This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
“No! Mommy please don’t go! I love you!” Scarlett cried out.
“Daddy, don’t let this happen!” Jane screamed.
Scarlett and Jane were sisters. Their parents had an unsuccessful marriage and filed for divorce.
Scarlett and Jane didn’t want all this to happen. Way back in August, all four of them took a trip to Malibu. Everything was fine.
They call it the “Malibu Dose”.
Scarlett and Jane loved coming to the Malibu beaches and making sand castles.
It was February now.
What could have gone wrong? No one knew.
Scarlett and Jane’s parents didn’t want to discuss about it either.
In mid February, Scarlett and Jane got separated.
Scarlett and her mother had moved to L.A. while Jane and her father lived in Santa Barbara.
Things had become tough.
Scarlett and Jane were young. Pretty young. Scarlett was 9 years while Jane was 7 years old.
They couldn’t travel alone, so sadly they didn’t meet for months together. Leave alone talking over the phone on Sundays.
The “Malibu Dose” had lost its charm.
Excepting that Scarlett’s father would sometimes go there without telling anyone and leaving Scar behind with her nanny.
Guess, Malibu did have all their memories.
Jane was upset and used to stay very irritated. And the reason was pretty obvious too. But too sad that she could do nothing,
Jane now started going to school in L.A.
The people were nice. And so were the teachers.
Days, weeks and months passed. Jane and Scarlett barely spoke.
It was like they were forcefully made to go through this situation when it was not even their fault. But they couldn’t help it.
August had passed away. September also passed. It was October now.
Scarlett desperately wanted to go to Malibu. So what if Jane wasn’t there?
At least their memories were.
Scarlett’s father agreed.
He told her, “Scar, I know why you want to go to Malibu so bad. I do too. I regret whatever happened between me and your mother.”
Scarlett didn’t say anything, but just hugged him back.
Her father was in bliss.
In mid of October, they headed for the “Malibu dose”. But without Jane and her mother.
Little did they know that they would find them there too. Unexpectedly.
Scarlett was sitting near the water collecting shells and making funny sand sculptures.Suddenly Jane spotted her.
Jane shouted with glee,”Scarlett!”
Scarlett turned around to see who was calling out for her though she knew that it was Jane’s voice but she didn’t expect that she would find Jane in Malibu.
Scarlett turned around and found Jane standing right behind her.
There were tears of happiness in their eyes. They ran towards each other throwing their arms wide open and hugged each other tightly.
Jane missed Scarlett’s warm hugs.
Scarlett said “Janie, this shell is for you. I love you!”
Jane took the shell and sat down in the sand and started making sand castles and gave a look to Scarlett saying “Why don’t you join me? I need a good architect for my castle!”
Scarlett smiled and sat down next to her making sand castles.
Their parents watched them from far behind.
They both walked up to each other.
Jane’s mother said “Sorry! I didn’t want all this to happen but I don’t know. I’m really very sorry.”
Scarlett’s father had tears in his eyes.
They hugged each other tightly too.
Everything was sorted out.
Jane and Scarlett saw their parents hugging each other. They ran toward them with happiness and hugged them.
Scarlett’s mother kissed her on the forehead and said, “I should’ve listened to you, Scar, that day. I’m sorry!”
Scarlett giggled and hugged her.
Everything seemed like paradise. Summer Paradise.
Jane and her mother moved back to Santa Barbara where they lived earlier.
So, it would be wrong to say that the “Malibu dose” had lost its charm.
After all, Malibu had only got them together again!