"Pari, shall we go to beach today”, asked my mama with a faint smile.
I was excited because I was seeing my mother smile after a long time. Since my dad disappeared, she has been in tears only.
“Mamma, I want to see papa”, I used to cry day and night. Every evening, I used to stand in front of our door awaiting his arrival. But, he never came.
“Did papa leave us because of Mili aunty?” I asked one day because my friend Tina had overheard her parent’s conversation and shared with me. Papa is a photographer and he had shown Mili aunty’s photographs to me. I have always liked her. She looks like movie star although she is only an aspiring model.
That night my mama didn’t eat or sleep. She cried until she fainted. I cried too; because I didn’t know what else to do. I hoped that my mother would wake up soon and give me food. But, she laid there. When I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital. I was terrified and found mama sitting beside me. I felt better.
Since that incident, mama had stopped crying. Strangely, she stopped sending me to school too. I missed my school and Tina.
So, when mama asked if we can go to beach, I was excited.
We took an auto to the beach and walked along the sad. Mama let me make sand castles. I had just learnt the spelling of mama and papa’s name. I wrote them on sand. But, the waves took them with it.
“Come Pari, let’s go to the waves and ask it to return those names”, said mama cheerfully. I was excited to step into the sea. I was not scared at all because mama was holding my hands.
She took me into the sea; farther and farther. I started feeling nauseous and clutched to my mama’s hands tighter. I started crying and begged mama to go back to the shore. But, she held me in her arms and continued to walk. I tried to look at her face; it was strangely serene. Water started getting into my ears, nose and mouth. I kept my eyes shut and clutched at my mama’s neck.
Slowly, it became difficult to breathe. Mama could not hold me anymore and I was floating in middle of sea. I was crying. But, those tears went unnoticed. I wished papa came and rescued us. I wished that it was a dream. I wanted to meet Tina and tell her that she is my best friend. I wanted to see my papa and ask why he didn’t come to see me for so many days. I wanted to grow up and become a model so that papa would shoot my photos. I wanted to breathe, but it stopped.