Those Who Cry
Those Who Cry3 mins 72 3 mins 72
The sun had long vanished, but the bleak that followed held an undisputed domain in their household. Reena sat upon the sofa, her legs pulled up to her quivering chest with lean arms clasping them in place and her face buried deep into the little closet they made. Every now and then, she would look up with puffy eyes towards the door with tense anticipation, only to find the silence ringing with arrogance. She imagined, perhaps hoped, for the ghosts of her own childhood to return and frolic about the spacious hall, but the silence and darkness were formidable conspirators that kept any pleasantness at bay.
At last, she heard a soft click and the door gradually admitted in an unimposing figure. She jumped up, wiping her face to look as her brother dragged himself in. She couldn't see his face in the dark but knew his head hung. Her tears resumed their flow, but with very quiet certainty. In the very few moments that they stood facing each other, her lips trembled a few times, but could not come to life. Finally, he moved and as he brushed past her, the hair on her arms stood at their ends. The sullen coldness of her younger sibling reeked of violent angst and kept her fingers from reaching the lights. Breathing deeply and audibly, he went into his bedroom. The burden of the moments had sapped her legs, and Reena dropped to the floor, her head against the wall of his bedroom. She stared blankly at the darkness coagulating about her for a few moments, as it seeped into her, raking against her insides, drawing out the most pitiful screams. So wrenching were her cries that the wounds on her neck flared back to life and stung her mercilessly. The silence, the darkness, all pounced upon her battered being like a pack of rabid hyenas till she almost dropped. But then, another scream, a yell, cut through her mourning and startled her to a momentary pause. It was her brother.
"Shut up!!! Shut up!!!" he yelled from inside.
"It's been two bloody days since you left your husband's house, and you have been wailing like a fiend ever since! You women and your tears don't amount to Jack, so shut it before I lose my sanity!!!"
The shock lasted a few good minutes. But then, Reena found herself limping towards her brother who sat upon the edge of his bed, his head still hung, but facing the other side. His room fell within the darkness' realm as well, but she located him precisely and stood before him. She extended a frail arm and holding his collar, pulled him up, and in an almost instinctive flash, she slapped him hard across the face. She stood there stoic, perhaps hoping for retaliation, but received only hot breaths upon her face. She knew he was shivering, just like her. Barely, she managed through gritted teeth - "Why don't you cry, huh?" Even in the darkness, she assumed she was staring down at his face.
"Vineeta called. I know they found out about you and Rahul in the office yesterday." She hissed.
A strong swallow, and nothing to break the silence for a good three minutes, before Reena felt a heavy head drop on her bosom and a pair of intimately familiar arms drape themselves around her.
"I cannot cry...I am not supposed to..." he whispered, pulling himself away from his sister's embrace.
She ran a finger across the wounds on her neck and arms, before tracing the single drop that trailed down her brother's cheek with a sigh.
"But I am forced to..." with a faint, wry smile, she concluded.