“I met her in outside my store. The other day she had come looking for a job from the advertisement that we sent out. She was pretty. Her hair too stubborn to remain tied. She kept trying to cement her strands of curls. But they decided not to budge. There was something missing. Her shoes did not at all compliment her bag and her dress. The bag had been overstuffed, the shoes overused, the dress over worn and her eyes overwhelmed. The lipstick couldn’t give her the look she longed for. Somehow she seemed perfect for the job, to me.

A woman so disarranged, how do you expect her to arrange my store stuff, exclaimed the boss. And Oh! My God, she seems 6 months pregnant. I simply can’t give her the job.”

Let her know, the boss ordered. I had to break her this news. I knew it would break her.
“Sorry, ma’am…I don’t think you should be even working at this stage”

She didn’t say a word, walked down the store carrying a baby inside her. I wish I could do something, all I thought. After my shift got over, I packed my stuff and hurried to catch the last metro. And on the platform I saw her, stranded and alone.

“Hello, ma’am, did you find a job?’

She didn’t say a word. I was calculating the right words to say to her “Ma’am if you wish, you could come home with me. I was half expecting her to reply to even this. But she retorted, “I don’t need your charity. I need a job. I don’t want sympathies. I want to earn something for myself, for my baby”.

“Well, you could clean my room, cook me food, care to take my little place when I am not at home.” She agreed and came along with me.
It had been 3 months. I had found a friend, a partner, a roomie. She had turned my little place into a living place. And eight years ago, on this day, she gave birth to twins. And kids that’s how I met your mother. You both were a bundle of joy for her, and for me as well.

Naira and Kaira sitting in their pink frocks among a group of girls looked up and sent out waves of smiles. Their hair too stubborn to remain tied, their curls cemented on the forehead with fancy clips, shoes complimenting their newly worn dresses and their eyes…overhwhelmed !!

The kids clapped. Naira and Kaira looked at each other, knowing about their mother, brought them a little closer. They held their hands together, looked up smiling knowing that their mother is somewhere among the stars and wishing them “Happy Birthday”

Before leaving with the angel, she left a note saying, “Take care of my children”. Your mother loved you both a lot.

Listening to this the girls came running to their Aunt Mary, hugged her. “So do you, Aunt Mary”
They came running.

Aunt Mary, when will you tell the story of my mother?  A sweet little voice asked.

Oh! Nia, the day you turn 8, you’ll know how I met your mother.
Okay, kids now it’s time for bed. Haley, please put all the kids to their beds.

Yes, Madam! Come on girls, it’s bedtime now. Wish Naira and Kaira Happy Birthday one last time, wish your Aunt Mary goodnight and let’s go upstairs as soon as possible. Or tomorrow all you little brats will be late for school.

The girls chirping, laughing, wished the twins, kissed Aunt Mary goodnight and ran upstairs. Meanwhile, Aunt Mary retired on her rocking chair. She had to think of a new, convincing story for Nia’s birthday, on how she met her mother. She looked outside the glass window, her eyes trying to look for the story in the moon, her ears trying to listen to the story uttered by stars. The winter has come. All she could give these girls were the framed, concocted stories or lies that could keep them warm. The truth was cold. Truth is cold. Only she and the building of this tiny orphanage could bear that!
And the lights went out in “Mary’s Little Home”



Thanks for reading.

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