Rick sat on a bench in a park and looked at the road that stretched out in front.

Forty-nine-years ago he had been standing on the footpath and he remembered the man who had been standing next to him then, and his mistake.

The poor blind man was simply asking Rick to help him cross the road, and Rick had refused. Being a 16-year-old he thought that helping a blind man would mar his personality. There was no one around and there were hardly any cars in sight. The man then started crossing the road.

Rick had paid no attention as he was so sure the drivers would see the man and eventually stop, but he was wrong. All Rick remembered was a loud crash and a blurred image caused by his tears.

The old man was gone and it was all his fault. For all these years he had lived with this guilt. Now, it was his turn to face death. As he was old, he could not walk properly and he could stumble any time. He walked towards the road with much effort and started to cross the road.

“Hey old man! You want me to help ya?”

Rick turned around and saw a teenager. “Yes!” he replied, “Thank you!”

The young man helped Rick across. Then Rick smiled and said to himself, “I wonder if he realises that he just found a lost life.”

— Cynthia Satyal, Class IX, St Xavier’s School