“Hello, sir. Where are you? I’ve been waiting for you since morning. I knocked on your door but nobody answered.” Said the owner of a three-storey building that I despise. I like neither of them.
“We’re outside, sir. We will be returning this afternoon. We’re at a family reunion.” Replied my father who was trying to escape with a lie, as always.
“Alright. Don’t forget to meet me as soon as you come back.”
I don’t know. He must have said that.
“Sure. Bye.” Said my father before hanging up. He sighed.
“You must have told him that we wouldn’t be back until Sunday.” I said, trying to make fun of him.
“I don’t want to lie. It’s just that.” He said, trying to ignore me.
“Let’s go home. I’m hungry” I cried.
I hadn’t eaten anything since last night.
“Okay. Let’s finish this first. Come on, help me.” He said as he started to fill up the soil back into the ground that was dug.
It was a bright day. We were at a farm, digging up and planting a few saplings all over the ground. The work was tough and there was nobody around to help us. But we liked to do it all by ourselves.
“Give me a shovel. I don’t want to make my hands dirty.” I complained.
“Sure. But you always eat without washing your hands.” He replied as he laughed at my face.
“Hey! It’s my brother.” I shouted for being falsely accused.
We planted the last tree sapling and we left the place right after doing so.
“We must water it everyday.” Said my father as we had lunch at a restaurant.
“Yes. But we need to buy a new motorcycle before this one breaks into two” I said, looking at the old motorcycle that was parked outside.
“Eat your lunch.” Ordered my father.
It was already two in the afternoon and I was exhausted. I just wanted to go home and sleep.
“Hey, wake up! They’re here.”
I woke up to this. It was my twelve-year-old brother who woke me up from my sleep. I just walked towards the other room of our house and locked myself inside it.
“Open the door! Come outside. Don’t lock yourself in. Someone has come to-”
“I’m not talking to anybody. Tell them that I’m not here.” I replied without even listening to my mother. I knew that she’d knock as soon as I locked the door.
There wasn’t much air in the room and it was quite suffocating. I couldn’t see clearly but I could notice that the room was in a bad condition.
I unlatched the door and crawled outside. My mother stopped me as I walked towards my room.
“My glasses.” I stared at my mother as I was irritated.
“That’s okay. We have guests. Come on. Quick!” She said as she was in a hurry. She was probably making tea for them.
I saw three people in the living room. Two of them were sitting on the couch that we’d bought from a discount store. The other person was my father who was sitting in an armchair, staring at me.
I picked up my glasses from the coffee table. I started to look around until someone interrupted me.
“It’s seven o’clock, son.”
It was the owner of the building who also brought his wife along. They were living in their sixties and seldom cared about other people’s privacy.
They like to drink their evening tea at their tenant’s house. They also like cookies.
I just smiled at them and stood next to my father.
“What’s up with the hairstyle? Why is it so long? Saving up money for something else?” The old man was curious to know.
He laughed. He didn’t want the answer.
His wife doesn’t talk. She just smiles whenever her husband tries to be funny. But this time, she turned red and chuckled. She then regained her senses and sat straight.
“Yeah. It’s from a new movie. The actor’s hairstyle looks similar. The kids always stick to the trend.” My father replied and then the room was filled with laughter.
The adults have a very good sense of humour. I said that to myself.
“Tea!” My mother cried as she entered the living room.
“Don’t you drink tea, son?” Asked the owner.
“No. I don’t.” I replied as soon as he questioned me.
“So, you drink milk?” The owner said and laughed again.
“He drinks Bournvita!” Exclaimed my mother as she served tea and cookies to everybody.
People liked to embarrass me. It’s a form of entertainment for them.
I smiled again. I started walking towards my room.
“Come back, son. Let’s have some Bournvita!” The owner tried his best to improvise his humour.
“Oh, he’s got exams coming up soon. He wants nothing but silence when he studies in the room. Let’s try and be as quiet as possible!” My mother said and everybody laughed, again.
I joined my brother who was playing games on the phone.
“I’ll not let you play.” My brother said and continued playing. I just sat on the bed and thought about dinner.
The guests left after a while and I felt relieved. There was still two hours left for dinner. So, I played games on my own phone as my brother wouldn’t let me play with him.
I gave up on the earphones as they weren’t helping me with the untangling. I took a nap until I got a call from an unknown number.
“This is the third time. Answer the call!” Shouted my brother who was disturbed by the ringtone.
“Come on. Let’s eat!” I replied and I snatched the phone from my brother’s hands who was playing games on my mother’s phone since an hour.
“Ma! He’s hurting me.” My brother cried.
“Hey! Leave him alone. Both of you, wash your hands and eat your dinner.” My mother yelled from the kitchen.
“I didn’t do anything!”
I was on my way to the kitchen to explain what actually happened in the room until I heard the sound of the doorbell. It rang several times until I answered the door.
There were three policemen standing next to each other. The owner was complaining about something and his wife was crying as though someone had stolen their dog.
“Where’s your dad?” Asked a giant policeman.
“It’s them. They’ve killed my son! They must have buried him somewhere by now.” The owner exclaimed, weeping with his wife.