Surprises - Expected And Unexpected

Mousumi Nandi
Jul 06, 2019   •  7 views

Running around the house checking for the final finishing touches, Alexa gave the room a final look before removing her phone out of her pocket, only to see the last message she received from Dad. Ten minutes ago he had sent the last text to let them know that he was leaving the hospital finally with Mom, and it was already nine minutes since then.

Any minute now.

She signalled everyone to run to the hall and hide in the places she had assigned for them all, hiding behind the sofa.

C’mon now, ring the bell already…

Two months.

Two months she had waited for this day, hoping against hope that Mom would get well soon enough; at least before her birthday. No one should be bed-ridden, particularly on a hospital bed, on their birthday. No one.

As seconds turned to minutes, Alexa was somehow drawn back to the day of the accident. It was well after evening and the night sky seemed to be curtained in a starry cloak with the moon hiding under.

The four of them, Mom, Dad, Alexa and Ashley were terribly singing to Freddie Mercury and as the intersection came unnoticed, Alexa hit a really high note with an equally high and even more terrible note in all enjoyment and laughter.

But before she could finish it, the high note turned to screeches of tyres and shrieks of her Mom at the wheel and her sister beside her and the car went topsy turvy down the road and rammed into the side wall and in all this mess Ashley bumped her head on the side window with an awful crack in the skull.

Her Dad seemed to be in a shock and Alexa somehow could make out the weird angle at which her sister lay her neck against the window before herself thinking of the stars in the night sky and she welcomed the darkness that finally engulfed her and numbed the pain.

The clicking of the door lock brought her out of her flashback and she couldn’t help but smile with excitement. Today she was going to make sure her Mom had the best birthday celebration ever and as the door opened, she jumped and shouted “HAPPY BIRTHDAYYY!!” with all her and cousins and balloons running in loops and slashes through the house.

Her mom was surprised, to say the least, or so she thought as she gave a blank look around the house as looking for something she had been searching for for a while now. Then her blank stare turned to Alexa and she heard those three words that numbed her to silence once again.

Where is Ashley?