He was tired. But it was a good tired. He had spent most of his life as a reporter and later a freelance investigative reporter—always in search of the truth.
Most of the time, the truth lay somewhere in the gray area between right and wrong, but he’d never stopped looking. Now his time was almost up. He was about to succumb to the ravages of time. While the decades of travel had taken him all over the world. It hadn’t been kind to his body. Cancer had started eating him alive several years ago. So, he stopped traveling. He had been working only from home. Eventually, even that stopped. Now he barely did more than write and sleep.
Mostly he slept. He wanted to drift back into the ever-inviting world of sleep. As he did, he saw the table near him where his old friends lay—the camera, magnifying glass, and reading glasses.
Those items had been around the world with him. On a shelf across the room were the notebooks he’d filled in his decades of work—notes on good guys, bad guys, and everyone in between. A shelf on the other wall held his awards.
His reporting had brought him the notoriety he only dreamed of when he was a kid watching Redford and Hoffman play the reporters he eventually became. The center of the shelf held his most prized award, the Pulitzer Prize, which sat in a place of honor in the middle. He had earned that in his middle years as a reporter.
The tales told. The awards received. His work complete.
That was over now. He was old and sick. Too old and sick to go traipsing around the world looking for trouble. Trouble? Do you say? Oh, he found trouble, usually at the point of a gun, or in a jail cell.
But it had been worth it.
Over the years as an investigative reporter, he had broken many stories, but the days of asking the tough questions to people who didn’t want to answer them were over.
Closing his eyes, he slipped off to sleep. As the darkness of sleep engulfed him, he remembered his inspiration. It was a movie of all things.
As a child, he had watched many movies with his father, an avid movie fan.
But one movie stuck with him over the years. It was the inspiration for his career as a reporter and a journalist. “All the President's Men.”
Years later, he had the privilege to interview the stars of that movie. He had met Woodward and Bernstein at a news function a few years before, and they had become good friends. That connection allowed him access to Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, and their interviews had become legend.
In the last few years, cancer had made it increasingly difficult for him to work the way he wanted, but he had one final story to tell.
The only story he hadn’t told—his.
No one knew the truth behind the stories he had written, the effort, the danger he faced as he did his investigative work and told other people’s stories. Stories he received accolades for, but he never revealed the truth or found the time to tell his story.
Now he had the time, but he didn’t. He was nearing the end of his beat, and he desperately wanted to get one last story written. He forced himself to stay awake, pushing off the bliss of a long dark sleep, for it was only then that his body was at peace from the pain and memories.
He refused to give in, and he sat at the table one more time and dragged the old typewriter to him. Sliding another sheet of paper in the roller, he wound it down and started typing his last story.