It was time for dinner. All the family members gathered at the dinning table. The unofficial head of the house, the mother sat at one end of the table. She had spinal disorder which made her life like vegetable. It was one unfateful day when she was trying to save her mischievous little Vicky from falling from the balcony that cost her life. Since that day, Vicky has been very close to her.
Sakshi and the eldest brother Shekhar were the official caretaker of the family until Sheila came into Shekhar's life. Sheila single-handedly took the reigns of managing the family from Sakshi and Shekhar. She was important part of everyone's life. Mother was hugely dependent on Sheila. Sheila was like her right hand. Sometimes Sakshi would take time from her busy schedule of managing her work and being single mother to her kids. Shekhar focused completely at work. There were times when Shekhar would assist Sheila and advised her to start her career. But Sheila was Sheila , she found solace in taking care of every small needs of the family.
It was one big happy family. Now with Vicky being present, the family was complete. Everyone waited patiently for Vicky. He had not arrived. "Did you call Vicky, Shekhar?", Sheila asked. "Yes I did. He said he would come and asked me to go.", Shekhar replied. "I will bring him.", Sakshi said. When she reached his room, she heard some muffled voices inside. She didn't waste time to get inside the room. It was biting cold. She switched on the light and was about to switch off the fan. She was surprised. The fan was not switched on. She wondered, "Why is it strangely cold?"
She looked for Vicky. Vicky was not on the bed. He was lying on the ground in fetus position. He had covered himself completely inside the blanket. He made soft weeping sounds inside the blanket. She tried to pull the blanket from him. He held it very tightly. "It's me, Sakshi.", she said gently. He pushed blanket from his face.
"Why are you sleeping on the ground? ", she asked, gently helping him to get on his feet. "He has become so weak.", she thought, while remembering his fitness freak days. He was healthy. "There is something on the bed.", he said, while trying to avoid eye contact on the bed. She felt strange. She looked at the bed. "There is nothing on the bed.", she said "Come, you must be hungry.", she continued as they walked out of the bed.
As they switched off the light and closed the door behind them, the lights were switched on itself. A black apparition circled on the bed. Vicky was greeted by the rest of the family with smile and eagerness. His nephew and niece fought for his attention and who was going to sit next to him. Shekhar hugged him. However Vicky didn't hug. After the hug, he simply rushed towards his mother. He lay his head on her lap and said, "Ma, help me." Tiny drops rolled out of his eyes.
(To be continued)