Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fugitive Parent


“Where is Dad?” Little Shelly enquired as she got up from bed and strolled into the kitchen, searching for her parents, still rubbing her eyes with her tiny little pearly hands.

“He’s gone,” her mom replied.

“Gone?”

“Yes.”

“When?”

“Two hours ago.”

She opened her eyes full and looked at her mother. She was almost shivering, as she was washing the dishes. Her hands trembled as she took a dish in her hand. Was she crying? Shelly never could understand. She wanted to comfort her, but then mom never wanted anyone near her when she was upset. She did not dare to go nearer.

Shelly went to the bathroom and climbed the stool there to take her tooth brush and paste. The sight of the pink brush with Winnie the Pooh inscribed on it always makes her happy. She murmured within, “Good morning, Pooh!” Someone replied from somewhere, “Good morning, Tiger!” She was going into her dreamland again, as she inserted the brush in her mouth and started brushing. She was not a kid now, and she knew how to brush. The Doc showed her the other day, so she can do it all by herself. She finished her brushing and came out of the bathroom, washing her face with her red towel. It was so soft!

She peeped in the kitchen. Mom was talking over the phone. She was restless, it was vivid. The long cyan chord of the phone was swirled all over her body. She was in a deep conversation. She had her little finger playing with the chord, more in anxiety rather than in sorrow. She moved from one place to another in quick succession and was looking at the wall clock frequently. Shelly went in and sat on the dining chair. The sudden noise startled mom. She looked at Shelly and the phone trembled off her hands. She untwined herself from the bondage of the chord and put down the phone, rather hastily.

“Porridge?”

“Yeah…” Shelly replied, reluctantly.

Mom poured some porridge from the pan to a small bowl and offered her the same. She took her little spoon and started nibbling at the content. She looked at mom.

“What happened, mom?”

“When? I mean, nothing” She uttered and turned her back towards Shelly, as if she was busy again. Shelly could know mom was in distress, but her little heart failed to understand anything. She ate the porridge and finished the glass of milk. Mom did not cuddle her today – nor did she say good morning! That was so unusual and so not welcomed. She crawled down the chair and walked towards her room. She looked back. Mom was looking back at her too, over her shoulders. She wanted to run towards mom and hug her tight; but, she did not. She turned back and walked. She could hear mom dialing again. She felt sad, but she never knew if she should feel that way!

Little Shelly was playing in her room all the time since then. Mom never came in – nor even once. She was so much engrossed in her games that she did not realize the time. Maybe that feeling of freedom and alcove indiscipline got the better of her. She was playing and messing up with all the things there and she was not once stopped. Shelly was happy, when she heard the calling bell ring: London Bridge is Falling Down. She got up and hurried towards the main door. Mom was already attending to it. A tall and dark man came in, as mom moved away from the door. Shelly could clearly see the man rushing in and trying to grab her mom, when mom stepped back and both of them looked at her. They were not talking to each other. The man looked at mom and gestured with his fist, “what?”

“I will take care of it.” Mom said, as she turned to her. She ran back to her room and sat amongst her toys.

“Ahem. You wanted some cake, didn’t you, darling?”

“Yes.” Shelly uttered without looking at mom.

“I’ll prepare some for you now. Hmm. What flavor do you want?”

Shelly looked at her. Mom was almost drenched in sweat. She tried to wipe off with her bare hands, but she could not. She was wet. She looked away from her and saw the mess; but she did not say anything.

“Which flavor, sweetheart?”

“Pancake?”

“Yes!”

“Anything.”

“Apple?”

Shelly did not say anything. She looked down again and started to clean up the mess by herself – only managing to clutter some more.

“Ok, then. I will prepare some apple pan cakes for my dearest daughter today. I’ll make it in some time. You better be ready, Shelly. Till then, you can play some more. Ok?”

Mom did not get any answer. She did not even wait for it. She rushed out. Shelly looked up at her mom; she vanished in fraction of a second. She started to clean up again. She could hear a small argument among the weird man and her mom; but could not hear anything. She was surprised, as well as sad, for she did not like the very presence of the man there, in her house.

“Baby, there is a problem.” Mom said, as she came to her room. Shelly looked up. Speechless!

“There is no flour at home. Hmm… Do you mind bringing some eggs from Rosie, down the lane?”

“You mean, flour?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. Can you bring some flour from Rosie? Will you be able to cross the road and get to her?”

This was weird again. Mom never let her cross the road alone. Last time, when the school bus changed routes and she had to just cross the road to get in, mom accompanied her. She never let her go out alone. And then…

“Why Rosie? May I borrow it from Uncle Joe’s? He’s just in the next house.”

“NO. Not Joe” mom screamed, almost. “Please get it from Rosie. She won’t mind lending us some” mom added.

Shelly rose from the mess. She walked out of her room. She leered at the weird man as she went past the kitchen. He was taking the biggest bite possible on an apple. He looked back at her and she turned away and hurried towards the door.

“Shelly!”

Shelly stopped hearing her mom’s voice. Mom came after her running and kneeled down in front of her, holding her with both the arms. Mom pulled her towards her and whispered, “Remember darling, mom loves you. And mom will always love you. Please remember this always.” Mom spilled tears as she was telling these.

“But mom…” Shelly stopped as mom left the grip. She looked at mom. She was howling now. She wanted to caress mom and she approached her.

“GO!” mom shouted at looked at her.

This was getting bizarre and she could not make heads and tails of it. Anyways, she turned back and came outside. There was a black car standing outside her drive. The man came in that car, tarnished at a few places. Must be a poor fellow; she thought. She ran down the lane and crossed the garden; she crossed the road and ran towards Rosie’s house as fast as she could, crossing her garden and drive. She knocked at the door with both hands, but no one attended to her call. She screamed; but there was no one. She looked up in despair and found a big lock hanging on the hitch. Rosie was not home. She felt like crying, but she could not. She had to go back to her mom, at the earliest! She ran back. She had just crossed Rosie’s drive when she heard a big roar of a car. She ran faster and came to the roadside. She looked frantically towards her own drive. The black car just started the engine and smoke was coming out of its rear end. She could see her mom getting inside, in the ash coat. The weird man was sitting at the driver’s. Mom went in and sat, and the car zoomed away! She felt lost. She wanted to scream, but she could not. She looked empty towards the car that disappeared at the turn right after Joe’s house. She fell and sat on the pavement there. She wanted someone to hold her. She wanted her mom!

She sat there for some time. Little Shelly – all by herself now. She stood up and wiped her cheeks. She walked slowly down the road, crossed the garden and moved in her drive. The strong smell of the smoke still filled the air there. She felt it. She strolled into her house. The door was wide open. She came in, closed the door behind her and moved towards the dining table. There was a piece of paper on that, beneath the half eaten apple. She took the paper and started to read, with tears oozing out from her eyes.

It started like this:

“My dearest, sweetheart Shelly, I am sorry…”

11 comments:

  1. Ki re story ta complete kor na..... it was gettin interesting but ended in disappointment coz it just ended like that......... :(

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  2. Are bhai, Click On CONTINUE READING to read the rest of the story!!

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  3. Awsome piece............. at the start I tot that dad was absconding but by the end found that Mom ran away..................!!!

    Hat's off to your writing TAN....:)

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  4. such a moving and touching story tan.. felt shivers run thru my body when reading this. felt for the child..no mum wud do this.. if she had choice.. the worst thing for a mum wud be to part with her child.. i cudnt..

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  5. Thanks Lisa ... tui porish majhe majhe ... bhalo lagbe :)

    Anonymous, this is another facet of life. Sometimes, people do what they want to, sometimes, they do what they need to. Its a matter of choice and at times, people choose things you and I may choose never.

    Just trying to voice my thoughts - I like to think differently at different times ... so, this was one of those thoughts ... Hope you liked the story!

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  6. How sad ... poor little Shelly. A dear Mom's note, now that's an unusual ending. I enjoyed this.

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  7. sorry for what ?? there has to be more... dnt leave like this !! n Gosh!! u r such a master story teller :)

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  8. @ Amias

    I'm happy that you liked it. I just thought to give it a new look - I mean, tried to differentiate the start with the end. Happy that you liked the ending. Hope it never happens this way, though!

    @ Pratibha

    You are talking like Lisa here. She always complains that I leave my stories incomplete. Well Prats, the sweetness of a short story is that it leaves you thinking after you have read it. Put in any words that you want to, to complete it. For me, thats the possible ending!

    Thanks for coming back here after so many days. I was wondering where you were!!

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  9. Ouuhh !! Its so good a read, pretty thought provoking too.....

    Tan, dearie, you write pretty cool haan :)

    Awesome one.


    And your blog is really nicely maintained. Khoob Bhaalo :)

    CHEERS :)

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  10. @ Ilashree

    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for reading me. Do keep coming and reading more ... I will do my best to entertain you more ... and will keep my blog tidy - as much as I can... you have lots left to read!!

    @ Nave

    You liked it? WOW!! Thats my prize ... thanks :)


    Cheers!!
    .........

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Thanks for reading me and choosing to comment. Your comment always encourages me to write more and write sense. Keep visiting, whenever you can and comment on the posts. I will be more than eager to receive your comments and suggestions.

Warm Regards,
Tan :)

PS: Please visit my other blog: Thus Spake Tan!