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She carefully opened the fragile diary that she found on the shelf amidst the lot. Anxious, her fingers shivered to look inside. Various entries sat neatly on the lines, date and time marked on the top left, consistently all through the entries. She read through some of the entries and couldn't help reminiscing those precious moments. She deliberately opened the page dated June 18.
12:30 PM, June 18, 1997
At the age of 40 and single (well I don't do boyfriends), I decided to become a mother. Yes, I am happily single needing a kid. I decide to go for artificial insemination to get pregnant and guess what! I am pregnant! YES! I am thrilled when I came to know. I have a life growing in me, and my heart is fluttering with joy. Did you know that it is the most exhilarating feeling?
Flipping to the last page, she found another entry. The last entry. Her heart tugged in pain. She lightly caressed the letters as if they would feel. Unable to hold onto the anticipation that crept her, she read.
8 PM, August 07, 1998
I can't believe myself. What has happened to me? My thoughts are disheveled. I cannot tell this to anyone! It's just too much. How can they make such a mistake? How can I say this to my family? What will happen? I never wanted it to be like this. Should I talk to him? Tell him I am bearing his child. Now when I am happy with my bundle of joy, Khushi, I come to know that the sperm donor is not a sperm donor. He had come for some test, and by mistake, his sperm had been stored. Should I sue the hospital? If they take Khushi into their custody? NO. How would Maa and Garima react? I must think of something to tell them, at least tell Garima first. Yes, I'll speak with Garima, she will help me figure out something.
She clung onto the diary, taking in words, taking in reality, taking in everything, and simultaneously holding for strength. She couldn't comprehend the situation. The room witnessed a wailing sister clutching onto the diary of her dead sister. It has been 21 years and the death of her sister, Gargi, seems like a scar unattended. She heard footsteps, and quickly wiped her tears and set the diary back on the shelf amidst the chaotic webs. She watched her husband walk through the wooden doors, and one look at his questioning and worried eyes, her tears fell free in their own accord.
"Garima?" he rushed towards her, taking her into his arms, and holding her in his muscular form.
"She...she," one coherent sentence didn't form in her mind, and she just clung onto him and cried till she felt the overwhelming feeling pass. Her husband's shushing and soothing words calmed her nerves eventually. She looked at him lovingly, and her eyes blurred her vision with all the tears. She wiped her eyes as her husband made her sit on a solid cane stool after dusting it, vigorously and coughing in the process.
"Sit down," he suggested, and his six feet form kneeled on the ground beside her.
She gulped as she marshaled her thoughts.
"What is it?" he asked her as he held her hands in a firm hold looking straight in her eyes. She took a deep breath and looked at him, a fresh batch of tears forming in her eyes.
"Shhh!" he wiped them off and pulled her chin in level with his to look straight in her eyes.
"Gargi was coming to our place to tell something important that day" she spoke a whole sentence, her tone loud, however.
"What do you mean?" Shashi asked curiously with the new information.
"I found her diary. Remember, I told you how tensed she was when she got that phone call from the hospital. She didn't speak anything about but she...she" she sighed before continuing.
"Her sperm donor wasn't a sperm donor, that is what she had written in the diary. I mean..."
"Where is the diary?" Shashi asked as he looked appalled. She quickly pushed off some of the webs that hindered her hands, and she pulled out the diary and gave it to him. She waited for him to read and looked at him eagerly.
"What does this mean? I am... She was coming to us, to speak with us and that very day...the accident..." he trailed off gazing ahead at the broken light bulb.
"Garima, should we share this with Khushi?" Shashi asked softly, his eyes, however, masked in fear.
"No," she said immediately. "She is happy and let her be. Please?" Garima pleaded her husband.
In the same palatial house, unaware of the situation downstairs, their young daughters fervently sorted and filled in the cartons to shift the items.
Anand Nilayam, an ancestral house that Garima's parents owned, was located a little far off from Mumbai, which, they decided to renovate. Shashi or Garima visited Anand Nilayam frequently, to check on the property, but all the trips were short ones. This time, they decided to pack essential things, and sort them off before the work begun.
They lived in Cumbala Hills, Mumbai. An affluent yet peaceful place. Shashi and Garima both employed best and reached the zenith in their career.
Payal, the eldest daughter, completed her fashion designing and now placed as a designer in the reputed industry, AR. Khushi, on the other hand, is cognitive archaeology & psychology major.
Payal picked the etched brass vase, which was sitting on the mahogany table and showed it to her sister.
"Khushi, take this and give it to your Mr. Gruesome of a professor. Tell him it is from ancient times. He might fall in love with you," Payal grinned as she handed it to Khushi.
"He is handsome, Payal, but too old for me," Khushi countered.
"Tut Tut...are you are saying 65 is old? Oh, honey! You should see the world I work in!" Payal giggled.
"Well, I don't want dad suing him for being a pedophile" they broke into laughter as they walked through the dusty rooms, sorting stuff.
Khushi gazed at the painting that hung on the other end of the room. The room looked magnificent with such mystique painting on the center of the wall. Looking at the Frangipani on the lemon-yellow canvas, she realized how meditative and beautiful it looked. The petals on the outer edge had a tinge of pink, slowly shading inwards to white and then a sudden burst of yellow and everything focused to dark black dot as if escaping it into vacuity. It resembled life, its journey, and death. The pink represented the birth, the yellow and white, the joys and mundane life, and finally the dark death hole to be seen by everyone but an unknown path. The sudden noise intruded her thoughts.
Khushi's phone vibrated indicating a message. She tapped open to see a message on her friends' group.
Akash: Are you done with the paper?
NK: Manners Akash! Say Hi!
Lavanya: He has lost them...when he accidentally stepped on Mathur's hand last week.
Khushi: Oh, forget it! I am having quality time with my family.
Akash: Are you serious? It is 40% of the grade.
Khushi: I'll do it later. I'm in no mood right now.
NK: Khush, what are you up to?
Khushi: Anand Nilayam. We guys should hang out here sometime. It is magnificent.
Lavanya: Yes, yes.
Akash: We will. But please someone do the assignment.
NK: Why can't you do?
Akash: Because I suck.
Lavanya: He is binge watching, I guess.
Her dad called them both from downstairs.
Khushi: Guys, got to go. Will catch up later! PS: Akash, move your lazy ass and get back to work!
With that, they walked downstairs with the two cartons that they managed to fill.
Anjali waited at the table for her brother to finish up the call. She watched her brother bark on someone through the phone and cringed at his tone.
'It was Sunday for god's sake' she mumbled and yet he got up for the umpteenth time, to attend another phone call.
Every Sunday she traveled from the other end of the city so that her brother sits down with her to have lunch. She felt the need to hold their bond, tenaciously, and make her presence known in his otherwise occupied life. Life's ordeals have taken a toll on him. Although building a fashion empire isn't small, but she realized she was losing the little brother in him slowly. She feared that one day, there would be no remnants of her little brother left in him and will witness an arrogant ruthless business tycoon instead.
"Sorry, di," he said, as he sat down across her as he filled his plate disinterested.
"Eat, don't gobble down food," she scolded him.
She could only wish for some miracle to happen.
NOTE: I have chosen the Prompt 7. Also, my other pen name is Summer Trees!
Topic started by coolie001
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