It was a typical spring evening in the sub-continent. A breezy wind and a warm atmosphere made it really pleasant. Some of those kids at the orphanage come here as it was also a boarding school for poor children. This day most were especially happy. For after a long time, their parents and relatives were paying them a visit. It was a rare time, when they were loved and felt really cared for. That then was an evening which was certainly warmer than usual.
At such a merry moment, there entered a man, their teacher. He used to take their language classes. As much as these kids adored him, they despised his coming at such a special time. So much so that just at the very sight of him, almost half of them quickly disappeared.
He was used to this routine and neither did he expect those nine years old kids to be different. Instead he lured them, chased them and finally brought all his class together. As these kids told him about the moments they had just a while ago, he now understood the reason for their unusually upbeat mood. He shared their joy and let those kids soak in their momentary happiness.
He was about to start his class, when he realized that one boy was missing. He asked the others his whereabouts. Nobody had any idea. He told his class to sit where they were, and left the classroom to search for his one missing student.
After a few minutes, he found that boy sitting behind a massive tree alone and quietly sobbing. The teacher silently sat down besides his boy. He gently asked of him. “What’s wrong?”
Looking at the street ahead, the child replied,” Today all those boys met their relatives. They are so lucky. I’m still waiting for my mom. She had told me that she will come to meet me. That is why I am sitting here and waiting for her.”
This teacher tried in vain, to comfort him, “Then why are you crying my dear? She will come within sometime. Come on now, let’s go to our class. We will have some fun and as soon as she comes, I will let you go and meet her. Doesn’t that sound better?”
Boy did not answer for a moment. He finally, for the first time looked at his teacher, with those sad lost and empty eyes.
He slowly spoke, “You know what? It was three years back, when she dropped me here, she promised to come back and meet me!” His teacher, stunned by this, felt completely numb and was searching desperately for some words, of comfort. Finding none, he just sat besides his boy, as the sun sank deep into the west.
Somewhere far away, a woman looked at that same red horizon from her ghetto. She was totally lost in her thoughts. As much as she had pleaded for Condonation, however her conscience had never obliged her.
Why did she strand her son? Her reasons were best known to her alone. Did she have any other option? Could she have ever given her son a life without misery and with a father? Probably even she was lost for answers of those questions.
She did it for what she hoped was the best of her son, but the cost of her act was enormous. His silent cries had troubled her for all these three long years. She had tried to ignore them, not to hear them, but only if silence could have ever be unheard.
She had promised him to come back. She knew that she had made a promise and she had reneged. But at the bottom of her heart, she might have just wanted him to forgive her and if he ever could, to forget her.
She had just kept waiting for the day when her son would abandon his wait and the agony would relieve her.
Those four eyes remained empty and the wait remained as futile as ever, as the sun sank deep into the west.