I'm standing right next to the living room door. I'm straining to hear any sound he makes. He's slowly making his way up the stairs. He has at least two more floors to climb. I grow impatient. I try to breathe slowly, but my excitement makes it's too hard to stay quiet. I'm teetering on the edge of becoming a screaming mess.
That sound was close! He's just one flight of steps away. I shove open the door and close the gap between us in two long leaps. I land on my feet making a ridiculous amount of noise. My parents now stand at the top of the stairs looking worried and apologetic towards the guest who's just been startled. Before anyone manages to get a word in, I extend my hand out to him. He smiles and pulls out a chocolate bar from his pocket and places it in my hand. As soon as I get my hands on it, I scurry off down the stairs to enjoy it in seclusion.
As I'm rushing away, I hear my parents voices fading into the distance.
Mother: 'Aren't you going to thank him? He carried that for .....'
Father: '<< A long sigh >>'
I mumble thanks under my breath as I run away.
I imagine he had a chocolate bar for my brother as well. And considering his impeccable social skills, he probably waited behind my parents and like a civil gentleman, thanked our guest properly while accepting the gift. I imagine. Because I wasn't there. I was already hiding somewhere, munching on the chocolate. There was no sensible reason for why I did this. It simply cannot be justified. But it was our ritual. He came visiting often and every time without fail, we'd have our little ritual. I had forgotten all about it. It had been years. I was a small boy back then.
My wife was the first to find out. She saw it on Facebook. He had met the end of this mortal coil. He's in heaven now, if there is such a thing. And maybe, if I'm lucky, if I ever get to go, I'm sure he'll have one more chocolate bar for me.