The melancholy digits on the mark-sheet nonchalantly displayed themselves. Every time I looked at them I saw a dim future. If only I had worked harder, I kept thinking while mentally kicking myself.
Not a day had passed since tenth results were out and people around me were already flagging me and mouthing pasquinades.
Worse, my friends had done well and this chip was gingerly placing itself on my shoulder. I knew scoring low didn't make me less intelligent but it did showcased me as one.
My worrisome thoughts though were directed towards my parents. They hadn't much said till then. Hadn't reacted in any certain way.
Did they just stop talking to me? Did they disown me? Hell I deserved every bit of it.
I never thought text books were meant for me. Mathematics and I were from different planets and a few more subjects didn't share my genetic structure. The only subjects that appealed me were English and Biology; the ones I generally topped. I didn't like others and I couldn't sit through them. I knew this attitude would fetch me scores that are less rich in academic culture. Yet, I didn't care. But, now with those predicted marks and acerbic comments from certain very concerned family friends and nothing from my parents was reducing my faith in myself to crumbles.
Were my parents in shock? Why weren't they saying something? I then realized dad wasn't at home. I couldn't muster the courage to ask mom where was he? Mom too was engaged in kitchen.
Boycotted was I! "Definitely deserve it", I told myself.
I began to rifle through my options. Options to illuminate my future that looked like a dark cavern. I wanted to be a writer, always have, but I had to show my academic prowess. I was invariably told that these numbers will only push me to Arts and I knew they were right. Scoring well, no matter what stream, was now my only goal. Novelist was forgotten.
The door-bell rang. I knew it was dad. I didn't move. I didn't look at that direction. Just stared at the paper I was scribbling in.
I heard them murmuring. Were they to send me to some sort of exile? I sat on my spot motionless anticipating a sentence I was ready for.
The murmur had stopped and I felt their presence around me. I heard a pin drop in that nano moment. It was a murderous silence.
And then something happened. I was being crushed by my parents literally. They both were hugging me so tight I could feel my lungs struggling with their job.
Hug! They should be screaming at me shouldn't be hugging me.
Their lips were now pressing themselves against my forehead and cheeks.
Kisses! Oh my God, I have driven them mad. I turned to them and saw them smiling. Smiles that were assuring me they weren't crazy. Smiles assuring me I was still their daughter. Phew!
The smiles then were replaced with words. They weren't miffed at me nor had I shamed them. They told me how the scores could never take away my intelligence, my dignity, my future or anything else unless I give them up.
These were just part of life and not life itself.
Dad then showed me the reason of his absence. He had got me O. Henry's short story collection and mom announced she was making my favorite pulav.
The silence treatment was just to make me contemplate that on my thoughts, my needs, my actions. They know me well, if they hadn't given me that space, I would have taken things for granted.
With tears rolling down my cheeks and hugging my beloved patents, I looked at the tomb and smiled. Future was so bright.
Till date, those moments make me smile, optimize me, and fill me with love.