The ‘Telling’ Silence- A Flash Fiction

by Chandrika R Krishnan

Tara applied the kohl. She tapped gently the hanging flesh below her eyes, the puffiness was all too evident. Well, I can’t do much about that, she thought to herself as she used her compact to touch upon them. She sifted through her collection of Bindis and took her time selecting one. She looked back at the mirror adjusting it a bit to ensure it was in the centre of her brows. She took her time selecting her accessories for it all looked alien to her after months of neglect. She took in her husband as he walked in- the kurta hanging loose on his shoulders, yet it was such a pleasure to see him in something other than the old T-Shirts.

They looked at each other in the mirror, both did not need words as their pain didn’t need any.

She faltered a bit hesitating, but his firm hand behind her back propelled her forward as they took one step at a time down the staircase of their duplex house that used to ring with laughter. She stopped and looked at the photos that gave her joy and pain all through the years. She paused as she looked at them afresh after days and months of avoiding them. A small smile played at the corner of her lips and when she looked up with mortification at the man standing silently by her side, he too had a similar smile remembering the time when the imp was hanging upside down from the tree with a toothy grin and they had clicked one for posterity before they brought the giggling fellow down. They looked along the wall, each photo chronicling their son’s journey till he left to pursue his MS in one of the Ivy League in the USA.

They had not had the time to frame the photo that he had sent from there standing proudly in front to the plaque depicting the college name, for they had got the news the same night. A random act and the case was closed even before the parents in India could wrap their head around the madness. The days slipped into months then years and the couple enveloped themselves in blankets of silence that only a bereaved heart that knew no closure would understand.

They continued to drive in silence till they stopped at the gate of the house they used to all frequent often in another lifetime. The boys had brought all of them together and the community of friends expanded as one big family. They took a deep breath and knocked.

And just like that Rohan’s parents found themselves once again in the circle of life that had to continue despite the grief.




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