The dishes on the counter that day were not that dirty, nor were the clothes that many to put out the dry and the weather that day was very pleasing.
It was a pleasant day in November– the skies seemed clearer than the previous day and the storm had subsided. She was in the bedroom, cleaning the house for her husband was to come home that day from a business trip. In the process, she came across an old box swept and hidden away cleanly under the bed. It took her a while to realize what it was and then when she did, she decided it was too painful a thing to do.
It was a box of old keepsakes and photographs of her childhood. She disliked the thought of it; she did not spend it in happiness. She remembered quite well, the haunt of her cold bedroom and the noise of her parents fighting in the night. She was twelve when her father left and sixteen when her elder brother too, left in pursuit of a life he knew he could never live. She hasn’t heard from him since. She lived off the few pieces of her life untainted by sorrow. It was only recently that she got a letter letting her know of her mother’s illness.
She was in her thoughts when the telephone rang.
“Hello?” she spoke.
“Hi, honey. It’s me,” her husband said from the other side.
“How are you darling? When will you be home?”
“Oh about that dear. I will be delayed by a few hours. You see the storm has ruined the roads and there is such horrible traffic.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was calling to let you know about the delay.”
“Oh. Take care, darling.”
“Yes, my love. Goodbye.”
She put the phone down and let out a sigh of relief. At least there was some hope for a happy life. She was tired and before she knew it, she was lost in deep slumber.
It was bright, very bright. There was some sort of purity in the surroundings and there was a pleasing soft sense to it all.
“Heaven, isn’t it, God?” she spoke to the open ground.
A voice appeared out of nowhere.
“It has been long, hasn’t it? Since you and I spoke?” said the voice.
“Yes, it has been. You and I haven’t been on the best of terms, as you know.”
“I know, I know. I have given you much pain, haven’t I, child?”
“Yes, yes You have. I am so sick and tired of it. It isn’t fair, you know. I have bore too much for one,” she said tearfully.
“Hmm. But haven’t you endured victoriously?”
“Yes, I have. But only in hope that You would spare me for a better life. I have suffered, God, enough.”
“So you shall no more.”
“Can You make a promise this time?”
“I made a promise to you, the first time you came to me. When you prayed for the happiness of your mother as a little child of eight and when you wanted me to grant a clear path to you brother. I listen to you. Always. And this time you shall have it too.”
She awoke from the rather strange dream she had yet still acknowledged the fact that God indeed listened to her.
She arose from the bed and checked the clock– it was eight at night and she was wondering where her husband was.
As the clock struck ten and a half, her heartbeat started to rise and her palpitating senses were heading for the worst.
She was worried something might have happened to her husband. She switched on the television and turned to the news.
The worst had happened.
The road he was taking had a huge chain accident and several of them were injured, some even dead. Her heart broke as she watched the news flashing the end of her perfect little life.
She gave up hope and cursed God.
“But you promised, didn’t you?” she screamed to the ceiling.
And then the doorbell rang.
She raced to the door only to find her husband, safe and sound.
“I was so worried!” she said tearfully and enveloped him in a tight embrace.
“I told you I’d be home,” he said.
She noticed a gash on his head and it was bleeding.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” he said, upon her asking.
“Thank God,” she said.
And then they put out the lights and went quietly, relieved, to bed.
“The sight is devastating,” the rescue guard said. “I’m not sure we will be able to go any further.”
The rescue teams were retreating; it was over. The storm had destroyed all and everything in its way. No matter how much one tried, none could find anything retrievable.
And everyone, all of the inhabitants of the town, were killed.
But God makes promises He can keep, in his own ways, of course.
He promised to spare her the hurt and he did, by not bursting the bubble that is still very perfectly unhurt in her head.
In all our heads.