For The Last Time
“Mumma where are we going, what will we see there?” asked an excited Ayan. Going out with his Mother was a fun and special time for him. She always took him to interesting places. Museum, Factories, Galleries, Gardens, and Planetariums, in the city and outside.
Mansi sighed; she had no answer. In fact even she did not know what she was doing and why. When she got the news, she struggled with the decision. She was worried about taking Ayan, not because she would have to explain her actions to people. She was worried about Ayan, would he accept the fact or even understand the situation. He was ten, but she was not sure.
“Ayan today we are going to meet somebody, and you need to behave properly”, Mansi smiled, she had a great kid and she knew she had done her best with him. Whatever judgements were laid on her today well she was ready for it. They got into the car and off they set out on the journey. Ayan’s curiosity turned to questions about where they were going and who they were meeting.
Finally, Mansi saw no way out and had to give in. “Ayan, we are going to meet your father.” Ayan was intrigued and confused, he had never met his father. Mansi smiled and went on, “You see when he wanted to change his life he left us and moved on. He said he did not want anything to do with us because we wouldn’t let him change. And I did not stop him, because he clearly did not want to stay with us. We never saw him and we were very happy. And I always assumed that he was happy too”
They reached the destination. Ayan removed his tiny shoes and kept them at the side, outside the door. He was expecting to be walking into a house waiting to welcome him, but was soon shocked to realise that they were entering a house in mourning. People dressed in white, surrounding a body.
Mansi asked Ayan to go ahead and pay respects to his father for the last time. Soon they had met everyone and left to get back home. Ayan was quiet but Mansi knew what was troubling him. “Ayan,” she said “the thing about your father was that he hated to lose. But with cancer life gave him his biggest defeat.”