“They weren’t supposed to know about the circumstances of their birth, that no matter what happens, not one of them should know the secret. But, there are threats out there waiting to pry it open and I’m afraid the time has come when the truth shall be out when our lives will be transformed. The truth shall be revealed, finally. I could feel it, a premonition? Or a hidden truth from them? No fear, goodness will reveal. And then the ones who were unknown to each other became known.”
The book seemed interesting and Becky was unable to put it down but mom was calling so she slipped it under her pillow and forgot about it until the dream, so vivid, reminded her of it.
She was walking on the road. The sky was pitch black and there was no one around except her poodle, Jane, who looked as nervous as she is. Suddenly a stone was thrown and almost hit Jane. Startled but furious, Becky looked around. There was no one in sight. The world around her suddenly turned black and the road ahead was not familiar to her. All of a sudden, two figures came out of nowhere and they were heading towards her. She recognized them immediately. They were the characters in the story that she had been reading.
There closed on her from either side. The hero and villain were staring into her eyes and she knew. She could run no more. Her heart was bouncing like a ball. She heard Jane barking furiously. Just then, the taller of them whispered, “We weren’t supposed to know.”
That line took her back to what she read. “You are from the book I read. I can’t believe this is happening,” Becky mumbled. She wondered if there was more.
“You created us, now we know,” said the hero. The villain asked, “do you know what this means?”
Becky closed her eyes and chanted for the forces to be with her. It all came back to her in flashes as if her memory had just been restored. These characters belonged to the book she’d read. Now she wanted to know what caused them to take life form. What made them come out of the book straight into her town.
And then suddenly she heard someone call out her name from behind. Who could that be, she thought. And as if in answer Dave walked up to her with his crooked smile and asked her where she was headed to at this unearthly hour and that too in the unfamiliar by-lanes of the town.
Just then Jane barked at Dave to direct his attention towards the two men standing along with Becky. But Dave could not see them.
“All okay, Becky?” he asked quizzically.
“Uhm, ss-sure!” Becky replied.
“Who were you talking to?”
“I uh, I was talking to myself.”
“You sure you’re okay?” Dave looked around, not convinced about Becky’s statement. Just then a strong light flashed and before they could do anything, Dave was hit by a car and Becky screamed. She woke up sweating and hurriedly removed the book that she was reading under her pillow. She continued reading, eager to understand why the characters appeared in her dream.
It was strange that the page she opened had the same plot to tell. She wondered, “What a coincidence.” Still sweating, she looked at the clock. It was already 7. She hurriedly slipped the book once again under her pillow and jumped out of her bed. She didn’t want to be late for school. But the thought of those two men kept nudging her on her way.
She met Dave, halfway to school and narrated the dream to him. “You’ve been reading too much fiction,” he said, “face the reality now. The boys didn’t have a choice. They had to make their move. You have to stop blaming yourself for everything that happened to them. Indeed they were not supposed to know the circumstances of their birth. But your disclosure did not push them away from you,” he declared.
“But I was the one to tell them that they were adopted.” Becky was almost in tears now. “Had I not been so childish they would have still been here.”
“They want to know about their biological parents and that is okay.”
“I know. But what I did was awful.”
“It’s never too late to right the mistake we made.”
Becky’s face lit up after hearing what Dave just said. A plan was forming in her head and
she had to act on it.
The next day, she did all she could to trace her brothers. With a little help, she did find them. But what she found made her guilty even more.
The mother that her brothers were trying to locate was in jail for theft. Their father was long dead and they, her brothers, had no place to go to and no one to ask help from. Becky found them begging on the street of Wilkchurch.
She realized her mistake and there was no need to think it over. Crying, she talked to her brothers and pleaded them to come back with her.
“There is a home waiting for you,” she managed to say, sobbing.
Her brothers were not supposed to know about the consequences of their birth, but Becky was surprisingly happy that she had told them the truth. If it didn’t happen, she
would have not learned the greatest lesson everyone should learn.
“Family is what we make it. It does not need to be biologically connected.”
Janaki Nagaraj, Olinda Braganza, Ruchika Parmar, Charulata Panigrahi, Ruchika Gupta Gaba, Zarteina Antao, Kajal Kapur, Rham Dhel
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