Once upon a time, there was an 18-year-old, good-looking, well-mannered and soft-spoken teenager named Aidan. He lived in a well-designed village with neighbors friendly with each other from parents, grandparents, children, to their household help.
Across the street from Aidan’s home lived an old couple who adopted Ambo, the son of their helper, Marta. Ambo was a frisky 12-year-old who always pestered Aidan to allow him to ride with him in his flashy, red bicycle. Aidan loved giving Ambo a ride and they would go all around the village observing people and greeting everyone. They would stop by the little corner store and Aidan would treat Ambo to either a lollipop or ice cream. This ritual they did every afternoon as soon as Aidan returned home from school. He would see Ambo sitting by his home’s front door, waiting with a big smile on his happy face.
One day, Aidan did not see Ambo by his front door, so he walked towards his neighbor’s house to inquire where Ambo was. To his surprise, the Grandpa said that Ambo had to be rushed to the hospital because he had vomited blood and became unconscious. Aidan was beside himself with fear and sadness for Ambo. He hugged the Grandpa who Aidan consoled saying, “Ambo will be fine in no time. We just need to pray and be strong for him.”
Weeks passed and Ambo had not returned home to the village. Aidan and his parents visited him at the hospital where he had just had a cranial operation, so his head was fully bandaged. As soon as Ambo saw Aidan, he broke into a big smile and they hugged tightly. Aidan brought Ambo a box of his favorite lollipops that Ambo quickly opened. That hospital visit quickened Ambo’s healing.
In a week’s time, Ambo was back home but he was still not allowed to have a bicycle ride with Aidan. So, the latter would visit Ambo every afternoon after school. They would play Pokémon and Aidan loved seeing Ambo so happy.
As Christmas was only two weeks away, Aidan asked his parents if he could give Ambo a red bicycle. He promised his Dad that he would do the household chores to pay for the bicycle and get good grades if they agreed to buy the red bicycle for Ambo. On Christmas Eve, Aidan brought the sparkling, red bicycle to Ambo who cried for joy when he saw the bicycle.
On Christmas day morning, after Mass, Aidan and Ambo went on a bicycle ride around the village as they usually did. Only this time Ambo had his own bicycle and they were riding side by side.
That Christmas day was one of their happiest when they were together. However, by New Year’s Eve, Ambo had to be rushed back to the hospital for severe headaches. This time, the doctors said Ambo only had a week to live because of his brain tumor.
Aidan was so devastated by the tragic news. He asked his parents if he could stay in the hospital to keep watch over Ambo and care for him. This precious time they shared together made Ambo extremely happy. However, Aidan would observe that there were times when Ambo would be in pain, but he did not want Aidan to pity him.
On New Year’s Day, Ambo died with Aidan tightly holding his hand. But it was a peaceful and happy death because Ambo felt so secure and loved with Aidan’s presence.
In memory of Ambo, Aidan donated the red bicycle to the Don Bosco Boys Home so the boys could enjoy taking bicycle rides around their complex.
Aidan never forgot the memory of Ambo and their deep friendship. It taught Aidan early in life that to live for the moment is the best thing we can ever do and sharing our time with others is the most precious gift we can give if we want to be happy and make our lives worthwhile.
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