A Silver Bullet
by Enakshi Johri
I returned to the salt mines after sipping a cup of coffee. It was one of the best Expresso I ever had. The best thing about this Expresso was its crema, the aromatic oils and the golden foam of sugars that gave it its characteristic sweetness. It lifted my mood and prepared me to work attentively for another few hours.
Just as I was about to sit on my wooden chair, my phone rang. It was an unknown number and my net pack was finished and True caller was non functional. It was a catch 22 situation. I, however, received the call. It was my father.
“Hello sweetie, how are you?”
“I am fine Dad. All well at your end?”
“Yes, all well here. I just wanted to hear your voice. I was missing you Ella.”
“I miss you too, Dad. I shall come home this weekend and we shall spend some time together.”
“Yes, that would be lovely, sweetie! Call me once you leave office. Take care.”
I was excited.
It was Thursday. One more day and then I shall be home. I started making plans for the weekend. Starting the day with heavy breakfast, I planned on going fishing with my mom and dad. I decided to call my brother, to ask if he would be free to come home and spend time with us. I grinned from ear to ear as he agreed. Earlier this week, I had been burning the candle at both ends and this break was necessary. Eventually things were turning up really well.
The next day, I tried to finish the office business early so that I would reach home before dinner. I set all the files, one upon the other. The smell of the yellow pages filled my nose. All set to leave, I grinned like a Cheshire cat. I had already booked a cab and it was waiting right outside my office building. My cabin was on fifth floor and I decided to climb down the stairs, instead
of wasting time, waiting for the lift. As I reached outside, a cold shrill ran down my spine. I pulled together my overcoat and buttoned it. It was cold. The glass of the cab’s window was covered in dew droplets. The driver was sitting, shivering and waiting. I knocked at the back door and he instantly opened the lock. I got into the cab and the tires started to roll on the road.
In half an hour, I was home. My brother opened the door and it felt so nice to see him. The house smelt of my favorite Expresso. I knew mom was in the kitchen, preparing it. I hung my overcoat on the coat rack and hurried towards the kitchen. Pushing the door open, I called out, “Mom, I am home.” And there she was, standing with open arms, looking as fresh as a daisy. I ran towards her and hugged her. It felt good to be home. I asked her where was Dad. And suddenly there was a shrill noise, very loud and prominent. I felt as if I was drown in the pitch and volume. I tried to stop that noise, but could not figure out the source. After struggling for another five minutes, I felt a falling sensation. And that put an end to my dream. Yes, it was all a dream.
How could Dad be talking? How could I even hope to meet him? It has been 13 years since he passed away. These frequent hallucinations have been troubling me ever since. I was not unhappy about the dreams, but the mere thought of seeing the hope shattered again and again, made my blood run cold. Every time I try to face the reality of never being able to see Dad again, it puts my heart in my mouth. But this is how Dad remains in my memories, always.
The wait and the hope cannot be reduced because it is not in my hands to opt for the line of least resistance. ***