Whatever Happened to Tony Hobson?
By Joseph Logsdon
When Richard Newborn learned that Tony Hobson was coming to visit him, he nearly had a heart attack. They used to be best friends, but after a pointless argument, they stopped seeing each other. Despite everything, Richard still cared about Tony. If it had been up to him, he never would've ended their long friendship. Even when Tony was thought to be dead, Richard still wanted to be forgiven. Finally, after many years, Richard would finally get the chance to apologize.
When Tony entered the living room, Richard was instantly mesmerized. At first, Tony looked the same, but when Richard got a closer look, he realized that something wasn't right. He looked like Tony, and he acted like Tony, but for some reason, he just didn't seem like a fully developed person.
"Tony, it's wonderful to see you," Richard stated.
"Likewise," Tony replied.
"It's been a long time, hasn't it?"
"Too long, far too long," Tony stated.
"Sorry about the mess, I didn't know you were coming," Richard stated.
"Hey, that's okay, it's not like I can see it," Tony stated.
"What do you mean?"
"You have to understand, I never wanted to tell you this," Tony stated.
"Tell me what, exactly?"
"Well, I guess there's no hiding it, is there? You see, Richard, a couple of years ago, I learned I was going blind. Strange, isn't it? I mean, out of all of the people out there, why me? What have I done to deserve this? Well, I should've expected it, I suppose. When you've had as much luck as I have, you're bound to get a bad break sooner or later. In my case, however, the bad break isn't going to go away. Before it's all said and done, I'll probably kill myself," he sighed.
"I'm sorry, I had no idea. If there's anything I can do, anything, let me know, okay?"
"Thank you, Richard, you're a good friend. I know we didn't always get along, but from now on, things are going to be different, trust me," Tony assured.
"Oh, I have no doubt of that," Richard replied.
That night, Tony had dinner with Richard and his wife. Everything seemed normal, but for some reason, Richard felt that something wasn't right. No matter how hard he tried, he still felt panicked and worried.
"Debra, you certainly know how to cook, don't you?"
"Well, if I didn't know how to cook, then what else would I be good for?"
"Oh, c'mon, Deb, don't be so sarcastic," Richard stated as he sipped his coffee.
"I'll tell you what, I won't be sarcastic, and you, hopefully, won't be so demanding," she replied.
"I'll tell you, Deb, you certainly can stand up to your husband," Tony laughed.
"Why, thank you, Tony, that means a lot," she replied.
"That's right, go ahead and laugh," Richard huffed.
"Oh, calm down, honey, we were just joking. He can never take a joke, can he?"
"Yeah, Richard has always been somewhat uptight," Tony laughed.
"If I'm uptight, it's only because you people have made me that way," Richard grunted.
"Well, I better be going," Tony stated as he got out of his chair.
"Nonsense, sit down," Richard implored.
"It's been fun, really, but if I've learned one thing, it's never overstay your welcome," Tony stated as he headed for the door.
"You're always welcome here," Richard replied.
"Do you really mean that?"
"Of course, because you're my best friend," Richard admitted.
"That's all I wanted to hear," Tony sobbed.
Until that moment, Richard had never known the meaning of forgiveness. Leaving the table, Richard rushed towards Tony. Before Tony could respond, he was greeted with a heartfelt embrace. For the first time in years, the two men were bonding.
"I'm sorry," Richard admitted.
"I'm sorry, too," Tony replied.
"If there's anything you need, anything at all, I'll gladly get it for you," Richard stated.
"Well, now that you mention it, there is one thing," Tony stated.
"Could I have some money?"
"How much money?"
"Twenty thousand dollars," Tony answered.
"Why do you need that much money?"
"Well, to be perfectly honest, I need it for surgery," Tony stated.
"If you must know, yes," Tony answered.
"I don't know, that's a lot of money," Richard sighed.
"It's okay, you don't have to," Tony assured.
"No, it's fine, I want to," Richard stated.
After giving the money to Tony, Richard retired to his office, leaving his wife alone with his best friend. An hour passed, then two, then three, and finally, four hours passed. By the time Richard came out of his office, the living room was completely dark. Hoping to make love to his wife, Richard made his way upstairs, but when he walked into the bedroom, he made an amazing discovery. Maybe, if Tony hadn't been his best friend, it wouldn't have been as shocking. Just the thought of them being together, made him want to die. Instead of finding Debra alone, he found her with Tony. When they saw Richard enter the room, they instantly ceased their sinful lovemaking.
"Oh, Richard, we didn't hear you," Debra laughed.
"How long has this been going on?"
"Well, truthfully, it's been going on for quite a long time. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, your wife has a wonderful body, if you know what I mean," Tony laughed.
"How would you know that?"
"Did you really think I was blind?"
"Are you saying, that all this time, you were only trying to extort money from me? Is that what you're saying, because if it is, I'm going to fucking kill you," he threatened.
"If you had the nerve to kill me, you would've done it long ago. Let's face it, you're a loser, you were always a loser. Even when we were kids, I always managed to beat you. Now, after all these years, I have everything you once had. I have your wife, and to a certain extent, your money. After tonight, we're going to run away together, and sadly, there's nothing you can do to stop us," he laughed.
"Wow, do you really hate me that much?"
"I don't hate you, you just need to learn your place in life," he laughed.