Fiction Park

On the road

  • In a way, he felt good that his father confessed and his mother had not found it in other ways. ‘But which way of knowing would have been less painful?’
- Zenish Niraula

Jan 27, 2019-

Abruptly, the phone started to ring. At 5:30 am, the sky was overcast and under the canopy of silver clouds, the birds were flying carelessly, chirping unnecessarily and landing from one tree to the other. If rowdy is an adjective that could be associated with birds, then well, one could them that. All this, he was observing from his bed, half-asleep, out through the window.

It is time, he thought.

Without any further delay, he jerked himself off the bed. The next thing he did was shuffle a pile of clothes on the carpet. Needless to say, the room was in a messed-up condition. He was searching for a jogger pants and a hoody.

He wore the clothes and, in the loo, while he was brushing he looked at the mirror and pep-talked with himself, “Starting from today, this will be my routine.”

Then he grabbed his mobile, pulled the ear phone inside from his hoody to his ear, put on his shoes and in no time he was on the road.

He clicked the ‘Upbeat’ playlist on the phone and Eminem’s ‘I am not afraid’ boomed on the earphone. Then he started running until he approached the bank of the river, only stopping at the sight of growling stray dogs. Yesterday, during his usual night walk, he had mentally mapped the route to jog. It was no more than some 800 metres long path which ended at a hut-like place with benches, near to which there was a badminton court.

“The real running begins now,” he mumbled as he watched the long stretch of path on the bank calling him to vent out everything he felt.

A bout of anguish coursed through his veins. On any other occasion, he would dismiss this feeling as he didn’t like to think about that because he was wise enough to know thinking only made it worse. He inhaled the chilly cold morning air in and started to run.

“This will help me, I know it will. I have to use my anger for good and reflect upon the situation,” he recalled a line from the self-help book he was reading.

A picture of his mother flashed in his mind. His father was also in the picture, but he was only drawn to his mother.

“What might she had gone through when he told her about it?” he thought.

“It might not have taken her with a surprise. I know my mother. She is smart enough to notice things. But how could I not see it coming. I should have seen some signs. Maybe I could have done something. Maybe if I was more close to him, this would not have happened,” he thought and started to blame himself.

With every thought of his mother he was running with more pace. He was so into his thoughts that he failed to notice he was gasping for breath. When the pain in his feet became unbearable he stopped. Putting his hands on his elbow, he struggled for air. His feet felt heavy and he laid on the ground. His heartbeat was getting quicker and louder and he could feel his veins throbbing with every beat of the heart. He stayed there contemplating how he bawled out the other day talking with one of his friends in school about his family. He felt embarrassed and stupid thinking about that. “Now, I look like an idiot. What is wrong with me!” he whimpered.

He stood himself up and started to run again, but this time slowly.

He imagined the scenario again. “She might have looked helpless. Her eyes might have given the hint of self-defeat.” Just thinking about that, shivers ran through his body.

“I know she must have thought about me. She must have been worried about how will she look after me when my father will shamelessly go away with this other lady he said he was so much in love with and want to make a new family with her… I know she would not accept his money, I know her pretty well.” His nose was getting redder and redder partly by the cold air and partly by the overflow of emotions.

“I wish she had not listened to him and started working when she got the job offer,” he mused over the time when his mother wanted to work given her credentials but his father convinced her not to, saying “who will look after the child?”

He started to think about his father. “I won’t ever talk to him. In fact, I won’t ever call him ‘Baba’ again,” he thought with conviction.

In a way, he felt good that his father confessed and his mother had not found it in other ways. “But which way of knowing would have been less painful?” he questioned himself.

He was at the end of the path when he slowly stopped and sat on the bench under the roof that was meant for taking rest. Sara Bareilles’s song ‘Brave’ was playing on his earphone. He loved this song but this time he did not feel like listening to it, so he pulled off the earphone and shifted his attention to the sound of water flowing and closed his eyes to take a deep breath. Sun was rising, radiating warm rays. For a moment there, he was lost in the nature.

“What will now happen?” he thought.

“I won’t leave her and stay with him and his new family,” he was getting furious with the thought of his father with a new family.

“We might be going to my uncle’s place till she finds a job and somewhere we can settle. Time from now on will be tough for us but we can be okay even without him.

Now, it’s time for me to step up and talk with her. Who else do we have other than each other,” he convinced himself.

With that thought he took a deep breath in and started running back the way he came.

Published: 27-01-2019 08:43

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