“Myra, I am leaving for the hospital for my night shift. Dad will take another half an hour to reach home. It’s stormy outside but I’ve secure all the windows and doors properly. You sit along with Abir.” Jyothika said to Myra as she readied herself. Kissing both her kids she left. Jyothika and Sandesh were married for 10 years but since they were childless they adopted Myra, but 3 years back Jyothika was blessed with a boy, Abir.
Professionally, Jyothika is a gynecologist while Sandesh an IT engineer. Myra, now 8 was brought from the orphanage 6 years back and is the cuddled child of the couple. But with the birth of Abir, emotions took a drastic turn as Myra hated Abir. She felt left out, she envied Abir and never glanced fondly towards him. Today all hell broke loose, as Myra was given the biggest charge of looking after her most disliked person on earth. “Dad,” Myra continued over call, “Mom said you will reach in half an hour but you aren’t home yet. It’s past 8, we are scared. It’s a dark, stormy night. Abir awakened just now and he is inconsolable. When are you reaching?” Her voice was trembling.
“Myra, the thunderstorm caused water logging and I’m stranded midway. I will take around 2 hours to reach dear. Hel…lo…Hell…oo…Myra.. gosh!! it’s disconnected.”
A terrified Myra hung up and looked outside the glass pane and murmured to herself, “the communications are also disrupted, how will we manage?”
Suddenly Abir came rushing in and entangled his tender arms around Myra’s thin waist and babbled, “Di…Di… I want Mum…ma… It’s so dark… where is she? Di…Di… please don’t leave me in that room.. there is a gh.oo..ost.”
Myra felt a strange fondness for the scared soul and she hugged the kid tightly in turn. This is the first time since Abir’s birth, that she affectionately hugged him.
The room where Abir was sleeping overlooks a mango tree in the backyard and as the gusty winds blew, the branches, leaves swayed along. This scared Abir, as the shadow of the tree fell on the glass pane symbolized a dancing ghost (a character in Abir’s stories). “Abir, sit on my lap…Dont worry, I will tell you a story,” consoled Myra but somewhere she was also scared but didn’t display for she knew it will further scare the kid. The lightning streaks outside seemed like lights blinking inside the room, with every thunder strike the window panes and the glass objects vibrated creating a clanging sound. The drops of rain lashed against the window shades adding to the noise. The deluge already rendered most of the areas with a power cut since afternoon but as the day slipped into a dark night the condition worsened.
It was midnight when the main door unlocked with a clunk, Myra petrified seeing the huge figure at the door. “Myra… Abir… I am home” affirmed Sandesh. Seeing his kids tugged cozily in each other’s arms in such critical moment brought him immense satisfaction.
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