It was 3 AM when the Man-Who-He-Should-Have-Been entered the room. Maita was asleep on the couch, so Alfredo was alone to meet him.
“Hi,” Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been said.
“Hi, yourself. I guess it’s time.”
“Yes it is.”
Alfredo-Who-Was looked at Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been from head to toe. He was about 50, the same age as he. He had a slight paunch and his shoulders were a bit rounded. He had on a dark suit and his hair was combed neatly. Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been looked back at him. For a long time, they said nothing.
“Well, go on, you son-of-a-bitch,” Alfredo-Who-Was said.
“Go on what?” Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been replied.
“Go on and tell me what a great life you had, how much money you made, all the mistakes you didn’t make, all the right things you did….” Alfredo-Who-Was couldn’t believe how angry he was, or why, but he was angry.
Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been raised a finger to his lips. “Shhhh…” he said gently. Then he began:
“Well, if you must know. Just the highlights: I took with a degree in Science Education from Xavier University, after I decided Engineering wasn’t for me. I taught in Mayor Elias Lopez Public High School right after I graduated. My students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, artists, teachers, and engineers. I have a small house in Belisario Village and I drive a 2003 Honda Civic. I pull in about P600,000 a year….”
Alfredo-Who-Was stared goggle-eyed at his double. “What?” he sputtered. “But…that’s my life!”
“…and as to all the right things I did, there was only one that really mattered.” Alfredo-Who-Should-Have-Been pointed to the sleeping Maita.
Alfredo-Who-Was could find nothing to say.
“Well done, good and faithful Alfredo. You’ve lived your life the way you should have lived it. Now come, you have a few moments to say goodbye.”
Dom Cimafranca promises squeeze in more writing time between his administrative duties as Assistant Dean of Computer Studies Cluster of Ateneo de Davao.