I could feel the Sun’s rays for a while before I heard my mother shouting, “Wake up Naina!”
After shouting for a while, she barged into my room to turn off the fan forcing me to get out of my bed. Struggling to open my eyes, I looked at her and she was already dressed.
Noticing me wake up, she asked, ‘Listen I can’t pack your lunch today. Can you eat in your college canteen?”
Closing my eyes, I replied, “Yes mom. I can eat in my college canteen. Can you turn on the fan please?”
Pulling off my blanket, my mother asked, “Do you know where I’m going right?”
Triggered, I shouted, “To office Mom!”
Following my answer, she spanked me. When I shouted in pain, she reminded me, “I’m going to Ishitha’s wedding along with our neighbours.”
Observing me not getting up, she instructed, “Lock the doors when you’re leaving for college and it might get late by the time I would return.’
Sitting on my bed, I pleaded, “Why do you give me so many instructions and treat me like this every morning?”
Surprisingly, my mother didn’t say a word, unlike most days when she would argue about me failing to start my day early.
A moment later, she picked her handbag and left bidding me goodbye. As the door closed, I turned on the fan and fell asleep.
Walking up an hour later, I got ready and by the time I reached the bus stop, I found out my college bus already left. Cursing myself, I booked a cab to reach my college. I couldn’t be late. We start a new laboratory assignment and the instructor wouldn’t allow me in if I’m late.
In six minutes, a cab arrived and I felt so comfortable during this journey than my routine bus journey. We didn’t even need to take the long route as the buses do to get students.
Everything was pleasant until the car stopped in the middle of the highway. The cab driver got down to check if he could try out his luck in getting it fixed.
In a few moments, he informed, “I’m sorry madam! This car should be repaired. I could call another cab if you could wait for a couple of minutes.”
Disappointed about the way things were turning out today, I agreed. Not wanting to sit in the car missing the cold winds and cloudy sky, I waited outside leaning on it.
While I was surfing on my phone, I heard a scooter stopped near me. When I turned to look at the driver, I found my uncle with his wife and their son.
Looking at me, he smiled before asking, “Need a ride Naina?”
Approaching them, I replied, “Just waiting for another cab. Missed by bus. Are you guys going to marriage?”
As my aunt nodded, as I touched their two-year-old son Anil on his cheeks. Looking at him, I mentioned, “You guys look lovely.”
Meanwhile, Anil started pulling my hairband that ensured my hair strands did fall on my face. As my aunt tried to stop him, he didn’t and seemed to want it. I pulled out my metallic band and gave it to him and he started swinging it.
While my aunt mentioned, “Don’t give it to him. He will keep it.” and for me, it doesn’t matter since Anil seemed to love it.
Meanwhile, another cab arrives while my uncle questions, “You’re skipping the marriage to attend college? You have indeed lost sense.”
I couldn’t help but smile. As he started his bike to leave. Bidding Anil goodbye, I thanked the first cab driver before settling down in the back.
After a journey presumed, I could see the new cab driver hit the brakes as I checked the time on my phone. Curious to see what has happened, I saw the most terrible scene that shook me to my core.
A lorry him my uncle’s bike and the couple along with Anil were on the road bleeding. The cab driver called 108 followed by calling the police. I observe their eyes open.
I couldn’t utter a word until the ambulance arrived following the police orders to collect the three dead bodies.
One of the two officers approached the cab driver to question him about what has happened. Meanwhile, the other officer demanded I called my mother. After he finished talking to my mother informing her about the accident and asking to meet us at the location.
I informed the police officer, “The couple who were killed… are my uncle and aunt.”
Surprised, the police officer enquired their names and as I waited for my mother, I couldn’t help but recall how they were all with me just a moment ago.
Completing the formalities, I was dropped by my mother at home before she returned to file a complaint and arrest the truck driver whom they have seized a few kilometres later.
A drunk snatched the life of the man who raised me after my father died. He was so high-spirited and kind that I wouldn’t have been what I’m without his consistent encouragement. I can’t help but agree when they say that the Gods are cruel. If they aren’t, why did they snatch away the men I loved?
Revisiting the dead through my thoughts every second, I couldn’t focus on anything I was trying to do. Hoping to clear my mind, I took a walk in the lanes. On my way back, I ate samosas.
Without intending to do anything else, I stated rested on my bed trying to sleep but for the first time, I heard a strange sound of two metals clashing once.
I looked around to see no one. Resting back on my bed, almost when I was about to fall asleep, I heard the sound again. This time, it is not just once but a couple of times.
Following the sound, I slowly walked to the kitchen hoping to find out who was making it. When I was walking towards the kitchen, the volume of the sound kept increasing. The louder it became, the more slowly I walked.
When I reached the kitchen, I no longer heard the sound but my heart sank staring at it. I couldn’t believe or offer an explanation as to how my metallic hairband was just lying on the floor.
That’s the only metallic hairband I owned and I couldn’t believe how it got here after I gave it to Anil. When I turned to switch on the tube lights and turn off the bed light, I could hear the sound again but when I looked at the band, it’s silence. In the years to come, the sound got faint but it never stopped no matter what I did with the hairband.