Serendipity by Rhea Goyal

Before we lose everything we have to tomorrow,
Can we forget what went wrong yesterday?

I got up early today. The last week had been hard on me; deadlines around the corner, fight with my buddy over a guy, argument with my teachers at college and family, life never looked so bleak and sad.

Today, I decided to take a walk, now that I was up early. Those shoes had been eating up dust for a couple of weeks now. I dusted them up, found myself a weird pair of socks, because, well, why not, put my sock covered feet into it and get the door. The moment I got the door, I realised that I left my phone on my bedside. I ran to grab it, since my life does not function otherwise. I stood in front of the lift but then decide to take the stairs down. It is always fun to go down the stairs like that. The society was serene and quiet. Finally, I thought, the kids are not playing. I showed myself out the gate. The road didn’t seem chaotic now. The people seemed happy and were getting ready for their jobs. I ran to my full capacity and then stop after a half a kilometre. That’s when I realised; I haven’t done this in a long time. So, I continued to walk; the brisk kind, because something good should come from getting early now, shouldn’t it? I took a turn from the corner from my favourite shop for ice cream which, for the time being, was closed. The time when I spilt my ice cream and my little brother’s gloating in my face crosses my mind. With a smile on my face, I continued. I continued until I felt a burning pang of pain going up my thighs and decided to sit on the benches outside the government thing. What kind of office IS this, I wondered. I tried to go in but found it shut. The guard seemed to be snoring with a gun in his embrace like it is his kid. Fearing he might fire in his sleep, I found myself back on the road. As I passed by the bank, I remembered about the friend whose parents worked here, a friend I haven’t talked to in a while and thought, maybe I should call her today.

Going further down the road, I found myself in an alley, surrounded by trees and little creatures I can’t see but hear. I shot a look up in the sky, and see the clouds making shapes, the way I would do with my father in the early years of my life. I chuckled inside, and walk around. You’re just about turn around to go back home and that is where I laid eyes on it; the building. A yellow brick building, more like a house, whose roof has gone inside, that’s right, a broken home. There are climbers creeping out from the house. There is something about it that draws you.

I opened the door and I quietly sneaked in the house; a house which seemed perfect for its time. Brick walls, stoned roof and beautiful. In a room what seemed to be a dining area lay shards of glass, pieces of toys, empty vodka bottles and a broken picture frame. Holding the frame in my hand, I wondered what could’ve happened here. Suddenly I could see it, like a movie.

A happy family; A father, sitting in the dining table with The Economic Times in hand, reading the sports section; A mother, making sandwiches and a tiffin to go; A boy, probably 8, playing with an Iron man toy and sitting on the dining table. Also, a girl, not more than 15, reading about the countries of the world and living the journey in the encyclopaedia.

The walls told a different story.
Stains of red screamed vodka and father’s dead end job.
Blots of what seemed like food whispered that the girl said she’s in love.
The teardrops whimpered a crying mother wanting her husband to stop.
Broken crayons on the floors complained about a boy that wouldn’t defend her sister.

I turned back to the frame in my hand and looked at the 15 year old girl. All she should think was; I really can’t choose the family you’re born into now, can you?

As I watched the movie in my head, my phone vibrates in my pocket; a missed call from my mother. I called her back only to find her screaming on the other end because I didn’t inform her before leaving. I realised I needed to rush back home.

While I walked back home, it hit me. The reason why the brokenness of an unknown house felt familiar; it kind of described my life.