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The deal of a lifetime

Fredrik Backman
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Fredrik Backman

The deal of a lifetime

Fredrik Backman is the author of numerous bestsellers. The Deal of a Lifetime is a short story set in the writer’s hometown, Helsingborg. It was originally published in a Danish local newspaper. It has not been translated into Slovenian.

A father tells a story to his estranged son. When he learns that he has cancer, he wishes to get closer to him and mourns the fact that he has not been present in his life. While his son was growing up, he worked and travelled a lot, he also liked to drink. In recent years, they have cut off all contacts. The father suffered many losses during his childhood, his mother and father left, a friend was hit by a train and his twin brother died at birth. Experiencing all these deaths, he always saw a lady in a grey sweater with a folder in her hand. When now she showed up at the hospital, he was sure she had come for him. But it turned out that he was perfectly healthy and that she had actually come for a sick five-year-old girl he had met in the hospital. The lady in grey tells him that the girl can survive only if he sacrifices his life for her. By doing so, he will not only die, but he will be erased and no one will remember him anymore. Everyone around him will exist, including his son, but he will have a different father. After thinking it over, he decides to do it, overcomes his egoism and self-centredness and for the first time in his life he feels warmth in his heart. (MCM)

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