He looked contently at her plum tender hands. Adjusting her half moon glasses she lifted the spoon filled with floating corn flakes. He could sense an intense aura of compassion for him in her, something which was completely alien to his otherwise pale soul. His trembling lips parted. He almost giggled when she pushed the spoon through his mouth. She parted her own lips as if to induce a sense to him to open his mouth. Like a mother does to her child. Although he never got to experience any such circumstances when he was a child, he could conjure a vivid picture of how he would’ve have felt. The thought made him feel sorry for him.
Not for the numerous memories he failed to placate, but for the great horror he inflicted upon his parents unwillingly. No parents deserve the fate that his parents were given. No parents deserve to be offered a child with depravity, defacement or abnormality. No parents deserved a child with amputated arms.
With his mouth filled, he mumbled something in vowels. The lady leaned herself to decipher, failing to which she gave a confused look.
“Water”, he said swallowing the partially chewed food.
“Just a second, dear.”
He loved it when she called him that. He had grown up listening to all kinds of names conjured up to make him realize how different he was. Some of them were too weird to discard off his memory. He never blamed them though. It wasn’t their fault they found his condition funny. A bystander cannot be blamed to scorn at the product of a potter. If they dislike it, they have every right to let it out.
But, she was different. She never felt disgusted, nor did she ever show any sign of pity for him. At least not in front of him. He had never felt so normal his entire life behind him. Ever gleeful, she greeted him every morning, helped him out of his bed, fetched newspaper for him, and sometimes even read it for him. He never felt that she got tired of doing what she did, every single day. He couldn’t bring himself to believe that years from now, he was thinking of rejecting the offer from an NGO to help him. If he did, he would never have met Elina. And that was, ten years ago.
“Here”, she returned with a glass of water.
While he gulped the water he looked at her eyes. Two emerald crystals radiated something holy from within. Two distinct vessels filled with love, warmth, affection, and various promises. He often wondered what made her so different, why wasn’t anybody like that towards him.
The thought made him repulse back to the days when he was at Safe home, an orphanage where his parents left him when he was five. Apparently they must’ve thought that where they found themselves incapable of looking at their own son, some other messiah might find some charm in him. They were wrong, unfortunately. He felt guilty for shattering their dreams. The dreams of a mother to see her son walk for the first time, to cheerfully throw his fluffy little hands in the air, and most of all, the touch of a new born babe. His father never got a chance to see his son pedal away in his bicycle in a false belief that his father was still holding him, while in reality he stood far away smiling, his heart heavy with joy.
He did to their dreams what a hurricane does to a sparrows nest. He was dazzled to absorb the thought that they tolerated him for such a long span of full five years. Though their image had blurred form his memory but he remembered Joy, their dog, as stark as reality. He never minded the fact his curator was armless. He recalled the days when he hugged Joy between his legs and he dragged him through the house.
Elina placed the glass on the table and picked the corn flakes bowl again.
“I am full, Elina, thanks”, he smiled at her complete veracity.
“No you are not,” she slid the spoon past his lips anyway and smiled at his innocence.
“Why have you been doing this Elina?” he saw her smile fade away gradually.
“I don’t understand”, she did understand. She always suspected some day or the other the question might surface
“This. You could’ve done anything. I mean, I know it’s your job but I also know that you could’ve abandoned me anytime,” he caught her looking at her slender fingers as if it held some answers “Ten years Elina. What made you stay with me when even my mother couldn’t?”
He waited for her response impatiently, which was not long. She took her time to decide where to start from.
“You know,” she paused “when you were born, there was complete stillness in the room except for your cry, which was usual. What was not usual was the fact that it took courage for your father to take you in his arms. However, your mother never took you in her arms that day. Not in front of me she didn’t.” She witnessed his face wrinkled with a confused frown “I was the one who brought you into this world my dear and nursed you throughout your stay at the hospital. I was there in the room, I held you by my chest dearly when your father finally realized that you won’t bite. I could’ve adopted you that very instant. But it took them five full years to do what they should have done that very day.”