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Mangesh Shirke

Drama


4  

Mangesh Shirke

Drama


Amelia

Amelia

12 mins 24.4K 12 mins 24.4K

“Thank You Sir,” the door keeper greeted Dr. Fred as he passed by.

Dr. Fred was the owner of this foundation, Mrs. Amelia Ferdinand Milton, named after his late wife, Amelia. She was only 54 years old when she passed away due to a fatal illness. Dr. Fred, a popular, rich businessman, then continued his work for some time.

Towards his old age, Dr. Fred distributed his companies equally amongst his young partners and chose to retire. Known for giving fatherly care to all the people in his foundation, he spent most of his daytime here and went home only late in the evenings.

 

Today evening, he stepped out of the gate and slowly walked towards his car using his walking stick.

“Sir…”

He heard a small voice behind him. Turning around, he saw a small girl, about 11-12 years of age, standing a short distance away. She had a small suitcase with her.

“What is it my child?” Dr. Fred asked with concern.


“Can you please allow me in your foundation? I’m almost an orphan. My dad has killed my mom. I have no one to look after me.” With watery eyes, the small girl replied.

Dr. Fred immediately told the gatekeeper to take the little girl inside. As he sat down in his car, he remembered what the girl had said. He had seen a lot of sadness and despair in her eyes. Somehow, he felt that he should help her.

 

The next day, he came in the foundation and enquired about the girl. Co-incidentally, her name was Amelia. She was the daughter of the famous surgeon in the city, Dr. Arthur Byron.

“I heard he is in depression now-a-days. He has even stopped going to his clinics and attending to his patients.” The assistant informed Dr. Fred.

 

Soon, Amelia became quite famous in the organization. Being the youngest member, everyone used to love to have a chat with her. She used to cheerfully talk to everyone around, however, there was always despair and sadness in her eyes which Dr. Fred noticed quite often.

One day, Dr. Fred was returning home in his car in the evening. As his car passed the main highway, he saw a vehicle parked at one side of the road in the darkness. Something didn’t look right about that car. The front door was left open, the parking lights were not blinking and the car was parked wrongly on the side. To have a closer look, Dr. Fred told his driver to halt the vehicle and stepped out of his car.


As he walked inside the dense bushes on the side of the road, he saw someone sitting in the darkness. Immediately he recognized that person.

It was Dr. Arthur Byron.

 

The next day, Dr. Fred visited the depressed and delusional Dr. Arthur. He was admitted to a nearby hospital. His health had deteriorated terribly. With sunken eyes and a thin face, he looked as if he had not eaten for months.


As soon as he saw Dr. Fred, he tried sitting up to greet him.

“It’s ok, Doctor. I hope you’re doing well now.” Dr. Fred said.

“How can I do well, doctor?” Arthur said with teary eyes, “My daughter still thinks I killed my wife. How can I ever kill her? She and my daughter were was the most lovable things I ever had. I know due to my profession; I had neglected them a lot. But I never killed my wife. It was just that, I couldn’t save her…!” saying this, the poor doctor started weeping.


Dr. Fred somehow consoled him. He then requested the doctors in the hospital to take care of him and give him all the necessary medication and treatment to come out of his mental stress.

 

Dr. Fred always kept a close eye on Amelia. She did participate in all the activities of the organization, however, deep inside she was not happy which Dr. Fred always noticed in her eyes. He hadn’t mentioned to her that her father was in the hospital, as since the day she joined the foundation, she had not enquired about him even once.


Dr. Arthur was slowly showing signs of improvement. Dr. Fred had known him since the past couple of years. Dr. Arthur was the head of the medicinal panel that took care of all the medicinal facilities in all the major companies of Dr. Fred. He was always busy, always engrossed in work and readily available during many medical emergencies. Dr. Fred often used to request him to spend time with his family, but Arthur was so busy he couldn’t really give time to his wife and daughter.

 

One day, Dr. Fred went to meet Amelia in her room. He entered inside, but Amelia was not there. As he was about to exit, he saw all the sketches and paintings that the little girl had put up on the walls of her room. All of them depicted her love for her family. In most of the caricatures that she had drawn, it depicted her entire family of herself, her father and her mother enjoying and having a good time.


However, one small piece of art caught his eye. It showed two pebbles, one small and one large in size, placed next to each other. She had depicted the larger one as a man and the smaller one as a little girl. The larger one was giving a heart to the smaller one.

Something about this sketch made Dr. Fred think about what was going on exactly in the little girl’s mind.

 

A few days later, he announced that there will be a small event on the eve of Children’s day. All the young and small children were told to participate in this event which will be attended by many dignitaries. A particular element was given to everyone and the kids have to sing a song or recite a poem on that element.

Amelia was told to become a round pebble.

 

On the day of the event, everyone was ready with there poems and dresses. The event was going amazing with all the participants doing there best and everyone present was giving a huge round of applause for every performance.

Finally, Amelia entered. She had a huge big sphere around her, only her hands and legs visible. Rhythmically moving her hands and legs, she beautifully recited the poem on pebbles.


As her poem got over, a person covering himself in a bigger sphere, keeping only his hands and legs visible, entered the stage. He then gave a small heart shaped balloon to Amelia, who accepted it.

Upon finishing her performance, everyone gave a huge round of applause to both the participants on the stage. Amelia then removed the sphere around her and revealed herself. Everyone clapped on seeing her happy smiling face. The other person also removed his sphere and revealed himself.

It was Dr. Arthur Bryon.

Everyday clapped happily on seeing the famous doctor in the city, but Amelia never clapped. She just stood there, without giving any expressions.

 

After the program got over, Dr. Fred took Arthur to Amelia’s room.

“My child, please speak to your father once,” Dr. Fred said looking into her eyes, “You may not know this. I found your father seated on a pavement on a side road with a knife on his wrists.” He then showed her Arthur’s wrists, which had marks of stitches post the surgery that was conducted on him when he was admitted in the hospital.


“He wanted to finish himself because he considered himself your mother’s killer. You think your mom never knew she was suffering from that disease? She knew every detail of it…!”

As soon as Dr. Fred said this, Amelia was shocked.


“Yes, my dear. She knew that she was going to die in a few months. But she didn’t disclose it to anyone. Not even to your dad. Your dad was always busy in his work. It was his passion, his love towards his profession that your mother was so very proud of. Most of the time he neglected his family because he had lots of work to do, so many patients to attend. If she could have disclosed this, then your dad would have been with her every time. She never wanted this to happen. She never wanted him to feel ashamed of himself that he being a popular medical practitioner, couldn’t save his wife. She never wanted him to feel down. She wanted him to grow in his profession, to live his passion, to become the best doctor in the world…! When the illness reached its critical stage, your dad tried his very best to save your mom. But sometimes…. things don’t happen the way we want them to…!”


“But he saved so many people…! Why couldn’t he save my mom…? If he loved her, why did he leave her to die…?” Amelia almost screamed in pain.

“My child, don’t think that way.” Dr. Fred said. “I know he focused more on his profession. I know he only loved to attend other patients. But somewhere deep inside, he loved you. He still considers that he could have somehow saved your mother. My child, imagine what would have happened had he killed himself. At least he is here to be with you. To wipe your tears. To call you as his daughter. You don’t know the pain of being an orphan. No one is there for you when you need them the most. No one claps for you. No one supports you. You are totally alone in this world.”


He then wiped away his tears and said, “Pardon your father, my child. He is alone in this world. He still loves you. Remember, you both need each other to grow happily.”

Arthur then gave Amelia her favorite chocolates. When she didn’t respond, he left.

 

For the next few days, Amelia still stayed in the organization. Arthur often came to meet her. Slowly, she started loving him back. Earlier, he was busy the whole day. Now he started taking out time to meet his daughter.


As days passed by, both of them started loving each other. Amelia used to wait for her father every evening. Both of them used to chat merrily with each other.

Dr. Fred used to feel happy whenever he looked at them. He came to know that love was the biggest power that anyone had. It was the main thing that always bonded any two relations together.

Also, he saw a change in Dr. Arthur’s behavior. Earlier, he was always serious and was not talkative. But now, he smiled quite often and always greeted people respectfully and in a friendly way.

 

One day, while on his rounds, Arthur received a phone call from Amelia.

“What happened to him? How is he now?” Arthur said as he rushed in the hospital. Dr. Fred was admitted there. He wanted to meet Arthur and Amelia one last time.

“Has he come?” with weak voice, Dr. Fred asked Amelia, who was sitting next to him.

“Sir…” Arthur said as he came in, “I spoke to the doctor…”


“My time has come, son…!” Dr. Fred said. He was on oxygen support. “I called you to meet one last time. You know, during my younger days, I was same like you. I had a passion, a determination to expand my business all over the world. I used to work hard, day and night, because for me, work was my blessing. I never made any friends, no one made friends with me. I never gave time to my family. Because of this, I missed all those wonderful moments that a person enjoys with his family. I missed watching my daughter grow up, watching her go to school, teaching her those small mathematical tables. I never knew when she became old enough to leave me and go. Her only complaint was that I could never become a good father. When she left, I came to know the true value of a family. I tried hard to bring her back, but she broke all the contacts and all the links with the family.”

As Dr. Fred said this, Arthur saw his case papers hanging above his bed. He then saw his full name.

Dr. Ferdinand Milton.


Arthur’s wife’s name was Alice.

Alice Milton.

“You read it right son,” Dr. Fred said, “Alice, your wife, was my daughter. She left because I couldn’t be a good father to her. When she left, my wife couldn’t sustain the shock. She got mental illness, and she never recovered from that. Eventually, she died. Alice came to see her one last time, and that was the last time I saw her.”


He paused for some time to gather his breathing, and then continued, “I kept track of Alice. I knew she got married to you. I thought she will be happy with you. After her marriage, I stopped pursuing her to come to me. This is the reason I appointed you as the head of my company’s medicinal panel. I deliberately hide my relation with Alice from you. You did amazing work, but neglected your family. Somewhere, I thought you may end up like me, alone and devastated, and that’s the reason I wanted you to spend time with your family. Unfortunately, Alice died. My only daughter died because she wanted you to win. I then decided that I will bring you two together.”


Dr. Fred again paused to gain his breath. Taking deep breaths from the oxygen mask, he continued, “The day I saw your daughter, I came to know that she thinks you are responsible for her mother’s death. When I saw you two together, happy and enjoying each other’s company, that was the happiest moment in my life. In all my years, I only felt happy for my job. I was totally professional, and because of that I missed all the true happiness that a family gives us. When you, as a stern doctor, who never laughed, never joked, never gave time to his family, got so attached to your daughter, I felt I achieved something in life. I always desired that you shouldn’t be like I’ve been, and now seeing you as a perfect father, I think I’ve achieved something good in life.”


He then took Amelia’s hand and said, “Take care of your father, little one. You know, I am feeling so joyful today. When I’ll go up there, if God ever questions me that what good deed I ever do in such a long life…. you know what I’ll answer…? I’ll tell him I made a strict doctor smile. I turned him into a father once again…!” as he said this, Dr. Fred smiled and closed his eyes.

As Arthur and Amelia exited his unit, they saw a small sketch that was put up on the wall : A larger pebble outlined as a man giving heart to a smaller pebble outlined as a girl.

Dr. Fred had specifically asked for this sketch done by Amelia to put up in his unit.

 

The next day, Dr. Fred passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Dr. Arthur was appointed the head of Mrs. Amelia Ferdinand Milton Foundation.

 

THE END



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