A Dark Room
A Dark Room3 mins 299 3 mins 299
Sun just rose and sunlight found a way into the darkroom through the ajar window, casting a spotlight on my foot. I was enjoying this moment making my toe-dance, after a good relaxing sleep as yesterday I gave one of the exams out of five from the senior secondary board's curriculum.
Suddenly my phone rang. A phone at that time was only given to a child if he/she was rich or when his/her parents felt a need.
A need that may have been derived out of care or a sense of responsibility. I was not rich for sure so it was the latter case. However, I was happy with a simple, black, rugged, no camera phone. I picked up the call, it was my mother. She said, "I am on my way back home and your uncle might be reaching home any minute." I was happy but the tremble in her voice got me worried. I asked her if something was wrong if something happened? Her patience and calmness suddenly transformed into tears. I could hear her crying when she disconnected the call without uttering a word.
Perplexed by all this, I was left paralyzed until I heard the doorbell. I rushed to the main gate expecting my uncle to be there.
To my surprise, it was a gathering of my relatives, a long queue of cars with some familiar and not so familiar faces sitting inside. Under normal circumstances, I would have been happy to see them but it was different this time. I could feel something was gravely wrong.
My heartbeat increased the pace and I started sweating. They all came and started hugging me one by one. I was shocked by the gesture. My younger brother who was barely in sixth class, too had his examinations going on, woke up due to the noise that resonated from the gathering and the freshly generated curiosity brought him out.
The same hugging and pampering gesture followed him as well. I searched for my uncle I was closest to, had to ask him what was happening, saw him avoiding eye contact. I ran toward him and hugged tightly. He burst into tears and said "Sorry". "Sorry, why?", I asked. His answer followed by my question, the question I wish I never had to ask, changed my whole life.
He said, "Your father is no more". I ran towards my brother, pulled his hand and ran towards the same dark room dragging him along. I hugged him and told him the heartbreaking news. Distraught, shaken and vulnerable- I had no idea of what is next. There was no way we could get over this nightmare. Both of us could not stop crying sitting at the edge of the king bed on which once my father slept.