Abandoned ( Part-3)
Abandoned ( Part-3)9 mins 211 9 mins 211
The next morning we pack our bags because we have to leave for U.P at 4 p.m. Yesterday had been a wonderful day for me. I realised that I really needed a true friend like her at this point of time.
As I pack my bags Preeti comes to me with a gift.
“What is this?” I ask her.
“My mother sent it for you.”
“Really? Thank you so much.”
I open the gift with excitement and find a beautiful dress inside. “This is beautiful.” I say happily.
“But this is too short for you.”
“Yes. Maybe. But I’ll keep it. Aunty has sent it to me with love and it means a lot to me.”
“She is a wonderful woman. I wish I could see my biological mother too. Mothers are the most precious gifts sent by God.”
My face drops as I hear this statement and I think she notices it.
“ Hey, what’s wrong?” She asks with concern.
“Nothing. Not all mothers are wonderful. I loved my mother too until I received a letter from her.”
“What kind of letter?”
I open the drawer and hand over the letter to her.
I am sorry to say that I won’t be there any more when you receive this letter. It’s been a month since your father passed away leaving me with immense sorrow and guilt. And now it’s the time for my departure.
I know that you love me a lot and consider me to be your role model but now it’s the time to confess that I am not as nice as you think of me to be. I’ve now decided to end my life because I cannot survive with this guilt anymore.
Your father didn’t get a heart attack because of Ventricular Fibrillation but because of a shocking confession, I made.
It all started 30 years ago. Your father’s first wife had left a 4 years old child named Riya with him before they got divorced. Just a few months after that, he was attracted to me and I too had the same feelings for him. After a month of relationship, he asked me to marry him. Although I needed much more time, I said “Yes” because I knew that his daughter needs a mother ASAP.
I swear I wanted to be nice to the child and take care of her like her own mother would do. But when I saw her, I was shocked. She wasn’t normal, she was mentally disturbed. I still assured your father that she is lovely and I’ll take care of her nicely.
A few months after our marriage, I had to leave my job because of her. I had always wanted to have a daughter who would grow up to be my best friend but she was more of a burden than a child. She was abnormal, annoying and kinda scary. She wouldn’t let the maid help her dress up or bathe. She used to tell me to do it. It was disgusting to touch her and dressing her up was another challenge. I took her to many doctors but no one had a solution to her problem. Things got worse after two years of marriage when I was pregnant. There was no relief, no rest and absolutely no peace of mind. I had become Riya’s full time maid.
During my fourth month of pregnancy, I went to my village to meet my mother. I told her everything about Riya and how my life had become. She forgave me for marrying against her will and introduced me to an old man who had a great knowledge of herbs. He had successfully cured the sick people of the village all these years with his formulae. His herbs had always worked like miracle. When I told him about my abnormal daughter, he said he can’t cure her but has another solution to my problem. He handed me a box of powdered drug and asked me to mix a spoon of it in her food everyday. He said she’ll get sick and die and no one will ever be able to find out the reason. I was shocked to hear this and disagreed. I knew this was wrong. But somehow my mother managed to convince me for this. She said it is good for the baby and that I deserve a better life than this.
When I returned home, I did as I was told and to my advantage, your father had gone abroad for a business trip during that month. After 15 days of giving that slow poison to her, I started feeling bad. Seeing her cry out of stomach ache was very unpleasant. One day, I saw her sitting on the stair case and crying. When I went to comfort her, my leg slipped and we both fell down. She lost her life and I had a miscarriage. I was filled with guilt and sorrow. Your father thought it was an accident. He tried to comfort me but couldn’t. My mother was sad for my miscarriage but she was happy because Riya was no more. She said that our goal was accomplished without much efforts. No one ever came to know about the slow poison but it filled me with guilt. Although, Riya died because of that accident and not the poison but I couldn’t change the fact that I had poisoned her for 15 days. I know God was going to punish me for my ill intentions.
Little did I know that the accident was just the beginning of misfortune. When I was pregnant for the second time, my happiness didn’t last long. I slipped in the kitchen and had a miscarriage again. The third accident occured in a car accident leaving me completely heartbroken. I was diagnosed with depression after that. I had lost three of my babies and I had murdered a 6 years old girl.
I thought I could lessen my guilt only by adopting a 6 years old child. And then, you came into my life and made things wonderful and much better than before. But that guilt never went away. I kept everything to me for many years but a month ago on Riya’s death anniversary, I told your father the truth about the slow poison. And he had a heart attack. Now because I’ve lost him too, this life is just a punishment for me. And that is why I’ve decided to end my life. Take care of yourself.
Preeti is shocked and folds the letter and puts it back in the envelope.
“ This world is not fair to the physically and mentally challenged.” She says.
I agree and we decide not to discuss about the letter anymore.
We board the train at 4 p.m. and reach U.P the next day. As soon as we reach there, we go to the hospital to meet Sister Thomsina. She looks very much different now. She has lost so much weight and her face is full of wrinkles.
When she looks at me, she smiles tenderly. She has trouble speaking and talks slowly.
“Hello dear, you look beautiful.”
“Thank you sister. And I am sorry for not turning up all these years. Forgive me please.”
“It’s alright dear.”
Since it is difficult for her to speak, we do not talk much.
Preeti then tells me “ She wanted to meet you for a reason. We need a favour from you.”
“What kind of favour?”
“The number of kids in the orphanage has increased extensively during these years. A few children who were adopted from the orphanage give some amount as donation every month but it is not enough for the children. So, we are planning to increase the donations in every possible way. If you help us, we would be really grateful to you.”
“Please don’t make me feel like I’ll be doing a favour by giving donations. I am also a part of the orphanage.”
Preeti takes me to the orphanage to show me the condition of the children over there. I ask her “Did you keep coming here regularly after being adopted?”
“I came here to meet sister when I was 15 and kept coming and providing help regularly after this.”
“Actually, I never wanted to go inside the orphanage again. I knew it would make the children feel unlucky. They might dream about having a life like me. They might dream about getting adopted too and I wasn’t capable of fulfilling their dreams. Even today, I only go inside when it is necessary.”
As we go inside, I can see that the situation is worse than I thought. It seems as if the children are locked up in a small place and they look weak and undernourished. I can see sadness in all these eyes and it hurts to see them like that.
While we are taking a round, Preeti’s phone rings. It’s a call from the hospital. As she answers the phone call, she has tears in her eyes. When I ask her what’s wrong, she says
“Sister Thomsina is no more.”
3 years later
Life is completely different from what I thought it would be a few years ago. I am not an engineer anymore. I am a teacher and director of the new child care centre established by us. We named it as ‘Sister Thomsina’s Child Care’.
I and Preeti had turned my big house into a child care and got all the children shifted over here. It took more than a year to get it all done. Most of the money required to run it comes from the rent of flats and bungalows that my father used to own. We’ve opened a kind of school too where we focus more in extra- curricular activities and things like emotional intelligence. The children are physically stronger and happier now. I and Preeti live here with them. Our schedule is quite hectic and we get vey less personal time and space but we are fine with it.
We are now focussing on increasing the number of teachers and care takers especially in the section of physically and mentally challenged children. After the condition becomes better and stable, we’ve planned to take the children for picnic. They probably do not know what a picnic is. We also want to celebrate every child’s b’day. Since most of them don’t know when their b’day is, we’ll let them choose any day from all the 365 days of the year. It might sound insane but we want them to realize that every child whether privileged or abandoned or orphan is special. We really wish we are able to do everything we’ve planned for very soon.
I never married Rajeev and I am not even planning to get married in the following years. He got engaged to a beautiful woman and will get married soon. I never contact him anymore because I think it might create problems in his new relationship. I always want him to be happy. Yes, I loved him but I love these children more than him. He told me we would adopt a child or two from the orphanage after we get married but I denied. How could I leave the rest of them? They are my children and my responsibility too. Moreover, they need me more than I need Rajeev. Their wounds are deeper than mine. These children are my priority and I and Preeti will be here with them till our last breath.
I apologized to my mother too. I take flowers to her grave also every month. Preeti told me to do that. She said we cannot change what has already happened and that I was wrong for disrespecting her after she died.
My bond with Preeti has become strong over these years. I am glad that we live like sisters again.