Mystical Cosmos

Mystical Cosmos

The dreaded A

Merlyn D’Souza waited with bated breath as the developmental paediatrician went through the assessment reports collated together. Her five-year-old son, Aaron lay on the foam mat in the corner staring at the wheels of the toy bus, fascinated by something, his father Roger struggled to fathom.

But that was a regular occurrence. The D’Souzas owned the largest toy store in town, ‘Mystical cosmos’ and Aaron their only child born after seven years of marriage, had all possible toys at his disposal. But the little guy only loved rotating the wheels of his favourite bus. 

“Doctor…?” Merlyn asked anxiously. “… I long to hear my son speak… call me ‘mom’. When will he do it?”

“Doctor…?” This time Roger continued softly. “…I want to see him smile for once…” 

Can you smile, my child, just once, even if it’s fake?

“Mr. and Mrs. D’Souza…” The doctor announced, jolting Meera out of her reverie. “…Aaron is on the Autistic Spectrum.”

The rest of the words fell on deaf years as Merlyn felt the world around her crashing down like a pack of cards. 

Right then, Aaron, sensing the mood in the room, began to wail and squeal, flailing his limbs. Merlyn rushed to him, but despite everything, the meltdown continued till they reached home, and Aaron slept, exhaustion taking precedence.

Magic happens

‘Mystical cosmos’ witnessed sumptuous Christmas celebrations every year. 

“What do you think Roger…?” Merlyn asked, tearing up as she watched the workers arrange the ornaments around the large Christmas tree in the centre of the store. “…Will Christmas bring in magic for us? Will Aaron be normal?”

“Our Aaron is not abnormal, Merlyn… he is special. If Aaron doesn’t wish to talk or smile, let’s accept that.” Roger sighed.

Finally, on Christmas day, the D’Souzas brought Aaron to the store as advised in therapy. Disoriented with the cacophony of the children exploring around, and carols, Aaron began to bawl.

Merlyn struggled to calm him down even as the people gathered watched with a myriad range of expressions, right from amusement to outright disgust. Finally, unable to bear it anymore she was about to drag Aaron away when a little girl approached them.

The angelic-looking little one, in her pink frills, bent and forwarded her hand to Aaron; a smile not leaving her cherubic face.

To Merlyn’s surprise, Aaron stopped howling, and finally, after what seemed like an eternity, sat upright though waterworks still waited to roll down his cheeks. 

Merlyn stared in awe as Aaron placed his little palm in the girl’s and smiled… genuinely for the first time in his life. Ahh, the dimple in his left cheek resembled his father’s, Merlyn realised, excitement surging through her body.

Roger walked up to her as Aaron blabbered, trying to repeat after the girl chattering away.

“This is it, Merlyn. Magic is something we make…  that girl made this Christmas a magical one…” 

Merlyn let her tears of joy flow. Today their store stood true to its name. 

***

Author notes:

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

Red flags for suspecting Autism in children include:

  • No response to name (or eye-to-eye gaze) by 6 months. 
  • No babbling by 12 months.
  • No gesturing (pointing, waving, etc.) by 12 months.
  • No single words by 16 months.
  • No two-word (spontaneous, not just echolalic) phrases by 24 months.
  • Loss of any language or social skills, at any age.

[Picture credits: Rithika Gopalakrishnan]

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2 thoughts on “Mystical Cosmos

  1. Superb ♥️sometimes no logic but definitely magic♥️♥️♥️merry Christmas 🌹

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