She did not feel anything. There should have been remorse, guilt, even uneasiness would have been fine but she did not. The situation had worsened demanding her to go a little further everytime. She gave in every single time promising herself that it would be the last. This empty promise reminded her of her daughter, the center of her world. Rhea, like other children would promise the world when guilty. She smiled as she thought of her lovely daughter.
When she had Rhea she did not know how her life would about to turn upside down. It had. And she loved every moment of it. She even had her pictures taken, as she grew, at a local photograph studio. Rhea to her was the embodiment of all the good things she had in her life.
Her problem was shortage of money. She smiled wistfully thinking that barring a few people didn’t everyone have that problem? They used to have enough money to spend and save a little when her husband was employed but ever since her husband had been ‘laid-off’ they had been forced to ‘tighten the belt’. She was trying to make do by again going out to the market. She found work and was able to manage, just so.
A two-wheeler sped by as she hurried home that balmy March evening, sweating a little. She knew it was Nikita, daughter of Raj and Nita who lived in the huge mansion next door. She noticed a parchment fly off from Nikita’s bag. As she reached the fallen piece of paper she called out Nikita. When Nikita did not stop she picked up the parchment which seemed to be a bill of somekind. On closer examination she noticed that since ‘dog’ was the common word in the items listed it was safe to assume that it was for ‘HE Man’, the black Alsatian that Nikita loved. What had irked her was the amount printed at the end. Rs. 1765. God, that was almost as much as it cost for Rhea’s school fees. Annual school fees. She had always been amazed by how some people preferred dogs to people. It was almost as if dogs meant more. She was disgusted by that feeling. However, over a period of time she understood that it was the inability to love and trust other people that transcended to love towards the dumb species.
She tried to shrug of the gloom as she flung the receipt which flew away wafting in the air. That vacant feeling returned, with vengeance. She could only curl her lips to form a smile to greet her daughter as she reached home. She had just killed Rhea’s little brother.
The follow-up story is titled ‘The Reason’ and will be published shortly…