The dark night scares me. I do not let the blanket slip. It covers every inch of my body. The edges are carefully pressed beneath my feet. My head, my hand and not even a strand of hair should be seen outside the blanket lest he enters the room and sees me.
The door creaks open. I hear footsteps. They don’t seem to be his but who knows he must have changed his stride. He knows magic after all. He told me he has magical powers. He can make Ma and Papa disappear.
The footsteps come closer and closer.
“Oh my goodness, Meera! Don’t cover your face or you will suffocate in this heat.”
It is Ma. She always comes up to check on me once before I sleep. He comes after that.
“Meera, remove the blanket from over your face,” says mother as she sits besides me.
“Ma, please let me sleep with you today.”
“Sweetheart, you are growing up. You should sleep on your own now.”
“But Ma, please,” I plead once again, “I feel scared in the dark.”
“Now baby that is not right. I have explained to you so many times, you should not be afraid of the dark.”
“Alright, I will switch the night lamp on.”
“Nooo..” I scream.
How do I tell Ma I can see his face in the light of the night lamp? I get more scared.
Mother caresses my forehead with her warm soft hands. I love to hear the jingle of her bangles.
“Calm down Meera; don’t get angry. All children by your age sleep alone.” she says, as she continues to caress my forehead.
I close my eyes. I can feel her leave the room.
Her soft hands have moved away.
I now wait for his hard sweaty hands.
Pic Credit: Google