I woke up as my smartwatch vibrated indicating the alarm. I tried double tapping it in an attempt to turn it off but my effort didn’t payback. Giving up, I woke up and sleepwalked to the window near my bed. The sound of water dripping from clouds felt refreshing as the cold breeze tickled me.
I wished it was weekend today so that I could stay back and enjoy these little pleasures; the earthy smell of rain, the rhythmic pitter-patters with a cup of hot coffee.
Like a rejection of my wish, a sudden shrill of Rihanna’s ‘Work’ came from my phone. Peering towards the phone, I hesitantly picked up Arun’s wakeup call.
“You woke up buddy?” he asked.
While I replied, “Yes.”
He continued, “Okay, start early then! It’s raining and you could get late due to a surge in traffic. See you at the office.”
Before I could even respond, he had hung up.
I quickly rushed to the main door only to realize that the road in front of our porch is fully covered with water. I collected the newspaper which was dropped outside the main door and rushed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
The kitchen was all messy with a lot of unwashed utensils in the sink. I cursed myself for skipping the task of cleaning the dishes last night. Letting them wait a little while longer, I went to Ritu’s room to check if she had woken up.
As soon as I entered her room, I could see her sleeping with her curly hair loose in her minion printed night suit while holding her new teddy bear. Looking around, I could see all her toys and Peppa Pig books lying on the floor.
After arranging all of her books in a two feet height rack and placing her toys in the mesh-hanger, I could see the Sun paying a visit after the early morning showers. In an attempt to not let the rays disturb Ritu, I closed the curtains in her room.
Though I hoped to not make noise, to my disappointment as soon as I turned around after closing the curtain, I could see Ritu sitting on her bed, with a puzzled expression. Taking her in my arms, I asked while caressing her forehead, “Why did my Ritu wake up early today?”
She closed her eyes and placed her head on my shoulder. There was no reply and I was concerned. Her gloomy face said something was wrong and as usual, I took her to the garden in the backyard where she spent most of her time playing; with a hope that it might boost her mood.
As we stepped out to walk into the wet garden, Ritu turned to me before saying, “Momma, I saw...”
Holding her face between my hands, I curiously asked, “My sweetling, what is it?”
As I felt her cold face, Ritu replied, “I saw Papa but when I opened my eyes, he was not by my side. Why is he not beside me?”
While I was bereft of speech, she said, “I am bored without him.”
It was just a week ago that her dad had left for his onsite project and Ritu was already missing him. I cursed myself for insisting that he signed the new project agreement. Had I anticipated the impact it would have on our baby girl, I wouldn’t have. I walked back into the home to video-call him even though he would have already slept.
I wish the next few weeks roll by soon and Ritu hugs her favourite teddy as soon as possible.
This kids story has been redrafted by Maneesha Pujari & R. S. Chintalapati into a short story titled “Ritu’s Confession”. Check out the story online and support our community by ordering a paperback.