Neeraja kept the coffee mug on the table and walked into the kitchen without uttering a word. ‘What happened Neeru? Why are you so quiet?’ asked Avinash sipping the coffee. ‘Nothing, slightly feeling low ‘she said dicing the apple. He fingers were moving fast on the knife but her thoughts were somewhere else. She was not in this world. Restraining her emotions, she kept the diced apple and vegetable omelet on the table. ‘Riya come soon beta, your breakfast is ready’, she shouted looking up at Riya’s room.
Riya her 16-year-old daughter was born to Neeraja’s first husband who died in a flight crash when Riya was 9. Her emotional life became mundane and dry being a single mother. Keeping Riya in mind, who always longed for a father she married Avinash who was an Engineer. He was very caring and loving. He always treated Riya like his own daughter or so Neeraja thought. Things seemed topsy turvy when Riya stopped talking to her mother and father suddenly. She isolated herself from her whole family, and whenever Neeraja tells this to Avinash, he used to speak beyond the context and use to convince that she was worrying needlessly.
After Avinash left, Neeraja walked towards Riya’s room and knocked’, what’s taking you so long Riya? Open the door.’ There was no response. Neeraja got worried and shouted loudly and finally she opened. ‘Thank god. what the hell were you doing here Riya? I almost died in fear. What’s wrong with you? she asked. Riya bursted out crying hugging her mother tightly. Neeraja got terrified. She has never seen Riya like that before. ‘Riya what happened? Please tell your mamma’. ‘That that man is not good mamma’ She cried out loudly. Her voice was shivering. ‘whom are you talking about Riya?’ Neeraja asked brushing her daughter’s hair aside and looking into her eyes. Riya didn’t respond. Come on tell me about it,’ she begged. Dad has been abusing me physically. I know it’s not accidental. Neeraja’s nerves broke in anguish and pain. ‘Riya are you sure about this? ‘, she questioned one last time. ‘Why would I lie mamma?’ Riya cried holding her mother tight. She was terrified. Neeraja collapsed to the ground. The man whom she believed all these years cheated her. His love as a father and a husband was a lie. Neeraja questioned herself ‘Had the chameleon started showing its true colors or had she got used to believe in the best all these years listening to his sweet lies?’. She decided it’s her daughter ‘s life that matters to her more than anything else in this world. With tears falling from her eyes she called the women protection cell.
The police took their statement and sent Riya for medical examination. Avinash got arrested for his brutal sin. He betrayed the trust of his daughter. Riya was sent for counseling and Neeraja was happy to have a glimpse of the old bubbly Riya again.
Glossary: Beta- Hindi word for son/daughter
Photo by Hailey Kean
This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie
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