For The Last Time

Jaibala/ August 5, 2016/ Short Stories/ 40 comments

“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.”


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About Jaibala

Academically a Microbiologist, I am a Web Columnist for popular magazines and websites, Freelance Writer and a Blogger. Words define me and writing and reading compete to be the love of my life. My biggest belief is that there is something good in everything and I always looks to highlight the best in things. Creative writing is my forte.You can reach me by dropping a mail at


  1. Life is weird in all it’s ways..
    And I believe..
    We are all just bystanders..

    Wonderful write.
    Touched me.

    1. Thank You Sam. And yes, We think we control our lives, but at the most we control our reactions to things not in our hands.

  2. I thought they were going to meet a repentant father. Never guessed the ending.You have a way of building up suspense.
    Dr.Amrita Basu recently posted…Debit card fraud India :wake up to Digital identity theftsMy Profile

    1. Thank You Amrita.

  3. Poignant.
    It must have been a hard decision for the mother to make.

    1. I am sure it was Bhavya. Thank You so much for reading 🙂

  4. What an amazing storyteller your are Jai. A lot of fictions have bits and pieces of our own lives and dreams in them. But when it comes to children as characters in the plot, it is very easy to get emotionally swayed. Keep writing girl!

    1. Thank You so much Arpu. Yes when it comes to children it gets very very tricky, especially for person like me. I get very emotionally attached to my stories.

  5. Nice story Jai. But i wish cancer came to no one in this world. I have seen my dad fight cancer for five years .And as your story says, it defeats one and all

    1. I don’t wish cancer upon anyone too. It is horrible for the person suffering and even worse for people to watch your loved ones suffer. It defeats everyone. Thank You so much Ramya 🙂

  6. Life takes its own course while we are busy etching the life according to our needs. Those who realize the worth and are strong inside face life head on in spite of all the odds. The depth of expressions make a totally different impact here…
    Ira@ astimeflies recently posted…Still There Inside the HeartMy Profile

    1. Thank You so much Ira. Yes we can never foresee what life has in store for us, and sometimes however well we plan it throws us curve balls.

  7. That’s a sad piece. I wish Ayan could have known his father. But then life has a way of choosing for us sometimes. You really know how to tell a story. I could see the two of them and feel Mansi’s trepidation, then confidence, that Ayan would be able to handle it.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…The teacherMy Profile

    1. A lot of things in life are beyond our control, also we need to be responsible while taking our decisions. Thank You so much Tulika, your comment really made my day. 🙂

  8. Hey dear, your words are so captivating. I reached the end and i wanted to read more. Beautiful write up.
    upasna recently posted…Ma, even I was the Victim #Fiction #Child abuse storiesMy Profile

    1. Thank You so much 🙂

  9. I absolutely did not see that coming Jai! So sad for the little one! Shocks in line one after another! And yes, the last line stays to haunt…the biggest defeat!
    Kala Ravi recently posted…The Perfect MatchMy Profile

    1. Sad for now, but necessary for him to know the truth. Thank You so much Kala

  10. Poignant.

    It was strong of her to take their son to the funeral. He needed to know what had happened to his father. Hiding the truth would have been cowardly. I’m happy she’s moved on beautifully.
    Soumya recently posted…Code RedMy Profile

    1. Yes exactly, hiding would have not done them good in the long run.

  11. I wonder whether it even made sense for the mother to take her son to the funeral. After all, what he never knew wouldn’t harm him, right?
    The twist was really unexpected, though. I thought it would be something of a reunion, turns out it was a reunion in mourning!
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…Caught red-handed | Day 4 #BarAThonMy Profile

    1. Think of it like this, she sees no harm in exposing her son to this, because it still does not harm their life. Also she wants him to know the truth.

  12. Thats quite a story Jaibala. I did not expect the father to be dead here. But, it ties up well with the story.

    1. Thank You so much Lata 🙂

  13. That is something serious reading.
    From my own experience in my hospital, have seen so many patients with cancer, their pain is very severe as compare to other patients, their suffering is also more painful as cancer kills you slowly.
    But still people does not look into their daily harmful habits.
    Anshul Taran recently posted…Father : The Bread EarnerMy Profile

    1. Thank You so much. I know you must have seen a lot of sadness and pain in the hospital.

  14. So much reality in this story as in most of your posts in this challenge. I used to see an earlier version of this in hospital ICUs – never got used to the sight and sound of tears/
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Robert the DollMy Profile

    1. I like to draw from real life, and emotions and when that comes through I take that as a job well done. Thank You so much Doc for saying that. I cannot even begin to imagine the level of pain and emotion you have seen in your career.

  15. The end is totally unexpected but there is no control over some things like Cancer .
    What I thought was that the meeting is conducted to sort out things :'( and everything will be normal
    Dixita recently posted…Hill Station Reader #BlogMarathon Day 9 My Profile

    1. Dixita, thank you so much. I was going for a happy ending too, but then this just drives home so many point about being responsible for your actions and the consequences and especially the fact that sometimes we cannot control everything even in our lives.

  16. Is it weird that I could totally see S and you in this? I don’t mean to offend you …but that just shows how powerful this piece is.

    PS. With ref to Vinay’s comment – was the person a smoker? Was that his cause of death?
    Sid recently posted…Me, for HerMy Profile

    1. Haha. Not really weird. And thank You so much. With reference to your questions, he was not a smoker, so that is not the cause of death.

  17. Gosh! Cancer can blow away anybody’s ego besides life!

    Good take!

    1. Yes Ruchira, it can. Thank You 🙂

  18. A message so powerfully delivered. For all the aims/ambitions of a man/woman, they stand powerless before fate. Beautifully written.
    Sridevi Datta recently posted…Anamika-The Nameless One-Part 4My Profile

    1. True Sridevi, we can dictate terms when we control things, but certain things are just not in our control. Thank You so much.

  19. what we think holds us back from changing our lives for the better, may not actually be what holds us back. had he held on to family instead of a cigarette, I think he’d have been able to meet his son very often. well said!
    Vins recently posted…Smriti {Part 5}My Profile

    1. I think it is more about being responsible and owning your own choices, than anything else. Also I do not think this person was a smoker. 🙂

  20. A heart touching story, Jai. Beautifully written. Life is cruel and has its own way of payback, na?
    Ramya Rao recently posted…Shopaholic!My Profile

    1. Yes life has its own way of making you responsible for your decisions. I wont call it payback though. It is just about making your own decisions carefully, and bearing the consequences that come with that.

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