This story is part of a novella – A girl was born

Do check out the first and the subsequent chapters –

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Image: pexels

With all thoughts of marriage and prince charming stowed away in the far recesses of her mind, Tara thought of changing the course of her life.

She was not prepared to be a homemaker anymore. She wanted to study further. Her father was not too pleased with her decision, but he realized that his eldest child had more or less made up her mind. He wanted to see her happy. After all, that’s what all parents wanted at the bottom of their heart.

Tara became a kinder garten teacher. If she couldn’t have a child herself, being a teacher was the best possible way she could be with kids. She loved children, and her job. In fact, it didn’t feel as if she was working. The cute little faces, their drama, innocent talks and tantrums fascinated her. While her younger sister returned home from work each evening exhausted, stressed out and miserable, she was still full of spirits and happiness.

Every morning, as soon as they saw her, the kids surrounded her and enthusiastically hugged her. On Teacher’s Day or Valentine’s Day, they would bring her handmade cards (obviously their parents prepared them) and pretty flowers. She came to know from the school grapevine that she was the favourite teacher of all kids. At the time of admission, parents specifically asked if their offspring could have Tara miss as the class teacher.

The year had ended and it was time for the Open House. Parents came to talk to teachers about their child’s performance. Tara was sitting on her chair, a big rectangle table in front of her where she had neatly arranged all the report cards, certificates of merit and artwork made by kids. She was handing them out to the parents. As she was talking to a pair of parents, she saw a tall man entering the classroom and taking a vacant chair. She could not recognize him. She knew all her kids’ parents. And this man, she had never seen before. Maybe he had entered the wrong classroom.

As soon as the couple left, the tall man stood up and approached her table.

She said, “Hello! I am sorry but I don’t recognize you. What’s your child’s name?”

“I am here for Kush.” He replied. “I am not his father, but his uncle.”

“Oh, that explains it. I was wondering why I could not recognize you.” Tara smiled.

“You know all the parents?” The man was surprised.

“Yes!” Tara replied with no trace of pride.

“Kush’s grandparents have met with an accident, his parents had to travel to Chandigarh yesterday evening. So, I offered to come for the Open House. I hope that is OK?” The man offered an explanation.

“Yes. It should be. You are?”

“I am his maternal uncle. My name is Himanshu.”

Tara nodded her head. After that, she talked about the progress Kush had made in the class. Himanshu heard it all with no specific comments or contribution. It was evident he was not familiar with children’s school activities. He collected all reports, certificates and art sheets, thanked Tara and left the room.

Tara was about to call the next set of parents, when he appeared again in her line of sight.

“Excuse me, but would you mind giving me your phone number? I am sure I must have missed something that Kush’s mother might want to know. Is it OK if she calls you?” He asked politely.

“Yes, absolutely. She might have my number, but I will write it down in case she has misplaced it.” She gave him her number. He thanked her and left the room.

Was that the last she had heard or seen of him? Find out tomorrow in Gone Girl.