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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Morning Hours

His sleepy eyes stared out of the window resting their gaze on the fallen leaves of his favorite tree. This was how he began his day each morning, come rain or hail. During those peaceful moments, he dreamed about what his future would be like. One day, he would become a doctor and help little kids like himself, he thought. He envisioned driving the silver car that Mr. Graham had. The shiny car with a white stripe on it. He would then eat everyday at McDonald's with no one to tell him that he could not eat fries or drink coke. And he would watch Nickelodeon in the evenings. And he would go to sleep, alone.

He was shaken out of his reverie when his mother yelled out loud.

"CHRISSSSS!", she yelled. "I am leaving to work but John is home, sleeping. Wake him up if you need anything."

Chris quietly walked down the winding staircase of their apartment and waved his mother goodbye. He then tiptoed to her bedroom and peeped at his step-father, sleeping half naked, on the giant king-sized bed. After a silent prayer to Jesus for John's deep sleep, he ran upstairs to play games on the computer.

After two hours, John awoke with a grunt, and dragged himself up to Chris's bedroom. Chris stood there numb, like a mouse terrified of being hunted by a dog as he saw the 6-foot-tall muscular man head towards him only with his boxer shorts on.

"Let's play our morning game, buddy", he said showing off his yellow teeth.

The 8-year-old boy started trembling as John put handcuffs around his narrow wrists and pulled his own boxer shorts down. Within seconds of being spanked on his butt, Chris bent down and put John's member into his mouth. He gagged and retched and wanted to scream out loud as John continued to spank him.

"Come on boy!! You can do better than that!", roared John.

Chris began crying as John came. Satisfied, John shoved him aside and threatened to kill his mother if Chris uttered a word to her, just like he did every morning. And then he gently kissed Chris on his lips and walked down to eat pancakes, like every morning.

Chris stared out of the window with tears in his eyes. When he grew older, he would become a doctor, and drive a silver car, and eat McDonald's, and watch cartoons, and sleep alone. And all will be fine. And then just like everyday, he counted, and said, "Only 8 years more".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Letter

It was warm, humid day. One of those days where people frown every second as beads of perspiration travel from their luscious locks to the cracked earth. One of those days where people keep their windows open praying for some respite from the heat in the form of a cool breeze. One of those days where people do not expect a letter to fly into their living room and land near the loud, monotonous TV. And yet it did.

Dear Sanjana,

I do not know of when you will get my letter. I do not know if you when you will read my letter. And I do not know if you will want to read this letter. And yet I write this letter to say sorry to the one girl that I loved tremendously.

In the past few years, I have not looked for you. I have wondered where you have been and prayed for you each day. But I never found the courage to find you and tell you that I love you. I always loved you and I still do. But I was a coward. I made a mistake and I hope you will forgive me for it.

I do not remember what day it was that I last held you or looked into your soft eyes. But I remember vividly the smile that you flashed at me when I held on to you, trying to hide my tears. You were unperturbed. Your mother was uncontrollable. And I was in denial. Since that day, I have died a thousand deaths. I have wandered onto the empty streets looking for my Sanjana, hoping that the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl that I see walking will be you running towards me with open arms. I have dreamed a thousand dreams with you holding my hand while my soul rests in peace. And I have cried every night pining for the family that we could have built.

Sanjana. Is your name still Sanjana Vijay Kumar like I have always envisioned it to be? Do people ask you who Vijay Kumar is? Do you wonder where I have been? Will you come live with me if I brought you back home? Is your new world as beautiful as our world used to be? Do you wonder why I had to let you go? Did your mother answered any of your questions?

I am sorry Sanjana. I am sorry I left you with your mother when you were a baby. I was only 20 then. I was afraid of the world. Afraid of the society. And running away from my life.

Will you forgive me Sanjana? Will you forgive your father today?



Mr. Karnik did not know if the warmth on his face was his sweat or his tears as he finished reading this letter. He now understood why his neighbor Vijay always remained a mystery till the day he died. The mystery was now unraveled two days after he committed suicide.

It was one of those days where someone's pain touches your heart and you sit there helplessly.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Stranger

She lay on the couch, her body frail and weak, and unable to balance itself. She felt she needed to go somewhere but was unable to move. She was alone at home. Then how did the plate of fried rice come onto the table? Who made it? And who ate from it? She was confused. Her head hurt. She fell asleep, once again.

He entered the house through the backdoor making sure not to make any noise as he moved swiftly. He saw her sleeping on the couch and stopped for a second. Should he approach her or should he go into the bedroom first? He decided the former. And as he tiptoed into the living room, he saw her open her eyes and heard her give out a loud scream.

"WHO ARE YOU"?, she cried out with a sense of despair and fear.
He cared not to answer and walked towards her. She began screaming with all her might, with whatever strength was left within her.

"I know who you are!! You are the man who is wanted by the police!". She began shaking. She tried to stand up but instantly fell to the couch.

He kept looking at her with a grim look on his face. His mind was cluttered with thoughts, conflicting decisions, negative emotions, and yet he stood there, as still as a statue, as if he had no life in him.

"You are that man! You..", she continued.
"Yes, I, I, I...", he thought to himself. "Yes, I am the one! I am the one who loves you dearly. I am the one my dear, who cries for you everyday. My love, I am the one who you are married to. And you are the one who has Alzheimer's".

Her muscles started twitching. He broke down into tears.