She had a certain gait to her steps today. Her heart was filled with happiness which reached her face in the form of a beautiful smile. The twinkle in her eyes. She was filled with joy. She experienced this happiness after a long time. The past many days were filled with gloom. She had withdrawn into hell. But not anymore. Things were going well. Finally! Her friends at school whom she had avoided for many a day were back with her. They also liked what she had prepared for lunch today. Though of course, it was her special person who helped her, she thought. The first thing she wanted was to hug that person for getting her out of this bad phase. All 13 years of her life she had thought life didn’t treat her fairly. Until this special someone talked her out of it. Thinking of this special person always got a smile on her face and she sped her pace so that she could reach home and hug her. How harrowing her days were the past many days. Nothing anyone said or did made a difference to her. She was aloof, withdrawn, drowning in her sad world. She would have submerged completely in her sorrows, had not this special person pulled her to the surface of sanity.

She shrugged those dark thoughts out of her mind. All she wanted was to be happy. And she will. Just like how it used to be before. She had her by her side. That’s all she wanted. With all these thoughts going on in her mind she reached home and rang the bell with gusto. Her father opened the door with a warm smile. Though she was hoping her special would answer the bell none the less she smiled warmly at her father. Looking at his daughter smiling warmed his heart. He so wanted to see his daughter smile. He asked her how her day was and she excitedly chatteredon about her day in school.

She asked for her special person. Before he could answer she ran to the other room calling out for her. The father looked at his daughter’s receding and shook his head. With heavy steps, he went to the corner of the living room. Her favorite spot. Many times she would sit here with a steaming cup of tea in her hand and look out the window lost in her thoughts. He sighed inwardly. She wasn’t around now in her favorite spot. He looked at the wall adjacent to it. There she was Her smiling sunshine face captured in a photograph which was now framed and hung on the wall with a garland on it. She was alive only in memories. His wife – mother to his daughter. How they earned for her. He thought about the void she left in their lives. Especially their daughter’s life, who had still not accepted the harsh reality. Grief engulfed him as he sat down with tears streaming down his eyes. The daughter ran to her room. She scanned her eyes around and there she found her special person Waiting for her by the window. She ran to her and hugged her. All she could feel was the warmth of love. She narrated her day in school, thanked her for helping to prepare the lunch box, and complained about how she wanted a new pair of jeans. While talking she looked at her and said: “I always want you by my side. Never leave me. Promise Me. Never Ever leave me and go Mom. I love you always Mom. Say something”. To which her mother gave her a sunshine smile and said “I promise to always be with you. Never to leave you alone. I promise. Always.”

Mamta Karkera Shetty

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