Plan B- A short story


Plan B

 

He did not feel well after last night’s party. Lately he had been off-colour and so had decided to work from home. Low energy levels and early morning headaches were tiring him out. Ron turned the yellowing pages of his wife’s diary once again. There was a date on the first page-October 7th 1984. He squinted as the sun came out of the clouds, flashing through the window, and tried to remember how old he had been in 1984.. Around 15 , he concluded, massaging his temples, trying to get rid of the nagging ache.That made Sara merely 11.

He wondered about her eccentricities. At 11, other girls would still be playing with doll houses. But this was Sara. Writing about her future at 11. He read the clear scrawl once more.

Study hard

Get a job with lots of money

Buy a big house

Put lots of money in the piggy bank

Quit job

Live alone

Spend money.

 

Ron dozed off with the sun streaming all over his desk. He woke a bit later with a stiff neck. Looking out of the window, he saw Sara watering the dahlias. She saw him watching her and turned towards him. There was no smile on her pale face, rather a bleakness. He wondered if she was ever happy. He had given her everything which he felt she needed and so he supposed that she was a melancholic type, anyway she never did complain of lacking anything. Funnily enough, it was her quiet demeanor which he had liked about her in the first place.

He went back to his files and by the time he finished, she was no longer in the garden and the headache had matured into an ogre that could no longer be sidelined, his eyes starting to see double.

“Sara”-he called out to her, “Will you come for a minute? ”  He could hear the pattering of her bare feet as she came flying down the hall. Funny, he wryly smiled. He had never seen her running, She was usually a gentle treader.”What? She was panting.

“Get me a couple of pills, will you?, the ones you gave me yesterday. Those were good. Ron asked grimacing as the pain shot up in intensity. As he said those words, he saw a smile start somewhere in her face. he glared at her and felt the room spinning. She reached out towards him but her hands went towards his table, to her diary. She was laughing now as he collapsed on to the floor in a sitting position. Horror raced through his shaking limbs as he read the blurring words on the last page she was holding up for him.

The same 11 year-old’s scrawl!

Plan B

He gasped as he recalled the scorpion in his boots, the gun-shot that had grazed his neck, the bout of food poisoning that nearly killed him a few months back ..and he could no longer think for his grey cells had turned utterly black pulling him into oblivion.

Sara waited till she was sure he wasn’t breathing any more. She tore out the last page, crumpled it and put it in her apron pocket. Not touching anything in his room, she dialled the police from the living room phone. On her way out to unlock the garden gate, she threw the crumpled piece into the duck pond. Then she washed her hands and sat down on the steps to wait with a contented sigh.
How she loved this house!
Even as a child, she had never liked to share.

-Reena

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