“That’s a rabbit! Can you see it Uncle Sam?” chimed Jenny.
“No. Where is it?”
“There right there in front of you, hahahaha…look” she tugged at his face with her small hands, guiding it to a spot on the ceiling.
She and Uncle Sam were lying on the dinning room floor engaged in their favourite pass time – tracing shapes and stories formed on the ceiling by the chandelier.
“Look there it is around that tree… can you see it now?”
“Oh yeah… the rabbits are being chased by the fox, aren’t they? Yes, I see it my honey punch” Samuel replied with forced merriment.
He loved Jenny, she reminded him of his carefree childhood and of all the wonderful times he had with his sister, Sarah.
Every summer they used to come down to this farmhouse. Sarah would love to run around the wild shrubs in the garden and chase the ducks in the lake nearby. He was years younger to her and used to just prance around her, giggling madly. Sarah and Sam too used to spend the hot afternoons on the dinning room floor imagining shapes and making up stories with Tom, their caretaker whom he loved deeply. He had such beautiful memories.
But Sarah’s confessions had shattered all of his happiness. Didn’t they have a perfect childhood? Sarah was such a charming child. He loved and idolised his sister even today. But then what happened? Was he so small that he didn’t see and understand that his big sister was being molested by Tom?
He wished Tom was alive right now. He would have punched Tom to death. There was so much hatred and repulsion in him. He was angry with himself, for his ignorance and incapability.
“Uncle Sam…Uncle…Why are the rabbits running away from the fox? Tell me!!” Jenny was tugging at his face again. Unable to get a response from him, Jenny climbed on his chest.
Sam gazed into her hazel brown eyes. Jenny was a spitting image of Sarah. Her innocence tugged at his heart. From the corner of his eye, he saw Sarah standing in the doorway. She would have been just as small and innocent…his eyes welled up with tears.
“Are you crying? Mommy…Uncle Sam’s crying! Mommy….” Jenny cried out as she tried to wipe his tears.
Sarah walked in from the kitchen door, lifted Jenny up and sat down beside her brother. He was too naive and kind-hearted for his own good. She had known that this was not the time or the place to tell him about her abused childhood, but she had to do it.
“Are you missing Grandpa Tom?” asked Jenny as she slipped back on the floor to hug her favourite uncle. “Mommy says he will be with us real soon. He is just tired and sleeping.”
Sarah ruffled Sam’s hair slightly and wiped a few stray tears. “It’s time Sammy. Get up now…” said Sarah as she steadied Jenny back into her lap. She had resolved not to cry, but seeing Sammy down on the floor with pain etched on his face, overwhelmed her.
Sam gazed back at her helplessly, lost for any words. How was he supposed to give a eulogy for Tom? A monster who abused his sister! Or a long lost friend who died.
© 2017 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
All Rights Reserved