Mario was fond of giving surprises and this time he wanted to amaze his son with a gold chain on his birthday. He placed an order with my brother and as usual, paid the entire amount on the bill. That was Mario style; he kept no pending amounts, but he also never bothered to collect any receipts of his payment.

Now, it was solely my brother, his friend Mario, and the CCTV camera of the shop who knew about the order. Nobody else did. With his skilled hands, my brother began working on the gold chain and it was soon ready to be delivered.

But nature had other plans for Mario, and a horrible surprise waited for his family. Mario was on his way home after work; when a car parked on one side of the street, suddenly opened its front door which hit Mario’s speeding bike and threw him on the other side of the road, killing him on the spot.  

The news reached my brother and he was devastated. He rushed to Mario’s house only to find that the family was in shock to comprehend this sudden tragedy. After consoling Mario’s family and waiting there for a long time, he found the right time to mention about the gold chain to one of Mario’s relatives. Nobody knew about the order, not even Mario’s wife. My brother certainly knew about this fact, after all, Mario was his friend.

 The next morning, the relative called up asking for the chain so that Mario’s son could wear it before his last journey.

As my brother handed over the chain, piercing cries filled the house. A wave of sadness engulfed the people who watched. After keeping the chain on Mario’s body for some time, his wife put it around the child’s neck. It was the last gift from a father to his son. Never again would the son receive any surprises from his father. This was at least not the way Mario had planned to gift the chain to his son.

With a heavy heart, my brother left the place after the final rituals. People praised him for his honesty. But my brother just wanted to be loyal to his friend and truthful to his profession.

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