~ (Based on a true story) ~
I have always been the unwanted one, so it doesn’t even hurt me now that she doesn’t accept me. As always, I would be doing what’s expected from me and what’s my responsibility, but getting something in return is not a hope, it has never been.
I was not wanted by my parents, a mistake is what they call me. As a kid, I never understood what they meant, but life didn’t take long to explain what they meant.
I was never wanted in the school that I attended. A silent spectator of everything that happened, I never had any friend. My parents’ cold reaction to my existence had made me grow into an underconfident girl, who never had the courage to talk to anyone or do well in the class.
After I got married, I knew that my ordeal had not ended. If anything, it was the start of another lifetime of being ignored, snubbed and ridiculed. By then, I had lost all hopes of seeing any improvement in my life, and had accepted the fate that life had thrown at me, wrapped in black paper.
The black soon turned into white, when I lost my husband two years into the marriage. He was trying to strangle me, a daily practice for him, when he slipped and fell to his death. Even death didn’t want me, I came to know that day.
Back to my parents’ house who had cursed me with every bad thing that they could think of, I was almost sure that this was how my life was going to shape like, no hope, no happiness, no love and no acceptance.
However, I came to know through my drunk father one night that he had decided to marry me off once again, this time to a much elder man, who had been widowed a few months back. He told me that the man himself had approached him and asked for my hand, since he thought that I would understand his pain of losing a loved one. Wrong he was, there was no pain, I wanted to tell him. It was the first time that someone had wanted me, albeit because of a misunderstanding.
We got married in the local temple, without any music, lights or guests. That was the first time I had seen her, holding her father’s shirt as he sat next to me, taking the seven vows.
Her four-year old eyes had questions, and I knew why. Her mother died a very painful death, being crushed under a truck isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of death. She was pregnant when she died, leaving her family with a pain unforgettable and a fear unimaginable.
It’s been three months that I have come to this home. My new husband doesn’t hit me, but doesn’t love me either. He is more of a roommate to me than a soulmate, not that I am complaining.
He expects me to take care of his daughter, the last memory he has of his wife, and is ready to give me anything that I ask for in return. I won’t ever ask for anything though, all I need is a nod of approval from his daughter, to call her my daughter.
Her school reopened today. All through her vacations, I was with her every moment she was awake; at loss of words, both of us, but together nonetheless.
It’s the longest that I have not seen her in all these months, and I miss her more than I thought I would. I have prepared her favourite dish for lunch, knowing that she would be hungry when she comes back from school. Even though I don’t feed her with my own hands, I love seeing her eating the food I made for her, but never does she tell how it tasted.
It’s her school bus I think. I run outside to open the gate for her, but she isn’t stepping off from the bus.
”Her mother used to hold her in her arms and take her down from the bus,” says the conductor of the bus.
I step out, open my arms and take her off the bus. It’s the first time that I have hugged anyone, and it feels good. Is that why people close their eyes when hugging someone, to feel the warmth?
I take her bag off her shoulders and move towards the home, hesitant to hold her hand and overstay in her space that she had let me step in. The moment is too beautiful to be taken chances for. I can spend my whole life taking her off the bus if she lets me touch her to do so.
She doesn’t seem to follow me though. As I turn around, I see the other kids from the bus , the driver, the conductor, the neighbours and her father, all waiting for something to happen.
She runs towards me, holds my finger, drags me to where everyone else is, and says the words I would want to be the last thing I hear before I die with a smile.
”She is my new mummy.”
She wraps herself around my legs, maybe that is what prevents me from falling on my knees.
Today, I feel accepted, I feel wanted and I feel loved, and it feels good.
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