The two old fisherman sat at the same dock every day. They each arrived at precisely 6am, greeted eachother with a nod or a simple "how ya do?". It was a retoricle question of course.
Tom and Red had known each other nearly their entire lives, they each knew exactly how the other was doing.
They had been party to each others weddings, godfathers to eachothers children, and fishing buddies for nearly sixty years.
Each had been there for the other when their children moved away. They had offered support when each of their wives had passed away years before.
And rather than spend the final days of their lives alone, they would come down to this same dock, every morning and attempt to finally find some answers to their long,
pain-filled lives in the form of one amazing catch.
In truth they rarely caught anything. This area of the bay had been so overly fished by commercial boats that most days a nibble was the most excitement either of them experienced.
On this fateful day however, they each miraculously felt the tug of what must have been an extremely large fish, at the same exact moment.
"Whoa Nelly" exlaimed Red in his deep, North-Eastern accent. "Must be a whoppah"
"bet mines biggah" replied Tom, teasingly referring to more than just the fish.
"Gotta reel em in first" said Red struggling to pull in his precious catch.
The two old men worked in tandem, grunting and turning the reel on their sturdy fishing poles. It was more than the prospect of catching a fish of course.
Tom and Red hardly ate fish, or much of anything these days. They didn't need the money from selling the fish to the local market. They didn't really need anything at all.
Nearing the end of their long lives, they just wanted the thrill of one more big catch before finally saying goodbye to this life.
Finally allowing their failing bodies to take their last breaths.
"I think he's a tiring out" exlaimed Red, who was nearly out of breath himself.
"Mine too" replied Tom, equally struggling to real in this impossible prey.
For some reason the memory of Red's wife came to his mind. As a younger man, if he had caught a fish like this he would have immediately brought it home to her.
She would marvel at the magnificent beast before preparing it into a delicious feast for the children and him.
Now, if he somehow managed to bring it in, there would be no one left to share it with.
Tom felt the same way. He had never really cared to catch anything these days. His wife had passed so many years before, that loneliness was just about the only emotion he remembered.
Each day he spent sitting here silently with Red before going home to a cold dark house, and crying himself to sleep.
Sick of feeling sorry for himself Tom yanked hard on the line and felt this amazing beast on the other end pull back.
Inpired by his friends strength, Red pulled with all his might, and for one instant he was sure that everything he had been searching for was attached to the other end of this line.
He would reel it in, even if it was the last thing he did. Whatever was attached to the other end was his, and he would be victorious this day, this final day.
Some onlookers had gathered, never seeing anything quite like this before.
Many of them locals, they had become accustomed to the sight of Tom and Red sitting, calmly and quietly on the dock, but had never seen the two old men do anything like this.
Each of the fisherman yanked and pulled, reeled and released, attempting to tire out their prey.
One teenager picked up his phone to take a picture. He knew his friends would want to see a picture of two, impossibly old men, struggling so hard, with their lines tangled together.
With one final tug, Red pulled in his catch.
The fishing pole flew from Toms hands and his body was flung into the arms of his friend.
Thouroughly surprised, Red embraced his old fishing buddy, wondering why on earth this crazy old man had decided to hug him now. But it didn't really matter.
If their was anyone on this earth that Red truly loved, it was this contankerous old bastard named Tom.
Tom looked up at Red, partly embarrassed, partly confused, but feeling so at home in the arms of his longtime friend.
The teenager switched from camera to video at this point, not wanting to miss a single moment.
The crowd clapped and cheered, as they watched two, old, grumpy, and lonely men, share the longest and most precious kiss they had ever seen.