It’s the middle of the night. And it’s hailing. I am trying to memorize some really complex biology terms for my oral test the day after. And my eyes are focused on the heavy downpour. Little balls of ice are hitting my face through the open window. I tried to throw back the ice balls and my sister laughed at my frail attempts. She’s busy coddling her pretty little face and her bobbing ponytail in the mirror. And when she finds my scoffing eyes observing her petty act, she smiles coyly and looks away. Presently she is quite smitten by Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and is trying to imitate it. And then bursts into little fits of laughter at the twisted expression she ends up creating.
We made a cup of hot, salty tea to regain our senses that has been left withered by the nail-biting cold. My sister looked up at me to see if I am taking any tea. And when she saw me taking a sip, she started taking it too. Then she looked up at me to see if I am taking any bread, and when she saw me taking a bite of the warm and fluffy bread, she started taking it too. Little sisters are copycats. I usually get irritated when she copies me like this but today I found it cute. Well, she is cute sometimes. And annoying all the time.
In some abstract world we are out there dancing in the storm, soaking in the rain. But right now, she skidded off to her comfortable bed. And I lingered towards my open biology textbook.
It’s the middle of the night. And my grandmother, my precious granny is ill. Her coughing fits and her flustered silence makes me want to ebb away, find a corner and cry.
My mother, my sweet mother, my undaunted mother, straightened her dress and reached for her money. My granny needs medicines. And we are going to get her medicines.
Me and my mom descended into the dark alley. And my little sister is tagging along.
Why do you have to follow me all the time? I raise my questioning eyes at her. She grins wickedly and walks between mom and me, holding our hands.
The frosty weather and the mute surroundings added to the aura of impending gloom.
We found a lone medical store open at this time, illuminated by a lone candle.
Mom enters the store and we are standing just across the lane, waiting for her to return.
Why should we be scared? Mom is just across the lane.
Just across the lane, I remind myself.
Just across the lane, I tell my sis.
Was that a gunshot I heard?
You know little sis, it’s a game we are playing. It’s called hide-and-seek. And it’s mom’s turn to hide. You stay here, right behind this pillar and I will go ahead and seek her.
There is a brave mother, broken for once, searching for the beautiful daughters she may have just lost.
There is a broken daughter, brave for once, searching for the fearless mother she may have just lost.
And there is a little girl, hiding behind a pillar and peering into the darkness. Biting her lips and tapping her fingers, she’s trying very hard to wait patiently for her model sister and her darling mother. But she can’t wait to resume her game. Moreover it’s so dark. And she’s a teeny-weeny bit afraid.