Team: The Spellbinders
We are a team called The Spellbinders. We are collaborating and writing a story for the Blogadda challenge “Game of Blogs”.
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CHAPTER 4 – THE FLOWER THAT NEVER BLOOMED
Roohi was disturbed and sad. This was not the first time she had been a silent witness to such mayhem at the house. Ever since she had been old enough to understand, she had witnessed these fights. As their only child, she should have been the centre of attention, the apple of their eyes. But they were absorbed in their own scuffle, their tempers; their power play took precedence over her. Sometimes, she wished she wasn’t their daughter! Today, she wanted to run away. May be then Daddy would miss her.
She wanted to tell Daddy that his story was great, if only he kept writing it instead of throwing away all the notes he made on paper and deleting it from his computer. If only he kept on writing instead of trying different things, he would not waste time.
Time is precious; once gone, it is gone forever.
Roohi was taught about the importance of time in her kindergarten days. Her teacher made the students write the sentence in big bold letters on a large strip of paper, decorating it with fluorescent highlights. Roohi even pasted tiny pieces of golden tape on the thick red letters. It made them glitter in the faint sunlight that crept through the window near her. How happy it had made her to do that! She even received a kiss and a toffee from her teacher for her creativity.
Roohi felt terribly lonely today. She was fed up with her parents and felt abandoned, unloved, even orphaned. Time once gone is gone forever. She slowly walked towards her room, away from the living room where her parents fought. The wall clock in her room struck 1 p.m. and a tiny bird sprang out from the enclosure below the dial and let out one chirpy tweet. Absentmindedly, she entered her room and closed the door behind her.The golden strip on her artwork shone in the room light.
She got into bed and began to cry. She recalled a poetry recital in her school when she was five years old. She had won a prize. She had sung Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Her mother had been so proud. Everyone had adored her in her pretty ‘baby pink’ frill frock with white stockings and pink-coloured belly shoes which had a lovely sticker of Minnie Mouse on them. She remembered her ponytails with pretty pink bows swinging around her face as she sang.
“My baby Roohi, you did great today,” Mama had said.
“Daddy?” Roohi had asked, her eyes searching for him.
Mama had told her, “Daddy could not come.”
Roohi’s face had fallen, but she was just five. Her happiness was back when it was announced that she’d won the first prize. They sang together, Mama and daughter, on the way back home.
Why did she remember this? She thought as she lay on her bed.
Was it because of the fight she and Daddy had when she returned that day after the poetry recital?
Or was it because of the murder in the building near their home?
A few metres away from their home, while in the car, Mama had braked near a huge crowd. Roohi had looked out of the window and seen more police men than she could count. There was also a police jeep with red flashing lights and an ambulance. A woman wailed loudly. She heard the woman over the car stereo.
Then Mama had said sharply, “Roohi roll up the window.”
Roohi wiped her tears and snuggled into her pillow as she recalled with a naughty smile that she had found out all about what had happened from the security guard the next day. A 9 year old girl had been murdered. Her eyes had been gouged out. For days she had wondered about the eyes …
That day Daddy and Mama had another fight. The apartment door was open when they returned from the poetry recital. Mama had said, in that bitchy tone she sometimes used, “Look beta, your daddy has forgotten to keep the door closed again. Someday, a thief will come and steal his manuscripts and then, he will pay for it!”
Daddy was at his working table, his head drooping over a stack of papers, his bald scalp gleaming in the light emitting from the table lamp kept on the table. He was so engrossed in his works that he failed to hear the creaking of the door and their footsteps. He was wearing the same t-shirt and track pants of last night at dinner. Daddy worked so hard!
“ Daddy! Daddy!” Roohi had rushed towards him, screaming with delight, her satchel swinging on her little shoulder.
Daddy gave his head a little shake. He was probably dozing off! He rubbed his eyes and straightened his specs and saw Roohi standing in front of him, with her hands outstretched, as if expecting a hug from him. His eyes darted towards the shining trophy she held on her right hand; he could easily make out the letters “First prize, Poetry Recital Competition”.
Mama said sternly, “Shekhar the door was open. All kinds of crazy people roam around.”
Daddy said, “Go away to your room. Don’t bother me now.”
Roohi’s lips curled downwards and she began to weep. “But daddy, I won a prize. You won’t praise me today?”
Tears began again and Roohi tried to control them. She never expected such a reaction from her father; he was ever smiling and took care of her at home, when her mother was out with work. Although he did not shower love on her like she wanted him to, with warm hugs, holding hands, goodnight kisses on the forehead, he still ensured that she is fed well at home and brought up as a healthy child.
She did not understand the distance he kept between him and her.
She loved them. She knew they loved her. And yet …
She was good, she did not disturb her father, Mama said that Daddy was a writer, someday he would be very famous, and so she shouldn’t bother him while at home. She did not bother him. She spent all her time at home, playing with stuffed toys and often, making cute pictures of butterflies, flowers, cats and dogs on the sketchbook her mother got her.
Today, she could no longer bear her parents quarreling with each other. She had to do something.
She wiped her tears. I am not a weak girl. She reassured herself.
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