The brazen truth had to be told. However humble and gratifying the idea seemed, Shiv was literally weak on his knees when he had to break the news to her. “Was she ready for this? Am I ready to do this??? Will this hurt her? And many such baffling questions reeled through his mind. It contradicted “We love her to bits, why would she be hurt? This is not a broken home, she is lucky to have a holistic home like ours, isn’t it?” His heart skipped a beat when Tara, his 12 year old daughter caught him contemplating. “Dad, why aren’t you asleep yet?”
Shiv and Anjana are a strikingly pleasant couple. Shiv, a thriving businessman, decided never to lead a dull and boring life as he started taking risks at a very young age. He married his high school sweetheart Anjana who is a very passionate human. She is a doting mother who gave up on her career to take care of Tara. She would do anything for her little angel of a daughter. The couple wore their heart in their sleeves and were always very open about their personal choices. One such choice was Tara.
“Come here, Tara” Shiv whispered.
“What Dada?” She asked sheepishly.
“I was thinking about you. Are you sleepy? There is something we need to tell you. Come with me, let us go wake mom up.”
“Yes, yes, let’s go wake her up and let’s play a game of Twister!!!” Tara replied excitedly.
“Anju...” he caressed his wife’s hair slowly waking her up. “It is time we told her...” he added slowly.
“Now?” Anjana quizzed as she woke up with a pale face unable to contain her emotions. Her eyes moistened.
Shiv uncomfortably shifted in the bed and took Tara in his lap and spoke “Sweety, mom and dad have been wanting to tell this to you for a long time now. Although, we don’t know how you might take it, it is our responsibility to tell you the truth. We... “
“What? We are not going to Singapore??? I knew it, I knew it all the while. Mom, couldn’t you have told this before I babbled about our trip to Asna and Swathi? No No this is not happening” Tara started crying.
Anjana reassuringly held her hand and said “We ARE going to Singapore dear. Now, listen to what dad has to say”
“We are not your biological father and mother. We adopted you.” Shiv said as he kissed Tara on her forehead, Anjana still holding her close, her grip tightening.
Tara was still teary-eyed but she had stopped crying and was listening intently.
“It has been 11 years and 9 months now. We took you home when you were 4 months old. From then on, you are the apple of our eyes. You mean more than the world to us. As a parent…”
“Stop. No. Stop it. You are not my dad? And you are not my mom? Whha..” Tara shouted as she ran to her room and shut the door.
Anjana was flabbergasted. She thought little Tara would understand their love. Shiv went behind Tara. He knocked the door twice and waited outside. Anjana came near the door and spoke “Tara, come out and talk to mom.”
“You are not my mom. Don’t talk to me.” Tara shouted opening the door and ran to her bed again, crying heavily.
Both Shiv and Anjana followed her to the bed and held her and cried. “Please don’t say that dear. We love you so much. We don’t know who your real parents are but we will love you like this forever.”
“Stay awayyyyy. I don’t have anybody. I am an orphan. I hate this. No. Noooo. This is not happening to me. Stay back. Go away.” She screamed.
Fighting their tears back and to let Tara relax, they stepped back and slightly shut the door and sat on the floor outside Tara’s room.
Tara cried for an hour continuously. She could hear Anjana sobbing outside the door and Shiv consoling her. She glanced at her cupboard and the framed pictures of her as a baby on top of it. She saw that Shiv and Anjana were holding her like their own. She remembered the times when she was a naughty toddler and how sweetly they took care of her. They never shouted at her nor did they spank her. She got everything she ever wanted, clothes, toys, books, what not?! She is the luckiest child and she is so lucky to get such loving parents. This is real and this is her world. Shiv and Anjana, her mom and dad now, are her world. She understood.
As she opened the door, both Shiv and Anjana hugged her tight and showered their love. “We love you so much. Don’t you ever think or say there is no one for you. It hurts so much. We love you.”
“I love you too. Can I sleep with you, tonight?” she asked.
“Well yes, but only after a game of Twisters.” said Shiv.
“Yayyyyy!!! Let’s go!” trotted Tara happily.
P.S. Story inspired by Sound & Co :)