Linda sat curled up on the couch, listening to the sound of the raindrops as they splattered against the tall French windows of her humble abode. The enticing voice of Brian Adams singing ”Everything I do….I do it for you…” resonated across the room , though the lyrics of the song were submerged in the cacophony of the rain and the wind…
Linda,then picked up her cup of hot chocolate from the table and took a sip. Outside, the rain was lashing down ,like the arrows of some ancient army in war.. The ” pluie torrentielle ” was wreaking havoc ,creating an eerie atmosphere.
Linda missed her mother. Her mother , Tracey, was a lawyer and a divorcee. Linda was only seven,when her mother walked out on her husband. Since that day, she had lived with Tracey, whom she admired for her courage and resilience that led her to graduate in law , just a few years after her divorce. Today Tracey was one of the most sought after lawyers of the state.
Linda had very hazy memories of her father…infact she didn’t even try to recall them for they were only bitter and unpleasant…
Today Tracey , had left in the afternoon for a business meeting with a client in another city but had promised to return by late evening. This wasn’t the first time Linda was alone in the house ,but then,the weather was never this nasty then.
Having gulped down her chocolate drink, she walked upto the window and looked outside. Just across the road , on the opposite lane was a park. Usually,Linda liked gazing at it , through the window , and witness the hustle bustle of the place with the kids playing ,young couples holding hands and talking ,while the old people sat on the benches ,watching .
But today , the park presented a gloomy picture. Under the murky sky , the trees were swaying with wind like the mythical Ents ( talking trees or tree like imaginary creatures ) of some faraway land.The tenebrous atmosphere , roused in her a thousand unknown fears. Yet she looked on , with hypnotic fascination. After a minute or two , she was about to turn away ,when some movement in the bushes,inside the park , caught her attention. Her eyes stared into the darkness , trying to discern what she saw. Just then, a figure, very much human in appearance , emerged from the bushes and stood out in the clearing. A sudden sense of fear , ran through her nerves ,like the chill of an icy wind …
For a second the figure, just stood there ,getting drenched in the rain …and then unexpectedly , started walking ,with short ,quick movements of the feet. As it stood at the other side of the road, about to cross, Linda stayed there,her eyes tranfixed . Then, without warning, the figure lifted its head up and shot her a poisonous glare.Those icy blue eyes seemed to penetrate through her flesh ,into her soul.and she shuddered as the realization came to her. She knew those piercing eyes – the eyes of her tormentor…!!!
Having been caught completely unawares , she staggered and fell down backwards, and her hand hit the flower vase , standing on the corner table,and send it flying into the air and then crashing onto the ground , breaking into smithereens..Linda gathered herself up quickly ,and made a dash for her bedroom. Then ,having latched the door,she leaned against bedroom wall and gasped for air ,her heart racing and her body numb due to fear.
Then exhausted , she sat down ,with her back on the door , and cried…a low,muffled cry…
An eerie silence prevailed in the house.The only sound she could hear ,was the loud thumping of her own heart…About half an hour later,just as Linda had started to relax her strained muscles and breathe normally, there was a click ; and a door creaked open…Linda froze….He was in her house !!! A distant ,repulsive memory , came back to her and she started panting. Just then there was a knock on her bedroom door and then a thrust to push it open….
This time she won’t let it happen to her . A blind rage , like fire, swept over Linda.With renewed determination, she bend down to look under her bed and pulled out a hockey stick. Her face was all twisted and contorted and propelled by an unknown spirit of vengeance, she opened the door and swung her hockey stick into the air…………………..
Tracey,her head bandaged and her eyes bruised ,waited ,next to her daughter Linda,in quiet anticipation. As she lay her eyes on her daughter ,lying unconscious on the hospital bed,she thought of Linda’s harrowing past…A lump formed in her throat ,as she recalled what happened to her daughter at a tender age of seven.
”Linda’s father was home early that day and leaving her in his care,Tracey went out to the store to shop for the month’s grocery .When she got back home,there was no one inside . She called out to Linda ,and her husband ‘Robert’ .Having got no reply , she grew anxious and was about to call a neighbour to enquire ,when she heard an agonized scream.It came from the garage outside and without hesitation,Tracey rushed to the spot..
What she saw there ,left every muscle in her body ,paralyzed.She felt hit by a lightening bolt. Then, without a moments notice,she pulled her wailing daughter to her side and glared at her half naked husband ,punching him in the face.That was her last day with him…She filed for divorce soon after…”
The incidents of the day were not surprising to Tracey.Since that dreadful day of her seventh year, Linda was a patient of PTSD ( POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER ). And it wasn’t uncommon for such patients to have panic attacks and hallucinations caused due to fear of recurrence of their trauma.The circumstances of that day ,including the weather,had revoked Linda’s age old fears,leading her to imagine that her tormentor (her dad ,whose memories she had blocked from her mind to avoid pain ) was back ,hence,causing her to be violent in self-defence.
A tear, like pearl, glistened in one corner of her eye ,as Tracey thought to herself, ” some scars never heal !!!”….
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