“Mom, am going out for shopping with Sham.” Said Dream. A girl of 14 with short straight hair, fair skin and deep brown eyes. She pulled her jacket from the wardrobe and started to leave when suddenly she was stopped by her mother.
“Dream, Wait. You are not going anywhere.” She said sternly and went into kitchen.
“But it’s the first week of Vacation!” Dream said surprisingly. She got bewildered. She was never treated in such a way by her mother. She was wondering what was wrong with her mom. She used to be her best friend. And ever since her sister Sham had returned from Erstaz, her mother was acting weird.
Before 2 months, Dream was shocked to see a girl who looked little similar to her, knocking the door of her house.
“Hey.. Who are you searching for?” Dream asked her.
“Yeah.. I am her daughter. Dream Faux.” She said smiling warmly.
Maid opened the door.
“Where’s mom, Mrs. Alexia?” Dream inquired.
“Shopping.. She would soon be home dear.” She kindly said.
“This is Sham. She came to see mom.”
Mrs. Alexia laughed and said “Well.. Go to your room I’ll bring your lunch.”
“Come on Sham.” She said giving a weird look to Mrs. Alexia. “Mrs. Alexia is always so wired!” she muttered under her breath.
Her mom returned after half an hour. After having a brisk conversation with Mrs. Alexia she ran to Dream’s room.
“How could you do such a thing mom? I know everything now. Why didn’t you ever tell me that I had an elder sister?” She pointed at Sham. “I never asked you to tell me the reason of your and dad’s divorce. But at least you should have told me that I have a sister who is 3 years elder to me and lives with dad. I am heartbroken mom.” Dream started weeping.
Mrs. Faux stood in silence looking at her daughter. Words refused to come out of her mouth.
“I… Dream..” tears rolled down from eyes. “Baby I don’t want to talk right now.” She dried her eyes and started leaving.
“Mom.. Dad kicked Sham out of his house.” Dream said with watery eyes.
“I will talk to with you later. Please rest.” She left the room sobbing.
“Dream, Please don’t blame mother. She is a kind lady. It was our dad’s fault.” Sham said in a sad voice.
Since that day Sham started living with Dream and her mom. But Mrs. Faux never accepted Sham as her own daughter. She always avoided direct eye contact with her and never talked with her. But Dream loved her elder sister. She was loving and helpful in every work.
Dream noticed that her mom was tensed and crying a lot these days. When asked about reasons she used to answer vaguely. Sometimes she said she missed her mother and other times she lied that something was stuck in her eyes.
On one fine Sunday morning Mrs. Faux said “We are going to a friend of mine, Mr. Alfonso.”
“Why do I have to come?” Dream asked.
“He wants to talk to you. It’s just a friendly meeting. You will enjoy.”
“And Sham would come too?”
“She can’t come with us everywhere.” She said in a frustrating tone.
“Fine.” Dream rolled her eyes.
She waved good bye to Sham and left.
Mr. Alfonso was a decent old man. Always talked lively and cheerfully. His company made Dream happy. He was a Neurological scientist, psychiatrist and a psychology teacher. He also taught her a few things about human psychology.
Soon her visits to Mr. Alfonso increased. He always told her interesting things about neuroscience.
One day Dream went to her mom and said something unusual.
“Mom, I noticed that Sham talks weird things these days. She says she is from another world and sees people on road who are not even there. It sometimes seems like she has a disease about which Mr. Alfonso told me when I went to his place last time.”
“I think it’s time to tell her to leave our house.” Said her mother.
“Mom! How can you be so rude and insensitive? Where would she go? Dad didn’t call her back yet! So she can’t go back! What’s wrong with you?” Dream left the room before her mom could say anything.
Tears rolled down Dream’s cheeks as she remembered all the bitter incidents that occurred with her in past two months. She was still standing in the hall with jacket in one hand and shopping bag in other, lost in her thoughts, when Sham suddenly tapped her shoulder.
“We were going for shopping. What are you thinking about?” Sham asked taking the shopping bag from her hand.
“Mom said I can’t go.”
Sham heard their mother angrily closing the door of her room.
She sighed. “Well.. Let’s go to our room then.”
They both went to their room. Dream didn’t arrive for dinner that night.
Her mom knocked the door thrice but no one answered. She sighed and left.
Dream was so angry with her mom that didn’t talk to her whole day. But next morning, somehow Sham convinced Dream to talk to their mom.
“Aren’t we visiting Mr. Alfonso this week?” she asked avoiding direct eye contact with her mom.
“Oh dear! We will do everything you ask for. Just have breakfast first.” Said her mother feeling relieved.
“Okay.” She said smiling.
“Mr. Alfonso is sick and there is no one to take care of him. I have to go to office so he wants you to stay with him for a week. ”
“Okay. We will go.”
“Only you have to go.”
“Why can’t she accompany?”
“Because Mr. Alfonso said so.”
“I’ll call him right now.”
“He is ill. Don’t make him feel worse. At least for a few days.” Her mother pleaded.
Dream made a helpless face. She was irritated by this action of her mother but she said nothing as she knew it wasn’t her mother’s fault.
Mr. Alfonso was not too ill but Dream kept helping him in his chores. That week she learnt many things from him about human behavior and brain disorders. She also told him about weird things Sham spoke. Mr. Alfonso said she might be ill and needed help. But it was not that serious according to symptoms described by Dream.
That day Dream read a book about mental disorders. She wanted to know what was wrong with Sham so that she can help her somehow. But the idea that Sham had some disorder was scaring her.
She snapped out of her thoughts suddenly as she heard Mr. Alfonso.
“Oh, Mrs. Faux! Thank you for coming.” He said cheerfully. “Your daughter took a great care of me all these days.”
“She is a great company, isn’t she?” she said.
They both looked at Dream smiling.
Dream got flustered. “Thanks.” She said abruptly. “I’ll get some fresh juice for us all. I’ll be right back.” She left quickly.
After returning, while removing her shoes she heard her mother and Mr. Alfonso talking.
“Dream told you about her? This seems to be getting critical now. She sees people who don’t even exist. The symptoms are getting worse. I was so terrified that day. Sir, does she really suffer from that.. That schiz… ”
“Oh Dream.. When did you arrive? Come in come in.” Mr. Alfonso interrupted her and called Dream.
“I..Uh.. just now. Why are you crying mom? Did something happen to Sham?” Dream asked.
“Who? No. Everything is fine at home.” She mumbled frantically.
“Oh. I thought.. Something..”
“Give him the juice. And Mr. Alfonso I better leave now. I requested my boss to let me go for an hour. She will yell at me if I get late.” She faked a laugh.
“Alright then, have a safe journey. And thanks for coming.” Mr. Alfonso waved her a goodbye. “The juice is nice. Thanks dear.” He said to Dream.
“Is something wrong with my sister?”
“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
“I hope so.”
After a week Dream returned home. When she went to her room Sham was not there.
“Your dad came, apologized and took her with him. Now forget about her and enjoy your life darling.” said her mom smiling.
Dream was both happy and unhappy with this news. She said nothing and went to her room. She was sad because her sister didn’t even wait for her to return and just left without saying good bye.
She tried to forget everything and didn’t speak a word about Sham for next couple of days.
But suddenly after 3 days, Dream came down to the hall crying violently.
“MOM.. YOU LIED TO ME!” She screamed so loud that it startled her mother and Mr. Alfonso who sat beside her.
“MOM WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT SHAM LEFT OUR HOUSE ALONE? SHE DIDN’T GO TO DAD’S HOUSE, SHE SUICIDE 3 DAYS AGO! WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?” She was so shocked that she couldn’t speak further for a while.
“What? Baby please calm down. Have some wa…”
“Look at this letter. I found this under my bed. She had mental illness mom! She suffered from schizophrenia! Why did you let her leave alone? Why did you lie to me and said that dad came to take her? I can’t even..”
“Dear just calm down…”
“I even heard you and Mr. Alfonso talking about her disease that day! WHY IN THE WORLD MOM?” Dream was sobbing and breathing heavily.
“It’s time.” Said Mr. Alfonso staring at Mrs. Faux.
“Dream, listen to mom. We weren’t talking about Sham that day.”
She took a deep breath and said,
“Don’t you remember? Your father died when you were 6. And… You never had a sister.”