Something will fall and break!
Smita hollered at her five- year old son who was bouncing his rubber ball in the living room, while she was lounging on the sofa, running her fingers on the phone.
A message popped: ‘Hey Simi, we are planning a kitty lunch on Friday, you available?’
She started typing.
Mom’s group: ‘Do we have to make a ship’s real- life model or a chart?’
Dad: ‘We were waiting for your call on Sunday, hope you are fine. Love Pa.’
Building Group: ‘Today is the last day for paying Electricity Bill or keep candles ready.’
Husband: “Market is falling, place the order.”
‘’Gosh! So many messages!’’ Smita sighed. ‘’Rohan, where are you!’’
‘’Did you finish your fruit? Rohan? Please come out, we are not playing hide and seek.’’
Rohan came out giggling from behind the curtain and hugged her.
‘’Okay, I’m going for bath, please don’t be naughty.’’ She walked to the balcony and closed the door, eyes still glued to her mobile screen. After replying to a few messages, she went inside.
Rohan was at home today. His school had declared a holiday due to heavy rain. Smita was always uneasy on such days. Her routine went completely haywire with Rohan prancing about the entire house, upto his usual pranks and mischief. She had to Rohan proof the house right in the morning, unlike other days, when she relaxed for a few hours and chatted with her friends, shopped and surfed on her phone.
After fifteen minutes, she came out of bath. ‘’Rohan!’’ Silence. She searched all the rooms, he was nowhere. She looked behind the sofa and the curtain. Then she saw him and for a moment her heartbeat stopped. Rohan was in the balcony, on the stepstool, hanging from the railing looking down, his toes just touching the base and waist stretching onto the other side. She panicked, ran outside and grabbed him. A strong gust of wind, a faint eerie whisper hit her.
Trembling with fear, she fell on the sofa, hugging Rohan tight. The enormity of what had just happened, dawned on her. She had forgotten to lock the balcony before going for bath. Cursing herself for being so distracted and lost in the phone, she got up slowly when the intercom rang. It was her neighbour Neera. “Smita did you hear the police and ambulance siren?’’ ‘’No, what happened?’’ ‘’In the next building, a five- year old girl fell down from the balcony and died. She was alone. The nanny had taken her younger sister to park while she was sleeping at home. Poor girl woke up and tried to peep down from balcony to call them and….’’
Smita’s face turned ash. Before she could say anything, the doorbell rang. Watchman was standing at the door with a toy truck in his hand. ‘’Madam I think this is yours, your child threw it from the balcony.’’
‘’Please be careful. Something will fall and break.’’
Photo By: Brandon Griggs
This is an entry for Five00-7, a writing event hosted by ArtoonsInn. Check out the event prompt and guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-7/