I do not recollect for how many hours I had just lay there, the upper body on the sofa with the legs dangling lifelessly. I must have fallen asleep like that yesterday night.

I woke up with a start when someone nudged me. On an instinct, the moment I opened my eyes, I cowered and moved back against the sofa in fear. It was only when I heard the sweet voice of my elder sister Mishti that I gained back some of the semblance.

I had no clue what she was talking about at first. I could only see her lips moving but nothing registered. After a while, I realized she was asking for someone.

I absently pointed towards the master bedroom. Mishti stood up and moved to the other room and within next two seconds, I heard her blood curdling screams. She was hysterical but still had the sense to call the cops before rushing back to me.

She relentlessly started questioning me about yesterday night’s events to which I had no answers. Even when I knew everything that had transpired. Yet, how was I to tell her about it?

Fights and beatings were as normal a thing in our household as is breathing for any living being. Only this time, father did not hold back at all. He had barged in, totally drunk. What started with him using the choicest of profanities for my mother, who’s only fault was not becoming his slave, soon blew up into an episode of domestic violence. Eventually, he had dragged her inside their room and closed the door.

I, all this while, cowered inside my bedroom behind the washroom door. I was never the brave one, Mishti was. I could still hear her screams. I had no clue what snapped inside me but I rushed towards her room and put in all my strength to open the door. It just took five tries on my part to break it open, and I rushed in. Amidst those tries, I realized her voice had died down. I begged her mentally to hold on; I would help her this time. At the exact moment I broke open the door and rushed in, I saw her lose the battle.

Everything from that moment was a blur; my brain registered the bloodied knife in my father’s hand as he mercilessly took it back out from her chest. Only to stab her, repeatedly. The biggest drawback to human brain is that it just shuts down in situations like these. I knew I had to save her, but I was too shocked to move. What would you expect from a twelve-year-old boy?

He finally registered my presence and stood up, looking at me, leering. Next, used her saree to rid the knife of bloodstains and simply walked away.

Mother died a slow, painful death, in my arms. With her, died my belief that father is the ultimate protector of any family. Mine, it turned out, was the destroyer instead.

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Photo By: Tadeusz Lakota

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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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