The Come Back – Prologue (Fiction)

by Anita Menon

An attempt to complete a story that I had started some time back. Never thought I would blog it but I realized that blogging is the best chance I have to finish what I have started.

Silently, she packed her saris one after the other in her suitcase, in her bedroom.  Every other minute she kept looking at the timepiece on the mantle in the dining room. Her eyes seem to close on her as she felt weary and tired. She had been up all night thinking about it like so many such nights before. She sighed deeply. There was still a lot of time, they wouldn’t be back until a few good hours. She tried not to analyse how she was feeling. Soon she would pack and it would be time to go. She looked at her check list and went through it once again. She was always organized. She did not like any surprises and had been planning this for such a long time.  She opened her purse to check the stash of currency and counted it one more time. It was all there, the tickets, the money and the necessary documents.

She had readied enormous quantities of meals, packed them and put them in the freezer for later use. She had tended to the garden, dusted the whole house, changed the bed sheets, and done the laundry which was folded into neat piles. She had left post- its on the refrigerator door telling them where they would find what. She smiled meekly when she saw some crayons littered on the carpet. How did she miss picking them up? She moved in, bent down, her anklets making the beautiful tinkling sound. He had loved the sound and asked her to always wear her silver anklets. He used to whisper into her ear  and then trail his fingers to where her anklets lay almost entwining her ankles like a rose creeper. The sweet sound made him go insane he had confessed. The thought made her yank herself out of the reverie and focus on the task at hand. She had promised herself she wouldn’t think because it would only distract her. It would topple her best laid plans so focus was central to everything.  She pushed the stray strand of hair back to the bun. She always wore a bun, she thought, while looking at her reflection in the mirror. She saw a few grey and frowned and, frowned some more when she saw some worry lines on her forehead. She quickly looked away and undid her bun and let her black satin hair cascading down. She was going to keep it like that. She liked it like that. Always. But he thought it drew a lot of attention and made her tie a bun. From now she would always wear it down, just like the way she had always, a long time ago.

She picked up sheaves of printouts and put them neatly in a brown paper cover. These are my babies, she chuckled to herself. Babies, the word stayed in her head for some time. Suddenly she felt weak and had to sit down with the brown paper cover on her lap. She looked sideways and quickly found the photo frame she had avoided looking the entire time. The soft brown eyes were laughing at her. The wisps of brown curly hair that she loved to run her fingers through, she would miss them. No, she was not supposed to think about it. She had half a mind to pick up the photo frame and put in her suitcase but decided against it. She cleared her throat and grabbed the brown paper cover and placed it neatly on the pile of clothes in her suitcase.

She zipped the suitcase and heard the taxi draw into the front porch. She quickly swept a gaze around the house and walked to the front door with the suitcase wheeling behind her. She locked the door and popped the key inside the flowerpot at the doorstep. They would find it, so nothing to worry about. She even left her cell phone, credit cards and a sealed envelope at the edge of the porch. They would find that too. They would know.

It had started to drizzle a bit. The taxi driver leered at her and anxiously honked asking her to hurry. She pushed the strap of the purse further up her shoulder and wheeled the luggage to the rear of the car. The driver got out and took it from her to shove it in the trunk of the car. She slipped into the backseat and rested her head on the glass window. The car moved past the house. She peered a little and then got back looking forward at the road ahead.

to be contd….