“Why did you never complete this diary entry, Nan?” Rey pulled herself from Frieda’s embrace and looked at her enquiringly.
“I never got around to,” Frieda sighed as she returned to her coffee for a prolonged sip, “it was as if my life was paused briefly. After I returned to India, we were on our own.”
“Was Nawab sahib still upset with you?” the youngster’s innocence made Frieda smile at her.
“Of course he was! Now that I was back with a six-year-old girl in tow, he had all the reasons to extricate me, from his home and his life. I never saw him again.”
“Where did you go, then?” Rey was bent on wringing the history out of the diary. She came closer to where Frieda was sitting and kneeled in front of her.
“An old college professor helped me get a job in the University here and life became bearable,” Frieda again slipped into the past.
“Ma is lucky to have you, Nan. But did you ever call London again?” not giving up, Rey continued her inquiry.
“In fact, I did. She visited me when your mother was about 12,” Frieda turned towards the youngster and feeding her inquisitiveness continued, “she had actually moved to India shortly after we moved. She wished to be closer to her daughter and I believed her. She was mostly in and out of the country though, maintaining her bohemian lifestyle but visited me often. She never really met your mother.”
Rey found this fact believable, as her mother had never mentioned a boho from London ever, so this revelation was like a distant dream. Reconsidering the story shared by Frieda, she wondered if she even wanted to know her lover anymore. It was not a fairytale, after all.
“And then…?” Rey asked almost disinterested.
“… she abducted your mom,” Frieda rose from her chair and walked closer to the window again. The rain had stopped by then. After a brief look outside, she returned her glance towards Rey’s wordless gawk.
To put Rey’s misery to rest, Frieda continued, “Actually, it was abba who made her do that. He was the one who called her from London so she could take her daughter back, which she almost did before she had a change of heart and your mom returned home by midnight. All I could have done was to plead her to leave us alone. By then your mom had forgotten about her miserable life back in London and had no memory of her estranged birth mother as well.”
Just then Misha entered the room to see both her girls engaged in a serious discussion. “What are my favourite girls talking about?”
Facing her lovely daughter, Frieda spoke first, “Oh, I was just telling your daughter about the night we almost lost you.”
“Lost me? Not a day, not a minute, ma,” she laughed the reference off.
Rey was left puzzled yet again as the other two women who suddenly went chalk-faced.
Kajal is a perpetual dreamer, a mind-vagabond and an eternal optimist. She has been a contributor to many online magazines and portals, successfully making her space in the arena before she settled on initiating a writing community which inspires and motivates aspiring writers to take that leap of faith.