Sarah sat on the rocking chair kept in her father's bedroom staring at the huge portrait of her father and mother. Rajeev Kurien stood in a black suit and Jenny Kurien sat on a chair beside him. There was a slight smile on Jenny's face and Rajeev's face was lit up as the portrait was made on their wedding day.
“You both were made for each other…..”, She went near the portrait and brushed her hand across it. Her face portrayed a myriad of expressions, a million of unanswered questions.
The portrait was just a few meters away from the chair. There were numerous times she sat on the floor near the rocking chair and lay her head on her dad's knees. Rajeev would caress his daughter's head as he would listen to whatever she spoke.
There was not a single topic that they wouldn't talk about and he always was her first best friend.
“Dad, you think I should become a journalist. My friend's keep pushing me to this.”
“Rehaan is such a rude boy Dad, he just does not know how to behave with girls.”
She could hear her dad's voice everywhere in the room in the form of echoes. Today the room was void. There was a silence which scared her. The silence that was killing her deep within. It crushed her soul and pierced her heart. The man who had held her hand and taught her to face the world, to be strong and fight had given it all up so meekly.
22nd of April, 9.30 PM, she was busy reading a novel that her dad had gifted her a few days back. The lamp near her bed started flickering.”I had just got this lamp repaired, I do not know what the problem is”, She was annoyed. She leaned forward to set it right.
She was lost in her book and flipped through the pages as she finished with each page. The house was void and even a small noise could be heard distinctly.
“Sarah…………………” She was startled to hear a scream. She kept her book aside and waited to confirm.
“Sarah…….” It was Jenny and Sarah was sure of it. She dropped her book and her hand hit the lamp. It fell making noise,(Shrack……. kitr… khit…..) ……………least bothered about it she ran to her mother's rescue.
The biggest shock of her life awaited her. Rajeev lay motionless in a pool of blood. Beside him lay the knife with blood stains. His pulse was cut and blood was oozing.
Her mom stood next to him holding a letter which was wet with her tears.
“Jenny, No matter what, I will always love you !!! Forgive me !!”
Minutes later the ambulance arrived and he was declared dead.
It had been two days since her father had left her and Sarah had not left the room where her dad had spent many years of his life. The walls of the room spoke of him, of the love he shared with his family.
She sat back to recollect her moments with her dad and it suddenly struck her that he wasn't fine for almost a week before his death, she had found him gloomy. He had stopped eating properly and was trying to steal his eyes away from her.
“Nothing, my doll, I am totally fine.”He had responded to her when she had enquired.
“Mom is something wrong between you and Dad”, She tried questioning Jenny who was also dull.
They were the perfect couple. Rajeev would cuddle Jenny every now and then and Jenny would silently blush. There was a love that was always shown in their eyes which Sarah had seen.
He had encouraged Jenny to write after reading a few of her transcripts and Jenny's first book titled, “The unforgettable moments”was published just a month back. Jenny had instantly become famous and Rajeev had always stood by her.
The more she thought about her father's mysterious death, the more did she want to confront her mother about the last letter.
She knew there was some connection between the two. She walked to the portrait and hugged it and cried aloud. “Dad, I miss you, Didn't you think of me once before you decided to end it all.”
Tears rolled down her kohl lined eyes. She felt the wetness in her face, “You are not here to wipe my tears, Dad. Whom do I run to when i need you? Answer me, Dad…. Please don't stand motionless”, She grieved pleading him to come back and hold her, tell her that all this was not true.
Her throat ached and she needed to gulp some water. While passing through her father's cupboard, she found it ajar. The door of the cupboard screeched as she opened it. There in front of her eyes lay a photograph of Jenny. It was a very old photograph taken in the snow in the Himalayas.
“Maybe this is a photo when mom was in college, but….”, she held the photo close as she could see something more. ” ……….who is the guy next to her?” She wiped the drops left on her cheek and flipped the photo.
There in her father's handwriting she read something that was going to solve the entire riddle.
“I waited for 26 years to find the love in your eyes which is so visible in this photograph”
Her eyes wide open she walked in haste to confront her mother…….