just go home? said Sean.
“I am tired and not going to make it into work tomorrow or the few days.”
“Ok, I have to leave in a few days to conference for work,” said Jessica
“Then we have our three year anniversary to go to.”
“I don’t know. We’ll see. I am upset now because I am not going to play football with my friends this weekend and my life seems pathetic.”
Sean spent the next few days, feeling bitter. The day came when he needed to go back to work at Carter’s Diner, still with a slight limp, but refreshed body, and content about his accident. A regular walked in. Mr. Elgan, a man in the finance industry, a little dressed down than usual from what Sean is used to. He wore brown khaki pants and green polo shirt, and walked over to Sean.
”Hey there, buddy remember me? I always come in asking for your specials and best drinks. Yes, “Mr. Elgan, What can I do for you? Sean said.
Mr. Elgan put his hand over to Sean’s shoulder like they were friends.
“Walk with me for a moment.” Elgan said.
Reluctantly Sean did so.
“You see I received this invitation for two in the mail to a house party, and can bring another. I thought you since you are pretty good with math. Showing off how fast you calculate our dinner total and percentage of tips. I could introduce you as my accounting intern, and you could maybe meet some people there.”
”Why would I want to be around those stuck up types?”
“Hey, humor me. What do you have to you lose?”
“Ok, I’ll go. As long as there is free food. Give me the invite.”
Mr. Elgan handed it over with a smile and left.
The day of the party came, and Sean was and full of anxiety in his barely worn navy pin stripe suit. He asked Jessica to drive him over in her car, since it was better looking and a newer model than his old Chevrolet Blazer.
Jessica agreed as she couldn’t wait to get him out of the house for the evening. She had planned for a night on the town with her friends.
The two left Seattle to where the party was located in Bellevue. They pulled into the driveway of a suburban house. There overarching oaks and redwood branches hung blissfully swaying in the wind. A valet came to open the car door. Sean enters the house and Mr. Elgan quickly came over to welcome him.
“How are you doing? I would like you to meet someone over here who a friend of mine.”
“Ok.” Sean said.
Both entered a large office with a minimalist touch. Near the window, overlooking the white lit town stood a man in suit and tie with black leather Oxford shoes.
“Mr. Wheeler, come meet this fine gentlemen. Mr. Miller, I’d like you to meet Mr. James Wheeler; he is the founder and C.E.O of Wheeler Industries which is the parent company of Carter’s Diner.” Elgan Said.
”Hi. Nice to meet you.” Sean Said
“Hi. Come sit here and Mike can you give us few minutes?” Wheeler replied.
“So Sean, how long have you been working for the diner? Wheeler asked.
“Well about two years or so. It’s an ok job with tips. It’s good enough for now.”
“How much do you know about who and where you came from?”
“As far as I know my parents gave me away when I was a few months old after I was born. I spent a few years in and out of foster care, and made it through my teen years with a few good school instructors that really inspired me to go into computers. I received my associates in computer science. I tried getting a job and heard a close instructor of mine passed away. I really didn’t know what to do after that, so I settled to be a waiter.”
“Well, you’re still young to make it right”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“I have a proposal for you. I would like you work with Mike for a while. Hourly pay of course and maybe get you back into school for finance”
“Excuse me, but why should I go into finance? Sean asked.
”Forgive me for being suspicious.”
“There is no easy way to tell you this. I am your biological father. Wheeler replied.
“What?” said Sean, the shock evident in his voice.
“I am going to need you to become an owner of the business in a few years. My business partners have made it clear in a contract to keep things in my name with controlling interest. I need a blood relative.”
“How long have you known I’ve worked for you? Have you been spying on me?” asked Sean.
“I only suspected you might be there when Mike told me you looked like a younger me.”
”No, I am not going to be apart a part of this. Do you realize what you put me through?”
Sean asked with watery eyes. A look of disgust and anger came over him.
In that moment, Sean realized how sad, empty, and pathetic Mr. Wheeler’s had been life since giving him up for Wheeler Industries. All this time something inside Sean had been growing, and saw through the Wheeler’s selfishness.
“No, not entirely. I just need someone to be ready to take reins one day and keep my company where I envision it to be.” Wheeler replied.
“No. What entitles to do this to me? I’m leaving now. Goodbye” Sean quickly walked out of the house.
Sean found peace in his failures and failed relationships with others. He understood better than his father it is never fun to have something go wrong, and to end up losing and to realize you wasted your time. If he could fail and say to himself and believe this was an important step into the journey of getting where he wants be. If Sean could say what the lesson was, and not wallow in it then there was no penalty in that. A lot people never try anything, because they are afraid to fail.
Sean called for Jessica to pick him up, and when she arrived. Sean was smiling, and got into the car.
” Let’s go home. I’m going to get my life together.”