Thursday, May 22, 2014

Music Box

He came and lay down on the bed. It had been a long day. As soon as he closed his eyes, he heard the all-too-familiar tune wafting through the adjacent room. He opened his eyes and sat up straighter.

'Enough is enough! I need to have a talk with her. This can't go on forever. She has to understand... she has to.'

He got up and started pacing the room, biting his nails - a nervous habit he had acquired in his childhood. He bit his cuticle and a silent curse escaped from his mouth. The hauntingly beautiful tune emanating into the room irritated him further.

After a minute or so, she entered the room wiping her hands on her night-dress. She looked up at him with questioning eyes, 'what's the matter with you? You haven't slept yet? You feeling okay?'

'Why do you do it?' He asked.

'What?! I don't understand...' she said getting under the covers.

'Why do you play the tune every night?'

'What tune? I am very tired, can you please not be so cryptic and say what you want to say,' She asked turning on the alarm in her phone.

'The tune from Mimi's music box? Why do you play it?'

She turned and looked at him, 'You know she can't sleep without it. It has been playing every night since she has been born. Why the sudden aversion? I thought you liked it. It's so soothing.'

He came and sat next to her. Taking her hand in his, he whispered softly, 'I know it has been hard for you. It's difficult for me too. But playing her music box wouldn't change the fact that she is not with us anymore. You have to accept that fact and move on... learn to live without her.'

She jerked her hand away, 'What are you talking about? Where would she go. I just tucked her in.'

'I have been patient all this while because I know you are heartbroken and I thought that this is your way of moving on but it is ridiculous. It does nothing but remind us of what we have lost. I can't take It anymore. So, just stop it!'

The last words came out a little more loudly, little more strongly than he intended. She looked disconcerted, confused. He took deep breaths to calm himself down. He didn't know why he was getting so angry. After all his wife was just playing a music box that their daughter loved so much.

He remembered he had got it for her when she has turned two... and for the next six months, she played it every night before going to sleep. He closed his eyes and saw her sitting cross-legged on the floor laughing hysterically and clapping her hands as she turned the key... and the same tune started playing again.

'I can't believe...!' he opened his eyes in frustration and stood up to go and drag his grieving wife back from their daughter's room... and throw away the box, if possible. But, he saw her sitting there just as she had been a moment before. She hadn't moved. She was also looking at the door as if the tune had caught her by surprise too. She looked at him horrified, 'look what you have done. All your yelling has woken her up. God! Sometimes I don't understand you.'

She gave him a dirty look, tore off the covers and ran out the room. He stood alone in the darkness, biting his nails furiously, listening to his wife's muffled voice uttering soothing words to comfort their crying dead daughter.

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