Charlie's Hidden Secret
Charlie's Hidden Secret6 mins 20.2K 6 mins 20.2K
It is 7 o’clock in the evening and Minnie is seated on the black crushed velvet couch in the corner of the living room. She looks out of the open window from the eighth floor of their flat, waiting as usual for her dad to come home. She could suddenly feel her left eye twitching. Her mom had once recited a script to her from the Indian epic ‘’Ramayana’’ where a woman named Sita who is considered as a Goddess felt her left eye twitching. She considered it to be a good omen. Now there is absolutely every reason to think that it definitely is a fabulous day for Minnie. After all, it’s her birthday and she just can’t wait for her dad’s arrival. She could hear her mom Mina humming a song, the lyrics of which were beyond her understanding now. Mina often listened to some of the Indian songs repeatedly and all Minnie knew was that it was related to a ‘’Ghazal of Jagjit Singh’’ which was playing on the online radio station from India. Minnie could smell the spicy and crisp aroma from the kitchen and she knew her mom had finished preparing the parathas (flat bread stuffed with beet and carrots). A part of her wanted to reach the kitchen and grab a bite of paratha. However she resisted and remained seated on couch. All she wished for at the moment was to reach her dad and end the surprise that she and her mom were to give him on his 37th birthday. She loved to tell her friends that she shared her birthday with her dad, ‘’her new dad’’ she thought to herself at this moment. They shifted to London from India a year back where her mom married an Englishman named Charlie. Minnie couldn’t have asked for a better life or for a better dad than Charlie.
Minnie’s thoughts were disturbed by Mina who came out of the kitchen with the parathas, packed and sealed in the kitchen foil. Mina’s eyes suddenly fall on the credit card bill which is lying on the table at the centre of seating area as if she were seeing it for the very first time. She reads the total ‘’£ 417.77’’ and tries to convert it in rupees, ‘’that’s too much’’, she says sounding disappointed and annoyed. She still has the habit of converting every pound spent here into Indian rupees and moaning about it. She is aware of Charlie being a spendthrift and therefore decides to confront him once and for all. She keeps the bill safely in small wooden shelf kept aside in the seating area. She looks at her daughter Minnie and remembers her own childhood when she used to wait for her father’s arrival with equal excitement. With Minnie, it felt extraordinary and surprising as they had only begun staying with Charlie since past one year. However, her dad’s arrival was as exciting for her as opening her Christmas and birthday presents. In fact, during her early days of the year when Minnie had just started to speak, she would look out of the window and cry out loudly ‘’dada, dada’’ in her sweet li’le voice looking at faces that resembled Charlie. From day one she had adapted to the new surroundings, a completely new world and a completely new person Charlie, as her dad. However Charlie and Mina had kept a secret from her. ‘’We will reveal it to her at the right time’’, Charlie often said when Mina would raise the topic. Mina wasn’t sure when the ‘’right time’’ would be. Although it wasn’t a big deal for them, they knew that this secret might leave their daughter distressed. Unlike her daughter Mina took time to adjust in this new place. However she was glad to have Charlie by her side. Like Minnie, Mina too secretly loved to wait for her husband’s arrival each evening. She goes back to the kitchen to prepare some more snacks for the much awaited outing.
Finally Minnie could see Charlie arrive with the briefcase that he always carried to his workplace. The brown colored leather briefcase had a stylish look, especially because it had an added monogram with Mina, Charlie and their daughter Minnie’s initials on it in Algerian font style (MCM). Mina and Charlie had a love for monograms. From handkerchiefs, albums, sunglasses, guitar to some of the crockery sets, everything had monograms and the monogrammed briefcase that she had gifted Charlie during last Christmas was one of the things that she cherished the most. Upon the arrival of her father, Minnie would often open the briefcase to examine it, close it and keep it in the lower case drawer of the cupboard in the bedroom. Sometimes Charlie would carry kinder joy chocolates hidden underneath his piles of papers inside the briefcase.
Minnie’s father Charlie, who is tall and well-built, with stubble beard, eyes that have the colour of honey always beamed with joy and very often Mina referred to them as an instrument of hypnotism. His smashing hair had a high fade with medium hair on top and a silk touch that gave him a boyish look. ‘’Stylish’’ and ‘’jolly by nature’’, that’s how his friends and colleagues would often describe him. He was wearing a well fitted peak-lapel blue coloured suit with a blend of wool fabrication today. He always preferred to dress smartly even when he was at home. He walked on the layered hailstones on side lane and was glad to have worn his black snow boots today. His walks were always slow and cautious as if he was trying to hide some valuables and treasures from being theft.
Suddenly the weather changes and Minnie feels a gusty wind on her face. Her mom shouts from the kitchen, ‘’Minnie, please close the window darling, the weather doesn’t sound right’’. Minnie is upset to lose some of her ‘’me time’’ and shuts the window in silence, mischievously leaving it a little open so she can have room to look at her dad. However, at the same time she is glad to watch her dad coming closer to the gate of the building. Within a few seconds, Minnie’s life gives her a surprise. As her dad tries to open the gate, his smashing hair is pulled off by the strong winds, thrown aside and washed off by the sudden rain. Minnie with a rage of shock shouts to her mom ‘’Mom!!! Daddy’s got a wig!’’ On hearing this, Mina rushes out of the kitchen and realizes that her daughter has finally discovered the hidden secret of her superhero, her DAD.