Chapter One:- The Arrival "Put those carton in the backyard and carry the rest to the hall", said Mrs. D'Souza to the servant. Mr. D'Souza lifted the heavy metal suitcase and moved ahead. The servant politely asked him to leave it and have rest as he will arrange it carefully. But Mr. D'Souza refused and didn't even let him touch it.
Lily was busy watching horror movies as usual. It was a warm and sunny day of autumn pleasing to the eyes and soothing the mind and soul. How can Peter leave a chance to click the best shots!
"I am fed up with both of you. Are you even listening to me Miss Phobophile? Either you're lost in thoughts of SHAH RUKH KHAN or watching horror movies. And I will trash your camera if you dared to make the next click. Throughout the journey, you had been clicking photos. Do your parents exist or not?", Mrs. D'Souza yelled at both of them.
Within a blink of an eye, both Lily and Peter left off watching horror movies and clicking photos respectively and started to grin at their mother. Mrs. D'Souza appears strict but can be easily melted by little effort. So, the entire family knew her weak point! Lily and Peter started to help her in arranging the furniture and cleaning the villa. It took them 3 hours to do everything and have a sigh of relief while having tea. Mr.D'Souza went to purchase groceries; although Mrs. D'Souza knew it's not only about grocery items but more of something. She smiled at him when he said he will be back soon. As Mr. D'Souza could easily understand what's going on in her mind, he always comforts her by sharing the language of eyes that could only be understood by both of them!
Hey, Lily, don't get lost in thoughts of SRK or your imaginary world of ghosts, accompany me to the second floor. We need to clean that room as well and then it's all set to the way we want our rooms to look. Lily replied, "Okay Mom" in a scary voice, and as a result of it, Peter stood right in front of his mother thereby handing her a broom, "Look Mom, she scared you. She deserves it", said Peter in a naughty tone. " Look you, little mouse," said Lily. Mrs.D'Souza didn't let her finish and pinched Peter in a silly manner and ordered him to pay the servants, note their details, and ask them to leave. Also, thank them for the service. We will call them back if needed. Then she ruffled Lily's hairs and handed her a broom. Good, she deserves it! They have cleaned the room and suddenly Lily was attracted by a beautiful almira that was placed near the window. The fine embroidery on it was really eye-catching. It had two compartments giving it a royal look. She touched it with curiosity and opened the right section. Her mother was about to leave and when she saw her going through someone else's belongings she shouted, "What are you doing? You won't find SRK's photos here. For God's sake stop searching for him in everything that comes across!" Lily grinned and said," No Mom, this time I am just randomly...Okay, look at these beautiful letters, how sweet they are!"
"Shut up. They're love letters", said her mother. "No Mom, they aren't. These are "thank you" letters, every word is filled with affection, respect, and gratitude. Seems like a husband has written for her wife. There are around 70 letters. What a sweet person he might be. He would be respecting her in every state of mind. So cute!" "Okay then I will find him and get you married to him or somebody like him", said her mother pulling her leg. " Come on, Mom, I didn't mean that. Let's go down", said Lily trying to change the topic. While coming downstairs she secretly brought whatever was kept in the right section of the almira. In the evening, Lily and her mother were cooking a meal. Lily asked her mother why does Dad carry that heavy metal suitcase with him wherever he goes for a long time? "As if you don't know?" her mother replied while raising her brows. "Yes..yes..How can I forget about that", replied Lily thinking very deeply about something.
"Leave it. The dinner is ready, come", said the mother. Mr.D'Souza was back and was waiting for everyone at the dining table. Peter joined everyone and with the speed of light, Lily snatched the gulaab jamuns from his bowl. Peter said to his dad in a sad yet funny tone that we should think about Lily getting married as he can't tolerate her, I want peace in my life. She is already 26. Dad, please help me. Mr. D'Souza chuckled and said, "I would love to have my daughter with me rather than ruining her life by marrying her to the wrong person in hurry. Age isn't a factor. I remember what happened with my sister just because Dad made her marry in a hurry. She is leading a miserable life today. Your uncle isn't a good husband to her. And Lily treat your younger brother well, got it". "The letter wala is perfect for our daughter. Honey, we should think about it", murmured her mother just in a way that was only heard by Lily. "Stop pulling my leg, Mom", whispered Lily. Both of them giggled! They all had a good family time and then went to sleep.
It was 11:30 pm, the weather turned a bit cold with a full moon sky. Lily thought of those letters, that man, and then smiled.. As she was exhausted and so she had thrown herself on the bed.
There was a sudden loud knock at the door. Lily experienced the presence of a translucent figure holding an axe in the left hand and knocking on the door with the right hand. She could clearly listen to the repeated sound, " Please help me...Please help me.." What was that? Just a nightmare or something else? Why was that heavy metal suitcase so important for Mr.D'Souza? Where does he use to go that was only known by Mrs.D'Souza? What was known by Mr. and Mrs.D'Souza and Lily? To be continued..... Stay tuned... 😊 ~ Kaynat Sultana Qureshi